OverviewThe Naches Ranger District is located on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state. The district makes up the southern end of the Wenatchee National Forest, encompassing 518,982 acres with a low elevation of 1930 feet at the Tieton River and a high elevation of 8184 feet on the summit of Gilbert Peak (Mt. Curtis Gilbert). The district has a diverse assortment of ecosystems ranging from glaciated alpine areas along the Cascade Crest to almost desert shrub-steppe areas only 20 miles to the east with nearly everything else in between.
The Cascade Crest forms the western boundary of the district where the Pacific Crest Trail runs north and south. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. Rainier National Park, and Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest border the district west of the Cascade Crest. The Cle Elum Ranger District is located to the north and the Yakama Indian Nation Reservation to the south. A mixture of Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources, Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and private lands border the district to the east. There are checkerboard land ownerships on the fringes of the district to the north, east, and south. Portions of the Goat Rocks, William O. Douglas, and Norse Peak Wilderness Areas lie within the district.
Naches Ranger District SummitsThere are 55 summits (peaks, mountains, points, rocks, buttes, tables, hills) named on published government maps (USGS or US Forest Service) that can only be accessed on foot by trails or scrambling. I am probably the first person to ever climb all of these summits. I have also climbed many additional summits which are not given names on published maps, but have been named by others or myself. In addition to these climbs, I completed ski ascents on all 6 named summits which can be reached by roads in the summer. Eventually I would like to create a page on summitpost for each of these summits as there is currently only pages for 10.
|Named on Map (55)||Elevation (ft.)|
|Old Snowy Mountain||7930|
|Bear Creek Mountain*||7336|
|Fifes Peaks (NW, W, E, Far E)||6917|
|Old Scab Mountain||6608|
|Quartz Mountain (Hike)||6300|
|Bald Mountain* (Hike)||5898|
|Jumpoff Joe Lookout* (Hike)||5670|
|Goose Egg Mountain||4566|
|No Name on Map (14)||Elevation(ft.)|
|Blue Slide Lookout*||6785|
|Pigtail Peak (Hike)||6000|
|Ski Ascent (6)||Elevation (ft.)|
|Little Bald Mountain*||6108|
* = Fire Lookout existed historically. Most have been demolished. Miners Ridge was only included since a fire lookout had existed.
Elevations are from USGS Quad maps and the US Forest Service Naches Ranger District map.
Getting ThereFrom Seattle head south on SR-410 into Mt. Rainier National Park and continue on SR 410 over Chinook Pass or turn on to SR-123 south to US-12 and enter over White Pass. From Portland head north on I-5, then east on US-12 over White Pass or turn north onto SR-123 and turn east onto SR-410 over Chinook Pass. From Yakima head west on US-12 and either continue on US-12 or take SR-410 at the Y junction. I suppose it would also be possible to enter by a number of gravel and unimproved roads such as those crossing Naches Pass or Green Pass. You could also hike into the Naches Ranger District on any of the various trails leading into the district such as the Pacific Crest Trail.
Red TapeNorthwest Forest Pass is required to park at most trailheads. Wilderness entry permits are required when visiting Wilderness areas, but are free and can be obtained at the trailhead or where the trail enters the wilderness area. My climbing partner Mike Hay built the permit boxes for his Eagle Scout project.
External LinksWenatchee National Forest
Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center
WSDOT Pass Report
Naches Valley Chamber of Commerce
Central Washington Mountain Rescue
Boy Scouts of America Camp Fife
CampingFor campgrounds see Naches Valley Chamber of Commerce
Many peaks are located in wilderness areas which offer ample locations for backcountry basecamps. Basic wilderness regulations are in place such as camping at least 100' from lakes. There are no permanent fire restrictions. During mid to late summer, fire bans may be in effect for lower elevations, but rarely for higher elevation wilderness areas.
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