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Natapoc Northern Route

 
Natapoc Northern Route

Page Type: Route

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Object Title: Natapoc Northern Route

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Walk Up

Route Quality: 
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Page By: EastKing

Created/Edited: Apr 28, 2015 / Apr 28, 2015

Object ID: 937331

Hits: 638 

Page Score: 75.81%  - 6 Votes 

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Overview

Dirtyface and many others
Dirtyface and many others

Natapoc Mountain has a number of routes to its summit. Perhaps the most well maintained of the routes is the north route. This route up contains many views on it from start to finish and combines a decommissioned but well laid out dirt road with a very well maintained trail all of the way to both the north and south summits of Natapoc. The views themselves are never panoramic but one can see much of the Cascade Crest including, Big Jim, Middle Chiwaukam, Dirtyface, Mount Maude and Seven Fingered Jack. In actually the only places that don't have any views are the start of the trail and the two summits. One can easily get to the summit of Natapoc Mountain from this route in under five hours roundtrip.


Looking up the valley toward Mount Howard
Looking up the valley toward Mount Howard
Balsamroot and views
Balsam root and views on the way up


Because Natapoc Mountain is overshadowed the neighboring summits despite being a 2K'er you will not run into many hikers on this trail. This route should be saved in the mid spring when the balsamroot is popping out and the snow has melted though attempting a winter trip on this route can be easy provided access to the trailhead is doable. I would not recommend doing this summit in late summer if forest fire season is raging. In the past three years nearby areas have been ravaged by forest fires and often the smoke will cause poor visibility over Natapoc. Natapoc Mountain itself is vulnerable to forest fires as well because it is on the east side of the Cascades, which tends to be dryer and hotter than the western Cascades. 
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Looking south toward Leavenworth
Looking south toward Leavenworth
Balsamroot and Wedge Mountain
Balsamroot and Wedge Mountain

Getting There

From Stevens Pass (or western locations): Take Highway 2 east for 20.0 miles from Stevens Pass. Turn left onto WA-207 North and take it 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Conard Rd which turns slightly left and becomes Nason Rd. Take that road 0.2 mi and then turn right onto State Rd. The spot will end will a parking pull out and a gate. That is where you start your hike. 

From Leavenworth and points east: Take Highway 2 west for 15.1 miles from Leavenworth. Turn right onto onto WA-207 North and take it 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Conard Rd which turns slightly left and becomes Nason Rd. Take that road 0.2 mi and then turn right onto State Rd. The spot will end will a parking pull out and a gate. That is where you start your hike. 

Route Description

Natapoc Northern Route
Natapoc Northern Route


YDS: Class 1
6.3 miles roundtrip distance
2300 feet of elevation gain

From the trailhead start on the gated road. You should cross over a washout 300 feet from the trailhead. From there the gravel road rises at first moderately and then steeply as it switchback up to the ridge-line. It will cross the power lines a number of times and the opening by these power lines will create excellent views west towards the Chiwaukums, Big Jim and the Cascade Crest. Try to use all the gravel roads on the ridgeline. Eventually they will turn into what now a well traveled trail. This well traveled trail will rise gradually to moderately with views off to the west towards the crest that come out off and on. Just before the reaching the north summit the trail will then get steep for a short bit as it rises roughly 200 feet before moderating again just before the north summit. Once on the north summit (listed on many GPS's as the shorter of the two) stay on the trail which is now a little more faint as it drops and then rises again to the south summit which Gimpilator verified as the higher summit. In between the summits is yet another good view towards the west to the Cascade Crest. Once on the south summit stay on the faint trail roughly 300 feet where yet another good view, this time towards the south awaits you. Return the way you came.     

The well laid out trail
The well laid out trail near the north summit

   
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Essential Gear

In summer only basic hiking gear is needed. A map would highly necessary however due to the fact that this is a well graded trail and a dirt road, a GPS is not needed.

External Links

Chad L Painter's Trip Report.

Images

Looking east from NatapocDirtyface and many othersBalsamroot and Wedge MountainOne of the first views towards Mount Howard and NastiffLooking up the valley toward Mount HowardNatapoc Mountain from the northLooking west toward Big Jim
Balsamroot and viewsThe well laid out trailBig Jim and Chiwaukum viewsLooking south toward Leavenworth