The Carne Mountain Trail is the essentially the dog route up Carne Mountain. The trail usually is snow-free by July and requires nothing more than the hiker ten essentials and the optional but very helpful trekking poles. The trail is in decent shape as of August 2009 and is very easy to follow from the beginning to the end. In August the huckleberry bushes along the trail become ripe and there is a good amount of huckleberries to snack on the way up to the summit. In October this summit is home to a very large amount of larch, which is a needle tree that changes in fall and often is noted in the Pacific Northwest of giving the most vibrant in colors. Those who know of the larch, often travel many miles to see it’s beautiful color in the fall.
FROM ROUTE 2: Take Route 207 (15 miles west from Leavenworth) which is the obvious marked road to Lake Wenatchee. Once you go over the steel bridge over the Wenatchee River you will want to veer right at the Y intersection. At about 1.3 miles you want to make a left on the Chiwawa River Road. Take the road 24 miles (much of it will become a dirt road) to the Phelps Creek Trailhead.
The YDS Class 1, 10-mile roundtrip hike starts on the Phelps Creek Trail for 0.2 miles, the obvious and marked Carne Mountain Trail will intersect on your right. The trail goes up at moderate grade passing through two large switchbacks and then a number of other smaller switchbacks. It will travel through a forest with peek-a-boo views until around 6000 feet. The trail will then open up with great views to the west. The grade will vary hear from almost flat by a tarn area (no lake) to steeper heading closer to the summit, but there is no scrambling or even Class 2 moves the whole way up. At about 6330 feet there will be a trail intersection. Take the trail to the left and it will take you to the summit.
From mid July to early October only the 10 essentials are abosolutely needed. Trekking poles do help, but are not needed. Before July, an ice axe is definitely needed with some sort of trekking devices as well. As for October, this can be a variable. Check conditions and trip reports of this region before you go. Even with some snow though you might just need yak-traks or traction devices.
Check out this trip report from NwHikers.net. There even is good map of the route here.
Carne Mountain Trip Report
Though a little far away this area will at least give you a more accurate read on temperatures at the base of Carne Mountain.
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