Duncan Hill is a very special peak located between Carne Mountain to the west and Pyramid Mountain to the east. The YDS Class 1 Duncan Ridge Trail route up to the summit is best to be done in summer when the peak has little or no snow on it. The total trip is a little over 13.5 miles and 3300 feet of elevation gain. This path is not rough at all and like neighboring Pyramid Peak, it can be done in a fairly quick time. The big reason for the speed is the high starting elevation of the trailhead. At 5050 feet this starting trailhead give quiet an advantage in reaching the summit. In winter when this peak is snowed in. The trip up here can be quiet a journey and ice axes are required. At least 3500 feet more elevation gain must be added to this trip and many, many miles if you plan on doing this in winter. Therefore this summit is not recommended in winter or spring (November through late June-early July).
VIA THE DUNCAN RIDGE TRAILHEAD: Starting from the city of Wenatchee you want to head up U.S. 97 to the town of Entiat. You want to make a left on the Entiat River road and take it 34 miles. Make a right on Forest Road 5608 and take it up 6 miles to the second
Y intersection in the road. Make a left at the second Y intersection and the trail will be on your right 100 yards after the intersection. The road is doable in a normal car, however is much more pleasant in a four wheel drive vehicle.
The YDS Class 1 Duncan Ridge Trail begins up the Duncan Ridge at a moderate to gentler slope up from the trailhead of 5050 feet to the first ridgetop of 5582 feet. The trail then goes down gently roughly 200 feet before rising again at a gentle pace after mile 2.5. The trail continues up at varying grades on flat, moderate and gradual slope while staying mostly in the larch and spruce forest until mile 5.0. The last 1.3 miles becomes more open and traveres a number of steep avalanche slopes with a little exposer for those who might struggle with heights. This trail is fairly safe though and you have to be quiet clumsy in summer to fall or slip. Still if there is some snow use caution and have an ice axe and/or choose an alternate route to the summit. At 6.3 miles from the trailhead there will be make well marked spur path to the summit of Duncan Hill that rises at a moderate grade.
In summer all you needed is your 10 essentials. Trekking poles do help but are not required.
External Links Here is a link to the best trip reports on Duncan Hill and other hikes in the Cascades