Hicks Butte located south of Cle Elum is home to good southerly views, beautiful lupine views and good shot up north of Cle Elum and and Cle Elum Ridge. Hicks Butte is not difficult in terms of technicality and can be reached by a 900 foot Class 2 bushwack up to the summit area.
Like nearby Lookout Mountain, Hicks Butte is usually reached by taking the Granite Creek Trail all the to the col between South Cle Elum Ridge and Hicks Butte. This can be shortcut from time to time if you can get on 4510 and take it to the foot of the mountain, leaving only a 900 foot elevation gain. Continue the path which now also is a dirt bike path all the way to a clearcut. Once the slope becomes less steep bushwack up Hicks Butte crossing another road along the way. Continue all the way to the summit in which forest block some of the northwestern views.
Getting ThereVIA I-90:
Get off on Exit 78 and head south. Make a left on Westside Drive and take it south to Fowler Creek ROad. Take Fowler Creek Road all the way to the intersection showing directions to the Granite Creek Trailhead. Make a right there and pass through a development area and stay on the dirt road (hogh clearance vehicles recommended) all the way to the trailhead with the trail on the right.
Note for the shortcut: On the intersection with Westside Drive and Fowler Creek Road make a left onto Westside Drive. Take that two miles and make a right onto Woods and Steele Road. That road will eventually lead to Forest Road 4510 which will then ascend up over Cle Elum Ridge and continue for about 5-6 miles until it meets up with Trail 1326 in a number of spots. This will take at least 2500 feet of elevation gain away and 6 miles roundtrip. The road is definitely high clearance and in different parts of the season is closed though.
Camping is not recommended here due to the fact that this often home to heavy logging and dirt bike usage.
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