Keechelus Ridge (and Microwave Hill)

Keechelus Ridge (and Microwave Hill)

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.34295°N / 121.3001°W
Additional Information County: Kittitas
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 5155 ft / 1571 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Mount Margaret in the cloudsNote the snowmobile tracks here because this area is a very popular snowmobile hangout
Pat and Zephyr2us stand on the summit area viewpointThis is the grand viewpoint on Keechelus Ridge. It is located just east of the summit.

Keechelus Ridge is moderately popular winter summit destination located just off of I-90 about 10 miles east of Snoqualmie Pass. The peak in winter tends to be more popular with snowmobilers than with hikers due to the fact that there are large amount of groomed trails that around the area. There are two-noted areas of Keechelus Ridge and numurous other sub-peak on the ridge worth visiting while at Keechelus Ridge.

Stuart and the TeanawayView from Microwave Hill
Looking at Microwave TowerA look back at the tower

Microwave Hill, a sub-peak a half mile to the west of the true summit of Keechelus Ridge is most famous as a snowmobiler hang out due to its great views to both the north and the south. Peaks such as Mount Stuart, Mount Daniel and Mount Rainier can be easily seen from this sub-peak.

Looking down at Lake KachessFrom the eastern viewpoint on the summit ridge.
Staring back at Keechelus RidgeKeechelus Ridge from the groomed trail on the way up

The true summit of Keechelus Ridge is located a half mile east of Microwave Hill and is just a short wooded Class 2 bushwhack or off-trail snowshoe to the true summit. The views are minimal at the actual true summit of Keechelus Ridge but literally just a hundred feet to the east there are is an excellent view down to Lake Kachess and Kachess Ridge. There is striking sub peak to the east with no name that looks also to have amazing views of the surrounding area.

Pat heading up the roadPat heading up one of the many forest roads
There are some details one must know before attempting Keechelus Ridge. There are no formal trails that go from the base to the top unless you consider the rounded 16 mile round trip groomed snowmobile trail an official winter trail. Therefore there is no set route up to the summit. I have provided a map below of some of the published routes up to Keechelus Ridge.

Map of all Noted Routes

Map of many of the routes!Here is a Map of Noted Snowshoe Routes to the summit of Keechelus Ridge.

Apparently there is a number of areas here that are private property that the roads go by. I ran into this situation while snowshoeing a popular route up to the summit of this peak as of 1/11/13. On the way up we ran into a couple no trespassing signs and had to alter our course to the summit. This route was well publicized on websites throughout the northwest so beware of this potential issue. If you spot a private property sign take note of it and respect the landowners request. If you completely want to avoid all possible headaches just take snowmobile groomed trail west about 4 miles that up another 4 miles until you reach Microwave Hill. From there bushwhack to the true summit of Keechelus Hill.

Getting There

VIA THE PRICE CREEK TRAILHEAD: This trailhead is located right of the westbound lane of Exit 61. If heading here from Seattle you want actually go past Exit 61 on I-90 and go to one mile to Exit 62. From there go over the ramp and head back westbound. One mile up you will see the Price Creek Sno Park.

Red Tape

Wahington State Sno-Park Permit Required to park at the Price Creek Trailhead.

Washington State Sno-Park Permit Info


This summit would not a desirable camping spot in summer. I would recommend going somewhere else. Use caution because apparently there is a fair amount of private property in the area. Leave no trace if you do.

External Links

Price Creek Trailhead Info

Keechelus Ridge Peakbagger Page

Trip report up Keechelus Ridge. This was the route where I did run into No Tresspassing Signs

Another Keechelus Ridge TR, this one bushwhack most of the way up from Price Creek TR
This is an important link about the private property issues that are going on at Keechelus Ridge.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Redwic - Sep 17, 2013 10:47 pm - Hasn't voted

For those wanting to Avoid Private Property Issues:

These summits are popular destinations for snowshoers and snowmobilers during Winter & Spring months, but as mentioned on this main page some shortcut route options might cross private property. However, there is a totally legal & short approach when snow is not present (i.e. Summer, Autumn): Drive FS-4934 & then up the steep, rocky road leading to the summit of Microwave Hill. This can be done by passenger vehicles. Then bushwhack/hike for approximately 0.5 miles southeast along the ridgetop to the true summit of Keechelus Ridge.

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