The View Northwest From The Summit, November 3, 2010
Klone Peak and Kelly Mountain are relatively insignificant summits located on a sort of high plateau in the Entiat Mountains, 26 miles north of Leavenworth. Looking at these peaks from the surrounding area, they could be described as "hill like" and it's hard to believe that they are nearly 7000 feet high. Viewing the map you can see that they only rise a maximum of 1400 feet above the surrounding geologic features. The approach to these peaks is from a ridge running parallel on the east side, but separated from the peaks by a drainage. The shortest route to Klone Peak alone is 13 miles roundtrip, but adding Kelly Peak makes for 15 miles total.
Klone has 920 feet of prominence and is characterized by three ridges radiating to the north, to the southwest, and to the southeast. It's northwest slope is the steepest. Most notably, there was a fire lookout located on the summit, from the years of 1931-1963. The summit area has a few small trees but the view is good and open in most directions.
Photo courtesy the Fire Lookout Museum
Because of a complex system of trails, there is more than one way to get to Klone Peak but if traveling on foot, there is really only one way that makes sense and that is Forrest Road 5605 off of the Entiat River Road. Other approaches would be much longer and yet still feasible considering the possibility of employing motorized travel. Off-road vehicles are permitted in this area. For that reason, if you are hiking, it is suggested that you snowshoe during the spring or winter when snow blocks most of the dirt-bikes and quads that would normally be present. You may still encounter snowmobiles. The Entiat Fire of 1994 swept some of the slopes on the approach ridge but deadfall is not a problem thanks to the off-road motorists.
Having revealed it's less attractive traits, a few good qualities should be mentioned as well. This is an excellent snowshoe destination. Most of the slopes that are traveled on the approach to Klone are of a very low angle. You know what that means. During periods of high avalanche danger, this is still a safe destination. Just remember to check where the snow line is at because the North Tommy trailhead is located at 4700 feet.
On The Summit
The North Tommy Trail does lead all the way to the summit of Klone Peak staying on or close to the ridge top the whole way. The first two miles travel west until reaching the top of the first high point at 5860 feet, on the approach ridge. Here the trail turns northwest for the next three miles.
You may notice an irritating amount of switchback on ground that barely has any slope to it at all. Here is another benefit of doing this hike as a snowshoe because you can cut all the pointless switchbacks off. After five miles the trail turns southwest and comes to a junction. The right side goes to the summit of Klone Peak while the left side leads to Klone Meadows and a vast network of trails beyond.
The Approach Ridge
You can take Highway 2 or Interstate 90 to get to the east side of the state. Either way ends up being about the same amount of time. If Highway 2, then change to Highway 97 North in the small town of Sunnyslope. If Interstate 90, then at Cle Elum take WA-10 East / WA-970 East for 10 miles until it intersects Highway 97 and follow that north until it joins Highway 2 and follow the same directions above through the town of Sunnyslope. From Sunnyslope, drive north on Highway 97 for 15 miles and then turn left on Entiat River Road.
Entiat River Road
Whether coming from the east or west side of the state, aim for the Entiat River Road on the west side of Lake Entiat. This is accessed from Highway 97. Make sure you are on the correct side of the lake as Highway 97 runs along both sides of the lake. Follow the Entiat River Road for 28 miles. You will pass many campgrounds. Keep left at a junction after the 28th mile.
Entiat River Road becomes Forest Road 51 at this point. Pass the last campground called Silver Falls. From the start, continue on Forest Road 51 for 1.8 miles and then turn left onto Forest Road 5605 and immediately cross the river. Follow this road 7.6 miles to the end which is the North Tommy trailhead.