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Wenatchee National Forest, WA

Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

"Something for everyone" may be the best way to describe what the 2.2 million acre Wenatchee National Forest has to offer its visitors.

The Wenatchee Forest covers an area approximately 40 miles wide and 140 miles in length, encompassing much of Chelan, Kittitas, and Yakima counties. It stretches from upper Lake Chelan on the north to the Yakama Indian Reservation on the south.

The vegetation varies with the elevation, from the sagebrush and pine covered slopes at 2,000 feet, to higher elevation areas with alpine fir and mountain huckleberry, to the crest of the Cascade Mountain range at 8,000 feet and above where vegetation is sparse.

Approximately 40 percent of the Wenatchee Forest is designated as Wilderness in seven Wilderness Areas. Here, foot travel is the only method of transportation allowed, and the land is managed in such a way as to preserve its natural, primitive condition.

Wenatchee Forest campgrounds meet a variety of camping needs. Over 100 campgrounds and picnic sites provide room for a total of 13,000 people at any one time. Some campgrounds have sites designed for tent camping, for camper truck use, and for use by those pulling a trailer. Other campgrounds have areas specially designed for campers who bring their horses for trail riding. Still other areas have been developed with the trail bike enthusiast's camping needs in mind. Both single family and multi-family camping sites may be found.

In addition to camping variety, the Wenatchee Forest offers many other recreation opportunities. There are approximately 5,000 miles of forest roads which provide access to campgrounds, trailheads, scenic vistas, woodcutting and berry picking areas, hunting areas, rockhounding areas, lakes, and streams. In the winter, snow-covered roads are used for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Trail users will find about 2,500 miles of recreation trails available for hiking, horse use, trail biking, and mountain pedal bike use. The winter months also bring opportunities for cross-country ski trips along developed, signed trail systems. Some trails are open to a variety of uses, while others are restricted to non-motoroized use alone.

A variety of informational material is available free from any Wenatchee Forest office. Recreation maps which display campgrounds, roads, trails, and other special features of the Wenatchee Forest are available for purchase at $4.00 plus tax.

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Wenatchee National Forest Camping

Wenatchee National Forest Campgrounds
Wenatchee National Forest CampgroundsThere are over 150 campgrounds and picnic areas on the seven Ranger Districts of the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests. Camp spots are generally available on a first-come, first-served basis. Several of the larger campgrounds also offer group reservation opportunities. During the summer months, weekends are usually very busy. To avoid crowds, try timing your visit for mid-week.

Some campgrounds have sites designed for tent camping, for camper truck use, and for use by those pulling a trailer. Other campgrounds have areas specially designed for campers who bring their horses for trail riding. Still other areas have been developed with the trail bike enthusiast's camping needs in mind. Both single family and multi-family camping sites may be found.

Some free-use sites have campfire rings or fireplaces, picnic tables, and primitive restroom facilities.

Sites which are more developed charge a use fee of between $5 and $17 per night per vehicle. Most fee campgrounds have drinking water and garbage service in addition to the basic amenities. See the camping sections by district (links above) or contact the Ranger District for more details on each campground. Restroom facilities in some of the more developed campgrounds may even have flush toilets. Campground use rules and instructions on how to pay camping fees are posted on bulletin boards in each campground.

There are also developed campgrounds which have sections available for use by large groups, such as family reunions. These sites may be reserved ahead of time and use fees are based on the number of people in the group and length of stay. Fees may range between $30 to $120 per night. Many are resevable through www.ReserveUSA.com

Wenatchee National Forest Fishing

Wenatchee National Forest Fishing
Wenatchee National Forest FishingStreams and high mountain lakes are home to several varieties of trout. Spring and summer Chinook salmon, summer steelhead, and sockeye salmon also inhabit waterways on the Okanogan and Wenatchee Forests.

Wenatchee National Forest Equestrian

Wenatchee National Forest Horse Riding and Camps
Wenatchee National Forest Horse Riding and CampsMuch of the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests is horse country. Meandering trails, open pine stands, and many inviting high country areas are a rider's dream. Horse use is a very popular pastime on the Forest and there are many locations and facilities available for horse users.

Following is a list of Horse Camps or facilities that are available in the Wenatchee National Forest. Please note that camping fees or Trail Park Passes are required at most of the following sites.

Chelan Ranger District

South Navarre Campground — horse, camping, toilets, campfires, Trail Park
This campground is the only developed horse camp on the Chelan Ranger District. It is located approximately 17 miles north of Antilon Lake on the #8200 Road. This campground has a loading ramp, one hitching rail, 4 tables, 4 fire rings, 3 toilets, and water for livestock (no purified drinking water or forage is available). There are 4 campsites and the maximum horse capacity is 4-6 animals. No camping fee is required. This is a semi-developed campground, check with the ranger station to see if the water is turned on.

Wenatchee River Ranger District (Icicle drainage)

Blackpine Campground — $, horse, camping, restrooms, water, campfires, fishing
Blackpine Campground, located at the end of Icicle Road #7600, is the only developed horse camp on the Leavenworth Ranger District. This campground offers camping areas, hitching rails, 2 restrooms, tested drinking water, fire rings, limited parking for trailers and stock trucks, and stream fishing (no live bait permitted). There are 8 fee campsites and the maximum horse capacity is 6 animals per campsite.

Wenatchee River Ranger District (Lake Wenatchee area)

Chiwawa Horse Camp - $, horse, accessible camping, accessible toilets, water, campfires.
Chiwawa Horse Camp (located 18 miles north of Lake Wenatchee on the Chiwawa Valley Road #62) has 21 fee campsites, horse loading ramps, high lines, day parking, and wheelchair accessible restrooms. The facility also features 2 short bridle trails, accessed from the campground, appropriate for young or physically challenged riders. There are 2 campsites that are designed to accommodate wheelchair users. The facilities include an accessible wheelchair ramp for disabled riders. These wheelchair accessible sites can be reserved by calling the Lake Wenatchee Ranger District office a week or more in advance. When not reserved, the sites (#20 and #21) are available to other users.

Phelps Creek Campground - $, horse, camping, toilets, campfires, water.
A segment of the Phelps Creek Campground (located 23 miles north of Lake Wenatchee on the Chiwawa Valley Road #62) has equestrian overnight camping facilities. There are a total of 6 fee campsites (4 back-in parking spurs and 2 pull-through spots). Each campsite has a fire ring and high hitch rails. Stock water is available at Trinity Trailhead. Vault toilets are also available. The maximum horse capacity is 4 horses per campsite.

Other horse facilities are located at the major trailheads on the Wenatchee River Ranger District:

* Little Wenatchee Ford (end of the #6500 Road) has a tie-rail and a loading ramp.
* White River Trailhead (end of the #6400 road) has a tie-rail and a loading ramp.
* Nason Ridge Trailhead (located off of the Cedar Brae Road) has a loading ramp.
* Trinity (end of the Chiwawa River Road #6200) has 2 loading ramps, and hitch rails.
* White Pine (located 11 miles east of Stevens Pass off of Highway 2) has a hitch rail and a loading ramp.

Cle Elum Ranger District

Cayuse Campground, — $, horse, camping, toilets, campfires, water
Cayuse Campground (located off of the Salmon la Sac Campground on the #903 Road) is a developed horse camp that has public and single corrals, a loading ramp, outhouses, camping areas, fire rings, and tested drinking water. Forage is limited. There are 15 fee campsites with a maximum capacity of 3 horses per campsite.

Haney Meadows Horse Camp — horse, camping, toilets, campfires, Trail Park
Haney Meadows Horse Camp (located approximately 8 miles up the #9712 Road from Swauk Pass) has a loading ramp, hitch rails, vault toilets, a large gathering area, a mix of single and multiple camping units, and fire rings. No tested piped drinking water is available nor is there forage; a stream is nearby for stock watering. There are 17 campsites that will accommodate 3 horses per campsite.

Other horse facilities are available on the Cle Elum Ranger District. There are no overnight horse holding facilities at these locations:

* Lion Rock Springs (located on Table Mountain on Road #3500) has vault toilets, stock water, and 3 camping units.
* Beverly Campground (on the #9737 Road) has a loading ramp, a creek for stock watering, vault toilets, and 15 camping units.
* Buck Meadows (on the #3100 Road) has vault toilets, stock water, and 4 camping units.
* Quartz Mountain (located at the very end of the #3100 Road) has vault toilets, and 3 camping units.
* Tamarack Springs (off the #3120 Road) has a loading ramp, corral, stock water, and hitch rails.


Naches Ranger District — Chinook Pass Area

Rattlesnake Trailhead — horse, camping, campfires

Rattlesnake Trailhead (State Route 410 to Nile Road, to Road #1500/1504,1504-185 spur) has 3 dispersed campsites with fire rings, 2 hitch rails, a horse ramp, and parking for 6 passenger vehicles and 3 vehicles with trailers. Stock water is within 1/4 mile. Elevation is 3,100 feet.

Crow Lake Way Trailhead — horse, camping, toilets, Northwest Forest Pass

Crow Lake Way Trailhead (2 miles east of Pleasant Valley Campground off of State Route 410) has 7 hitch rails, 2 toilets, stock water is available from Miners Creek (through August), and has no purified drinking water. There are also 6 small dispersed areas that can be used for camping. Parking is available for 12 vehicles. Elevation is 3,300 feet.

Chinook Pass Trailhead — horse, toilets

Chinook Pass Trailhead (1/8 mile east of Chinook Pass off of State Route 410) has 2 toilets, a loading ramp and hitch rail. This trailhead accesses the Pacific Crest Trail #2000 north/south and is heavily used by hikers. No camping at the trailhead. Parking is available but limited. No water is available. Elevation is 5,400 feet. This trailhead is planned to be under the Northwest Forest Pass system in summer 2005.

Deep Creek Horse Camp — horse, camping, Northwest Forest Pass

Deep Creek Horse Camp (accessed from the #1808-395 Road) has 6 dispersed campsites (one toilet and a stock watering trough is available) and 6 hitch rails. Parking is available for 15 vehicles. Elevation is 4,338 feet. Maximum horse capacity is 2-4 animals per camping unit.

Mesatchee Creek — horse, camping, toilets, Northwest Forest Pass

Mesatchee Creek, located off of State Route 410, has 3 dispersed campsites, 2 toilets, 2 hitch rails, a horse ramp, and parking for 6 vehicles. Stock water is located 1/2 mile away at Morse Creek. Elevation is 3,620 feet. Maximum horse capacity is 2-4 horses per camping unit.

Fish Lake Way Trailhead -- horse, camping, toilet, Northwest Forest Pass

Fish Lake Way Trailhead (located on #1800 road) has 12 dispersed campsites for stock users, 1 toilet, 10 hitching rails, 1 horse ramp and parking for 4 passenger vehicles for hikers, non-potable water. Elevation 3,700 feet.

Swamp Lake Trailhead — horse, toilets, Northwest Forest Pass

Swamp Lake Trailhead (located at the end of #1800 Road) has 2 toilets, hitch rail, loading ramp, and parking for 5 vehicles (there is limited turn-around space). No camping facilities are available. Stock water is available at Bumping River which is ¼ mile from the trailhead on the Swamp Lake trail #970. Stock vehicles are encouraged to use the newly reconstructed Fish Lake Way trailhead ¾ mile east of Swamp Lake trailhead. Additional dispersed camping areas are located at the top of the hill at Fish Lake Way trailhead. Elevation is 3,600 feet.

Naches Ranger District — White Pass Area

Indian Creek Trailhead — horse, toilet, Northwest Forest Pass

Indian Creek Trailhead, accessed by way of U.S. Hwy. 12/ #1308 Road, has one toilet, a loading ramp, and 2 hitch rails. There are 4 areas that can be used for dispersed camping. There is parking space for 6 vehicles. Elevation is 3,100 feet. Water an be located south of the trailhead. Maximum horse capacity is 3-4 animals per camping unit.

Scatter Creek Trailhead - horse, toilet, Northwest Forest Pass

Scatter Creek Trailhead (located off U.S. Hwy. 12/1200/1207 Roads) has 1 toilet, a loading ramp, and 2 hitch rails. There are 4 dispersed campsites. In addition there is parking for 5 vehicles for hikers. Elevation 3,400 feet. Stock water is available at Scatter Creek.

Sand Ridge Trailhead — horse, camping, toilet, Northwest Forest Pass

Sand Ridge Trailhead (on U.S. Hwy. 12 to 0.6 mile west of milepost 158 to 488 road) has 2 dispersed campsites, 1 toilet, and parking for 2 horse trailers and 4 cars. No water is available. Elevation is 3,360 feet. Maximum horse capacity is 2 horses per camping unit.

White Pass Horse Camp — horse, camping, toilets, Northwest Forest Pass

White Pass Horse Camp (off of U.S. Hwy 12/498, ¼ mile to 499 road, turn right onto horse camp circle) has 6 dispersed campsites, 2 toilets, a horse ramp, 8 hitch rails, and parking for 10 vehicles. This horse camp accesses the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCNST) north. Elevation is 4,550 feet. Horse capacity is 2-3 horses per camping unit.

White Pass Trailhead — horse

White Pass Trailhead (PCNST south off of U.S. Hwy. 12, trailhead is ¼ mile east of summit) has a horse ramp, and parking for 4 vehicles. Stock water is available, no campsites. Elevation is 4,412 feet.

MJB Trailhead — horse, camping

MJB trailhead (U.S. Hwy. 12 to Bethel Ridge Road #1500, approx. 8 miles, 2.5 miles past Cash Prairie road #199 on the east side of the 1500 road -or- State Route 410 to Nile Road to Road 1500, 18.4 miles on Road 1500 to trailhead) has 2 dispersed campsites (no toilet/water facilities are available), 2 hitch rails, parking for 5 vehicles, and no stock water.

Wenatchee National Forest Trails

Wenatchee National Forest Trails
Wenatchee National Forest TrailsPeople of all ages can choose from over 3,000 miles of recreation trails of varying length and difficulty on the forest. There are low-elevation trails in the sage-covered fringes of the forest, trails in the timbered zones, and high country trails traversing alpine terrain. Almost half of these trails are within classified Wilderness. Several "barrier-free" trails have also been developed adjacent to recreation sites to provide access to those with physical challenges.

Many trails are open to horse riding, mountain bikes and motorcycles. Check the trails information by district for trail activities allowed, length and difficulty.

Park Area Events

Leavenworth 7