Information about this hike provided in partnership with Mountaineers Books.
© Mountaineers Books.
If you park at the start of Shell Rock Road (and for the sake of your vehicle's oil pan, you should), walk up the road for about 1.2 miles as it climbs through the trees to the ridge top. Continue another 0.5 mile through a series of small clearings in the thinning ponderosa forest before breaking out in broad, open wildflower fields atop the ridge. You may continue along the road as it angles back along the ridge, but the better choice is to angle off the track heading to the right to explore the ridge top at your fancy. Loop back down to the road to hike back to your car.
The western edge of the ridge sports a good forest of pine and fir, while the east flank opens onto views of the Manastash drainage. Hike as far as you like, though after about 3 miles, the route enters the trees for good, which makes a great place for turning around.
From Seattle, drive east on Interstate 90 to exit 101 for Thorp. Turn right onto South Thorp Highway and continue 2 miles. Turn right (south) onto Cove Road, then drive 4.2 miles before turning right (west) onto Manastash Road. Continue 7.1 miles along Manastash Road to the junction with Shell Rock Road on the right. Park here. Note: Public easement along Shell Rock Road is now under dispute. Use of this route may be prohibited. Check with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for current access rights.
Recent Trip Reports
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There are 2 trip reports for this hike.
Shell Rock — May 01, 2010 — EMS Professor
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Trail Head is closed due to private ownership; trail is no longer accessible from Manastash Road...
Trail Head is closed due to private ownership; trail is no longer accessible from Manastash Road
Shell Rock — Mar 13, 2010 — Hikingqueen
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Last time I was in the area I stopped at the Fruit/Antique store in Thorp and picked up a couple of ...
Last time I was in the area I stopped at the Fruit/Antique store in Thorp and picked up a couple of jars of this pickled asparagus and it was SO GOOD. I ate both jars and planned the hike today around getting more..I choose Shell Rock & Westburg Memorial trails.
Annie and I arrived at Shell Rock road around 9:00. I choose the hikes from the Best Desert hikes WA and did do some research the night before and found out the trail was probably closed due to hunters thrashing private property over the years. I thought we'd check it out and see if we could get permission or something? We promised to be respectful. As we pulled in, we saw a guy and I asked him if this was Shell Rock Road he said it was and he was staying at the Ranch down the street and he got permission from them to hike. So we kind of figured we could to. I wouldn't recommend anyone doing this, we just went for it. Probably breaking the rules.. but we saw lots of mule deer so it was kind of worth it. We headed up the road it was a bit chilly at first. Some snow here and there, some mud as the hours went by. We went about 3 miles or so and turned around. At one point we did see a truck, they saw us and turned around and we didn't see them again. Not sure if they were the owners checking on us. At any rate I was glad I didn't get arrested or anything.
Off to Westburg trail next, did seperate report on that.