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Douglas Creek Canyon - North

Central Washington > Wenatchee
47.4986, -119.9117 Map & Directions
Length
4.4 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
200 feet
Highest Point
1700 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy/Moderate
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Waterfalls

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

A gorgeous hike through a shrub steppe ecosystem, Douglas Creek Canyon is a vibrant oasis in the desert. Continue reading

Rating
3.50 out of 5

(4 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Douglas Creek Canyon - North

Douglas Creek and Duffy Creek Recreation Site consists of 14,766 acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). There are three separate trailhead access points, with the description here specific to the northern parking area on Slack Canyon Road SW near Waterville.

The parking area is a small circular drive with space for approximately 5-6 vehicles. There is an informational kiosk but no additional amenities at this location.

The main trail leaves the parking area and follows an old railroad grade through Douglas Canyon. The railroad tracks have long since been removed, but old railroad ties and other features remain. The footing can be somewhat difficult due to the rocky terrain throughout, and hikers should watch for poison ivy growing in seeps along the side of the trail. There are multiple crossings of Douglas Creek, although most can be managed by hopping on rocks placed in the shallow water. Some may require a wade through, and the stream crossings may become impassable during seasonal run-off in early spring or following heavy rain events.

The main trail stays close to Douglas Creek, where trailside highlights include excellent views of nearby cliff-faces and basalt columns, small waterfalls cascading down the canyon walls, aspen groves growing near seasonal seeps in the rocks, Douglas fir trees perched high on the canyon walls despite the otherwise arid landscape, sagebrush that can only be described as old growth (some growing over 6' tall!), and fantastic spring wildflowers. Willows and red osier dogwood add to the depth of seasonal colors, and birdcalls are constant throughout the canyon. Attentive hikers can spot trout playing in the shallows of the early crossings of Douglas Creek, and farther up the canyon there are several active beaver dams.

The main trail exits BLM land at roughly 2.2 miles from the TH, although the BLM carsonite trail markers continue for those who would like a longer hike (just be sure to stick to the railroad grade once the trail begins to cross private land). For longer trips, hike to the intersection with Ferrell Road, then turn south to re-enter BLM land. Dispersed camping is permitted. 

Douglas Creek Canyon - North

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4986, -119.9117 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Highway 2 just east of Waterville, turn south on H Road SW. Travel 6.7 miles. H Road becomes Slack Canyon Road, descending 1.3 miles to the Douglas Canyon Road North trailhead. The parking lot is located on the west side of the road.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Central Washington > Wenatchee

Douglas Creek Canyon North (#0)

Bureau of Land Management

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Desert Hikes: Washington (Bauer & Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

https://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/files/brochures/duffy_douglas.pdf

USGS Palisades

USGS Alstown

Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Moses Lake

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Douglas Creek Canyon - North

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