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Kachess Ridge / Kachess Beacon

Snoqualmie Region > Snoqualmie Pass
47.2672, -121.1737 Map & Directions
Length
5.8 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2200 feet
Highest Point
4600 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate/Hard
Looking north from Kachess Beacon. Photo by Ken Giesbers. Full-size image
  • Mountain views
  • Old growth
  • Lakes
  • Ridges/passes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

The nice thing about old aircraft navigation beacon sites is that they always afford a decent view. The trail to Kachess Beacon is steep much of the way, but it is easy to get to, well-shaded, and less than three miles long. Continue reading

Rating
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Hiking Kachess Ridge / Kachess Beacon

The nice thing about old aircraft navigation beacon sites is that they always afford a decent view. The trail to Kachess Beacon is steep much of the way, but it is easy to get to, well-shaded, and less than three miles long.

A sign at the small, unimproved trailhead indicates that it is for two trails: 1212 and 1315. Walk a mere 250 feet to the unmarked junction of those two trails. Go left, where an official sign for trail Kachess Ridge Trail #1315 welcomes you. Start steeply up into open forest on broad tread, rising above Silver Creek on your right, and progressing generally north-northeast for nearly a mile.

Break out of the trees briefly to pass through a small talus field beneath a rock face on your right. 100 yards ahead, just around the corner, is an unofficial junction, at one mile, elevation 3400 feet. The official trail doubles back to the right and uphill. But over time a boot path has formed that continues straight. The boot path is officially closed by the Forest Service. Please respect this closure and use only the official trail, which switchbacks off to your right at this junction. Note that if there is even a small amount of snow on the trail, it may be difficult to spot the official trail, so be sure to have a map to reference.

The trail climbs up past the left side of the rock face you passed beneath, then crests a ridge top where you first hear the sound of Silver Creek roaring through a gorge. At 1.25 miles, the trail comes within sight of Silver Creek as it falls into a narrow canyon. Beyond here, the grade is flatter, following the gently flowing Silver Creek upstream to a signed junction with the Beacon Ridge Trail #1315.3 at 2.0 miles, elevation 3800 feet.

Go left and resume climbing steeply once again, but on narrower tread. You are still in open forest, shaded by older growth trees now, but with ample light filtering in. The spur trail heads northwest, then loops around to the southwest. The final half mile is a straight line of uniform grade, basically a ramp heading south-southwest up to the ridge top and beacon at 2.9 miles, elevation 4600 feet. Wander the ridgetop for views including Lake Easton, Mt. Rainier, and Kachess Lake.

WTA worked here in 2020!

Hike Description Written by
Ken Giesbers, WTA Correspondent

Kachess Ridge / Kachess Beacon

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.2672, -121.1737 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 Seattle, drive east on I-90 to exit 70, signed for Lake Easton State Park. At the end of the ramp, turn left over the freeway. At the ‘T’, go left on Kachess Dam Road for one half mile, then right to stay on Kachess Dam Road (FR 4818). Travel another 0.8 mile, mostly on gravel, then turn right onto an unmarked one-lane dirt road. The road is rutted but driveable by most vehicles. At 0.6 mile, the dirt road ends at the trailhead. There is parking for about 10 vehicles, including along the shoulder. There are no amenities and no parking pass is required.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Snoqualmie Region > Snoqualmie Pass

Kachess Ridge (#1315), Kachess Beacon (#1315.3)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208 map

Download a map to plan your hike

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Kachess Ridge / Kachess Beacon

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