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Meander Meadow - Dishpan Gap - Cady Ridge Loop

Central Cascades

Location

Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - East
View map below

Length

16.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Highest Point: 5600 ft.

Rating

4.00 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2010
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

This is a great weekend backpacking trip for wildflower lovers. Miles of wildflowers along Meander Meadow and Cady Ridge will delight the hiker who passes through during July and August. Fantastic views of the Cascades, Glacier Peak and hanging valleys add to the allure, and it's all packaged up in a 16-mile loop.

Start on the Little Wenatchee River Trail and ascend this picturesque river valley at a leisurely pace. This section of trail is described in full under WTA's Meander Meadow Hiking Guide entry. It is characterized by old growth forest and avalanche slopes. After climbing slowly for the first four miles, the trail gets down to business and climbs about 1400 in two miles before entering the wildflower heaven that is Meander Meadow.

This is the headwaters to the Little Wenatchee River. The meadow goes on for some time before hooking up with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Check out the view of Glacier Peak from here! At this point, you might wish you'd have planned for an extra day of exploring. Kodak Peak and White Pass beckon to the north, Blue Lake and June Mountain are just a short distance to the west, and Lake Sally Ann and a longer loop via Cady Pass back to the trailhead are to the south.

But to complete this loop, head left on the PCT to Sauk Pass and Dishpan Gap. Then follow the trail to its junction with the Cady Ridge Trail. Who knew that the way back to civilization could be so fantastic? Cady Ridge is in a class all by itself - a mile-high ridge dominated by the blue and purple hues of lupine, jaw-dropping views of dozens of peaks, and the snowy dominance of Glacier Peak.

After enjoying your ridge walk, the trail begins to descend - and as you near the end of your hike, it gets downright steep! Watch the knees here. With just a half-mile left to the trailhead, the Cady Ridge trail meets up with the Cady Creek trail (1501). Go left at this junction and return to where you started.

 

Meander Meadow - Dishpan Gap - Cady Ridge Loop

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.9016, -121.0766 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - East

Little Wenatchee River (#1525), PCT (#2000), Cady Ridge (#1532)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking North Cascades (Craig Romano) - Mountaineers Books (day hike descriptions only)

100 Classic Hikes in Washington (Ira Spring & Harvey Manning) - Mountaineers Books

Buy the Green Trails Benchmark Mtn No. 144 map

Getting There

Proceed to the junction of Highway 207 and Highway 2 at Coles Corner. This is 20 miles east of Stevens Pass and 15 miles west of Leavenworth. 

Turn north on 207, and at four miles (just past the bridge over the Wenatchee River) bear left to stay on Highway 207. Continue past the closed ranger Lake Wenatchee Ranger Station at 8.8 miles, and at 11.8 miles you will pass a gate. This is the end of the county road and the beginning of FS 65. 

At 16.7 miles, pass the junction on the left of FS 6500, and at 19.1 miles pass FS 6504 on the right (road to Irving Pass / Poe Mtn Trailhead).

At 22.2 miles the pavement ends, in just under 3 miles your will come to the Little Wenatchee Ford Trailhead.  This last section is dirt and develop large pot holes. Despite this, it is usually passable in a 2-wheel drive car, just take your time.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Meander Meadow - Dishpan Gap - Cady Ridge Loop

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