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Meander Meadows

Central Cascades > Stevens Pass - East
47.9183, -121.0874 Map & Directions
Length
12.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1980 feet
Highest Point
4992 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard

Trail closed: Wildfire

Meander Meadows in the fall. Photo by Harney. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Established campsites
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Follow the Little Wenatchee River all the way to its headwaters high on the Cascade crest. From mile-high, miles-long alpine meadows, the river meanders. And so will you upon reaching these heavenly flower gardens. The hike in is a long approach and is warm at times across brushy avalanche slopes, but it is worth every ounce of sweat expended and every annoying fly swatted. Continue reading

Rating
3.29 out of 5

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Hiking Meander Meadows

Meander Meadow is an iconic high meadow, filled with wildflowers and berries a mile off the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)and directly below Kodak Peak. There is a small spring-fed stream that -- appropriately enough -- meanders through the meadow.

The meadow itself is a beautiful spot, but the Little Wenatchee River Trail 1525 has some significant issues. The trail crosses a dozen wide avalanche paths, each of which is filled with willow, cottonwood, devils club and a variety of brush each year. Because it sees little maintenance, the trail is choked with brush to a mid-chest depth in high summer.

Hikers frequently cannot see the trail in front them, and there are rocks and occasional holes, so hike carefully! Horses are permitted on the trail, which can sometimes add horse droppings to the array of unseen obstacles.

On the other hand, there are seasonal creeks flowing across the trail from many of the avalanche chutes, so water accessibility is not a problem in most years.

The trail climbs slowly for five miles and then switchbacks steeply, in rock and brush to the meadow. In the afternoon this section can be quite warm. However, an early start is not always the answer; if there has been dew overnight, you will be completely soaked within a half mile of the trail head from the waist down as you wick all the water off the overhanging greenery.

WTA Pro Tip: This loop is day hikeable, though it's a long day, even for those in good shape. The loop is 16 miles and can be found described on the Meander Meadow - Dishpan Gap - Cady Ridge Loop Hiking Guide entry.

Toilet Information

  • No toilet at trailhead

More information about toilets

WTA worked here in 2012 and 2010!

Hike Description Written by
Rob Shurtleff, WTA Correspondent

Meander Meadows

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.9183, -121.0874 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

Trail closed: Wildfire

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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

Proceed to the junction of Highway 207 and Highway 2 at Coles Corner. This is 20 miles east of Stevens Pass, 15 miles west of Leavenworth. Turn north on 207, four miles from the junction. Just past the bridge over the Wenatchee River, bear left to remain on Highway 207.

Continue for 6.3 miles, then bear left on Little Wenatchee River Road and continue 6.1 miles and bear right at junction on F6500. Continue 6.3 miles until the pavement ends, then continue for three miles on dirt road.

Note: check trip reports for current condition of this section, as it can be very rough. Park at the end of the road at the Little Wenatchee trailhead.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Central Cascades > Stevens Pass - East

Little Wenatchee River (#1525)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District

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Meander Meadows

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