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Clara and Marion Lakes

Central Washington


Central Washington -- Wenatchee
View map below


3.2 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 900 ft.
Highest Point: 5475 ft.


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Some days are perfect for quiet contemplation, and an easygoing trail. Chirping birds, fragrant Ponderosa pines, and soft duff underfoot make this a perfect short, casual hike. In snow, it's steady climb will make it a moderate challenge in winter when showshoeing is in season.

Clara and Marion’s trail leaves directly from the entrance to Mission Ridge Ski area’s parking lot. This makes for fantastic year-round access! Without a moment to lose, the trail sets off uphill. Switchbacking swiftly through pine forests and a carpet of wildflowers, this trail is a perfect place to tire out any youngsters in your party. All along the trail there are side trails and shortcuts so be sure to keep track of the little ones, and encourage them to be good stewards by staying on the main trail.

Waterleaf, false Solomon’s seal, and showy Jacob’s ladder dominate the underbrush. Chattering squirrels, and a host of birds fill in the acoustic background, and the warmth of the Eastern Washington sun fills your nose with the tangy scent of ponderosa.

At a half mile you will cross the ‘Pipeline Trail’. At 1.2 miles a tributary of Lake Creek is crossed and then shortly afterwards the Squilchuk trail is reached. At this junction, a right turn takes you toward Beehive Road, but you want to make a left. A few hundred yards past this junction, the crystal clear (and equally cold) waters of Clara Lake are reached. Several rough campsites are available in the trees here.

Another one third of mile of basalt-rocky trail puts you at Marion Lake. This small but pleasant lake has a pretty island and is largely surrounded by basalt talus slopes. Although the formal trail ends here, the surrounding hills and slopes of talus have potential for adventurous exploring. Mission Ridge’s rocky summit is a tantalizing 1000 feet above.

A more sensible approach to this location is to rest in the shade and choose several perfect skipping rocks from the talus to launch across the lake.


Clara and Marion Lakes

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.2942, -120.3987 Open map in new window


Central Washington -- Wenatchee

Squilchuck (#1200)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Central Cascades (Mountaineers Books - Craig Romano)

Green Trails Wenatchee/Mission Ridge No. 211S

Getting There

Clara and Marion's trailhead is at the parking lot entrance for the Mission Ridge Ski Area. From Wenatchee or more distant locations, find your way to State Highway 285, and take the exit for Mission Street.

After turning onto Mission Street follow signs for the Mission Ridge Ski Area. At approximately 8 miles stay to the right (Squilchuck State Park on left). At 12 miles you will reach the Mission Ridge Ski Area parking lot and the trailhead. The trailhead is immediately on the right.

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Clara and Marion Lakes

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