A 375,000 acre outdoor playground is closer than you think. With 200 days of sunshine, only 20 inches of rain and 80 inches of snow, recreation opportunities are endless. Whether you enjoy the serenity of an alpine lake sunset, wildflowers in spring, vibrant fall colors, or hitting the snowy trails of winter, the Cle Elum Ranger District is the place you can find it all, just an hour’s drive from the Puget Sound Metro area.
The District stretches from its western boundary at the crest of the Cascades east to where the forest gives way to the prairies and sage steppe of Central Washington near Ellensburg. To the north are the Wenatchee Mountains, to the south, Manastash Ridge. From craggy peaks, to rolling hills, dense forests of Douglas fir and western hemlock in the west, open pine forests in the east, meadows and secluded valleys, the district has many diverse personalities.
Recreation opportunities abound here. 400 miles of non-motorized trails, much of which lies within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, 400 miles of trails open to motorized use, 300 are single track and 100 double track, 100 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and 21 miles of set track ski trails offer options for all trail users. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is the western boundary of the district. South of I-90 it passes through dense forests and old clear cuts that offer expansive views and berry patches in the fall. North of I-90 you are treated to one of the most rugged and scenic segments of the trail between Snoqualmie Pass and Deception Pass. Whether you are drawn to jeep trails, secluded valleys or lofty peaks, you won’t be disappointed. Three large reservoirs, each with developed boat ramps offer water sports in spring and early summer. Lake levels drop in below the ramps in summer and fall as the water is sent to the orchards, vineyards and other crops in the Kittitas and Yakima valleys. If it is camping that calls you to the forest, Cle Elum Ranger District has large developed campgrounds, small primitive campgrounds and secluded dispersed camping areas.
An abundance of wildlife inhabit the district. Mule deer, elk, black bear, cougar, bobcat, coyote, wolves, and mountain goat are some of the bigger critters you might see. Snow shoe hare, raccoon, pine marten, squirrels, chipmunks, and wolverine also call the district home. A wide variety of birds will keep the most avid birder busy. Great horned, spotted and barred owl, red tail hawk, bald and golden eagle, ruffed and blue grouse, mountain chickadee, gray jay, Clark’s nutcracker, stellar jay, crow and raven are but a few.
Whether you are looking for a short day hike, a drive in the woods, a picnic, a challenging day on the trails with your jeep or motorbike, mountain bike, horse or your feet, or a relaxing evening around the campfire, come visit us.
With its big valleys, open wildspaces, high ridges and beautiful rivers, the Methow Valley Ranger District's 1.3 million acres extends from near the town of Twisp Washington to the crest of the Cascade Mountains in the Pasayten Wilderness. Alpine lakes are a hideaway for anglers while diverse wilderness awaits explorers of all types. There are bassalt formations for rock climbers and winter sports opportunities abound.
The highest peak is North Gardner Mountain at over 8,900 feet, with many other peaks above 7000 feet. The Methow Ranger District offers hundreds of miles of trails with a hiking season that averages from June through October. Some trails are open to motorcycles and mountain bikes, however, no mechanized vehicles are permitted within Pasayten or Lake Chelan Sawtooth Wilderness Areas.
During summer months, The North Cascades Scenic Highway 20 provides a direct link to the west side of Washington State, enticing both motorized and non motorized travelers to make the scenic trip. An Overlook at Washington Pass gives a spectacular view of massive Liberty Bell Mountain (7790 elevation) and Early Winters Spires. The highway is closed during the winter months.
The Naches Ranger District encompasses approximately 518,000 acres and extends from the near the town of Naches to the crest of the Cascades in the William O. Douglas, Norse Peak, Goat Rocks Wilderness and White Pass areas. It is bordered by the Cle Elum Ranger District to the north along the Manastash Ridge divide and by the Yakama Indian Nation to the south and Mt. Rainier National Park to the west.To the west of the district is the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest,Mt. Rainier National Park, and Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
The Wenatchee River Ranger District encompasses approximately 696,000 acres and extends from the near the city of Wenatchee and the Columbia River to the crest of the Cascades in the Glacier Peak and Alpine Lakes Wilderness areas. It is bordered by the Entiat Ranger District to the north along the Entiat Mountains divide and by the Cle Elum Ranger District to the south along the Wenatchee Mountains - Mt. Stuart divide. To the west of the district is the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
See the Washington State Snowmobile SnoParks site or Non-Motorized SnoParks site for Leavenworth / Lake Wenatchee area which has maps and information about groomed trails, passes you will need (Discover or SnoPark pass) and other updates.
Midnight and Noontime Rocks and vicinity are annually closed to entry April 1 through July 31, to protect nesting raptors.
Attention Climbers: Raptor nesting behavior has been observed on both Midnight and Noontime Rocks. To protect these birds during the nesting period, these rocks and the area immediately above and between them is closed to all entry. Once nesting is confirmed, restrictions will be lifted on the rock not being used. If you know where the raptors are nesting, please contact the Leavenworth FS office. More Information