Alder Ridge – Mountain Bike – September 15, 2012
This mountain bike ride to Alder Ridge (trail 1523) was actually “Plan B.” Our intended ride was Chickamin Tie (trail 1561) via Minnow Ridge (trail 1524). Although the Chickamin trails were open when we checked, they were closed at some point before we arrived at the trailhead. The closures are/were due to extensive forest fire activity in the area.
The Alder Ridge trailhead is located just down the road from the Chickamin trails. This is near Lake Wenatchee, WA. To get there, turn off Highway 2 onto Highway 207, then take the Chiwawa River Road to the well-marked trailhead. This general area is called the Entiat/Mad River/Lower Chiwawa area.
This was a solid day trip and worthy of a repeat. We started at 2400 ft and climbed steadily to a high point of 6200 ft in about 8 1/2 miles. The singletrack tread was mostly smooth toward the bottom and a bit more rocky toward the top. It was “steepish” but mostly “rideable.” (Subjective, I know!) I felt strong and I didn’t have to get off my bike too many times 🙂 . Due to dry conditions, the trail was sandy in places, but not bad. Dust…yes, there was plenty of that. The descent was a blast and over too fast!
This is a multiple use trail system…which means that our fresh air was briefly fouled with the toxic fumes of several motorcycles on the ascent. (Cough, cough – deep, forceful exhales!!) That was the only negative part of the trip. Fortunately, the motor traffic was probably “light” due to the fire closures.
Our biking group of 3 vegans and 1 omnivore also met a pair of hunters. They seemed nice enough, though I’ll never understand how anyone can take pleasure in killing a deer.
After that, I rode on, repeating silently in my mind over and over…
“I manifest good luck to the animals in the forest.”
Click on an image to enlarge and view the photos in a gallery. In the photos, you will see maps of the area, views of Glacier Peak, and views from our high point of 6200 ft. (We didn’t quite make it to Mad Lake.) We photographed the Basalt Peak fire to the north and the Wenatchee fires to the south.