Keechelus Ridge Snowshoe

Hosted by Dragon Boating Meetup Group

Public group

This is a past event

6 people went

Eastgate Park & Ride

14200 SE Eastgate Way · Bellevue, WA

How to find us

I drive Black Nissan Murano ( AAL 5250 ) - Cell 425 890 9401

Location image of event venue


Distance: 7 miles rt.
Elevation gain: 2200ft.
Pace: moderate

We will leave east gate park and ride around 8 and meet just under the over pass. Sno-park permit is required for this trip.

To get to Trailhead:

From Seattle drive east on Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass to exit 62, signed Kachess Lake, about 10 miles east of the summit. After exiting the interstate, turn left, cross over the freeway, and turn left onto the freeway on-ramp and drive westbound I-90 for 1.5 miles to the Price Creek Westbound Sno-Park. (Although another Sno-Park is located on the other side of the freeway, there is no way to cross the interstate to reach

Trail Report:

Plenty of rewards await the dedicated athletes who point their snowshoes toward the top of this ridge. Best of all, even those who cut their trips short of the top will find the journey pays off tremendously. Views from the route are incredible, and the higher snowshoers go, the better the panoramic scenery. The jumbled peaks of the South Cascades spread away to the southern horizon with Mount Rainier dominating the skyline.

A small trail leads northwest from the Sno-Park for a 0.25 mile to Forest Road 4832. Turn left and hike west a couple hundred feet to leave the multi-use crowds behind. (Snowmobilers, skiers, skijorers--skiers pulled by one or more dogs--and even dogsledders use this trail.) Climb to the right onto a small side road, FR 124. This road climbs steeply up the flank of Keechelus Ridge alongside Price Creek for 0.5 mile before angling west away from the creek in a long, looping route that isn't too steep but does cover several miles. You can stick with the road, but a faster, more enjoyable route is to head cross-country up the slope, slicing across old clearcuts and thin stands of forest.

The best cross-country "trail" is found about 1.3 miles out from the Sno-Park. As the road rolls farther west away from Price Creek, snowshoe up the slope away from the track, staying right while the road goes left. Parallel Price Creek uphill, but stay on the bench above the stream rather than descending into the brambles alongside it. The slope rolls upward over several small benches and false summits, crossing clearcuts old and new. In light snow years, take care to avoid hooking a snowshoe on some of the brush protruding in the older, grown-over cuts.

The climb covers about a mile of distance before crossing another heavily used road, FR 4934, just below the ridge crest (4300 feet). Emerge onto that road at about the same place as FR 124, which finally loops back from its long journey around the ridge flank.

Rather than joining FR 4934--a popular snowmobile route that creates a long loop when coupled with several other roads in the area--merely snowshoe across it, and head toward the ridge crest. This last 0.5 mile of climbing is also cross-country travel, although you can follow the road (FR 124) here too, if you are nervous about routefinding on the open ridge. The top is easily identifiable on the approach by tall radio relay towers. Once there, put the towers behind you (thus keeping them out of sight) and enjoy the panoramic vistas of the eastern Cascades.