Burch Mtn - 4776' & Eagle Rock - 4522' Miles: 10 Gain: 3800' Maps: Topo!
• home •| • About • CascadeDreams
We had originally planned to do an overnight trip up to the lookout on Mt. Pilchuck.  But bad weather and poor snow conditions changed my mind about that trip.  Looking around for an alternative that didn't involve snow I remembered running across some trip reports on NWHiker.net for Swakane Canyon between Wenatchee and Entiat.  Carrie, Dave and I figured it was as good as any and considering how long the winter weather seems to be hanging on in the high country, better than anything we were coming up with on the west side.
There were a couple of starting points, some in Swakane Canyon and some using residential roads on the Wenatchee side of Burch Mtn.  We opted for the easy approach from Wenatchee.  After finally stopping to ask directions to Burch Mtn Road from a guy pulling weeds in his front yard we did finally find it and drove to the end of the road and parked.  A barricade partially blocks access to the dirt road beyond, but just partially.
When I called the state park earlier in the week to get some info on camping near Swakane Canyon, one of the things the ranger advised was not to drive the dirt roads if rain was forecast.  The dirt is actually clay in these parts and when wet it's a slippery mucky mess.  More than a few cars have lost it on the slick mud and ended up stuck.
Since I had my wife's car, no such risks were likely to be taken, so we started walking at the barricade. Passed as we were now and then by some very nice folks in trucks who I'm sure had no idea why we were walking when driving the 4 or 5 miles of perfectly dry dirt road seemed like the thing to do.  Some even offered us a ride.
Anyway, up the road we went.  Nice views back toward Wenatchee and the river start almost immediately as did the flower show.  I rarely take many pictures of flowers, but they were so vivid today and contrasted so well with the green sage that I had to.
In a little over two hours we walked 5 miles to the the radio towers (Pt. 4776) and had lunch.  The clouds lowered a little and squeezed out some moisture as we dropped down to the west and scrambled up Eagle Rock (Pt 4522) which has a USGS marker "Mission Mountain".
Consensus is that this would be a good early season trip when a little snow remains or even a better winter ski trip.  Plenty of gain and easy walking on the road and if the weather was clearer, great views all around.  Worth a return trip.  But the next time I think we'll try it from the Swakane Canyon side and see if that doesn't involve less road walking and more trail or off-trail hiking.

Directions:
Drive east on Stevens Pass Hwy 2, at the junction with Hwy 97 in Wenatchee, go north on easy st, right on perters and left on burch mtn. road. park at the end of the paved road or drive the dirt road as far as you can.
 11  images in this album.
SimpleViewer requires JavaScript and the Flash Player. Get Flash.
All original content ©CascadeDreams - All rights reserved.Last Revision: 09 May 2009