Dayhike to Kachess Ridge
5.8 miles roundtrip, 2200′ elevation gain
April 25, 2015
I-90/Snoqualmie Pass Region, WA
We headed out to Kachess Ridge off I-90 at exit 70 on Saturday. We did this hike almost a year ago, and that is when I proposed to Maggie! The forecast called for rain in the Seattle area, so we figured we would try to get away from that for hiking. The area around Lake Kachess is about as close as you can get to Seattle and be on the “East Slopes” of the cascades where the weather is a bit nicer.
The road to the trail head is unpaved but about as smooth as a dirt road gets. The trail head is small and only has room for about ten cars. But both times we have done this hike there have been less than that. The trail starts climbing right away as you head up the side of the ridge. Eventually, you reach an unofficial climber’s trail that heads straight to the top of the ridge. Last year, we came down from the top this way. This year it was marked by forest service as closed so we respected the signs. After seeing this trail, you soon reach some beautiful cascades on Silver Creek. You follow this creek for a while until you eventually run into a sign for Kachess Ridge Trail, just before crossing a bridge on Silver Creek.
By this point in the hike we had run into a few snowy sections, but nothing that will slow you down. A couple inches had fallen the night before and it looked quite beautiful on the tips of all the trees. The snow made things a little difficult on the way up to the ridge only because it was covering the numerous logs that were down on the trail. We had to clamber over quite a few on the way up and the trail was rather steep. Definitely a good way to get our heels broken in for hiking season.
We popped out of the woods right at the old communications tower that sits atop the ridge. The ridge was bare as it had been sitting in the sun all morning. It was actually steaming it was so warm which felt quite nice after clambering over snowy logs on the shady side of the ridge. We had a nice lunch and walked to the north on the ridge to catch some views of Lake Kachess before making our way down.
On the way up we only saw one solo hiker and a group of three and on the way down only saw a couple hiking up. This is definitely a great hike to do this time of year and escape some of the crowds from some of the more popular I-90 hikes. It started raining as we drove away from the trail head and only got worse as we drove back over the pass. This made us feel really good about our decision to head a little further east to fine some better weather!