Seeking wildflowers, snow, and sunshine.
Spring is a unique time in the Eastern Cascades. The valleys are alive with flowers and springtime, but the peaks are still locked in snow and the vestiges of winter. My sister and I decided to go for a few nice dayhikes over near Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee to see wildflowers and get some sunshine.
We started the morning at Sauer’s Mountain trail. Sauer’s Mountain is a semi-famous little hike in the hills around Leavenworth, known for its springtime flowers. It is on private property and has limited parking, so we got there good and early, about 6:40 am.
The hills were bursting with these lovely yellow flowers. It reminded me a lot of the Spokane hills, which are also covered with a similar yellow flower at this time of year!
The trail was pretty nice and higher up we got good views of the Wenatchee River Valley and the Stuart Range. It took us about 1 hour to gain the 2000 feet to the top.
We had a nice jog back down the trail as more people were coming up.
Next, we drove the scenic route through Plain to Lake Wenatchee (although Tumwater Canyon is also super scenic, I’m just very familiar with it). We got to the Dirtyface Mountain trailhead in the mid morning and started hiking. While we camped at Lake Wenatchee many times as kids, we never hiked this trail, probably because I would have complained so much about how long the trail is.
From the road, it looked like this trail would be hot and in the sun, but it actually was largely in the trees. Higher up, maybe 3/4 of the way up, we entered a burn zone and the snow became pretty continuous. Luckily, the snow was pretty firm so hiking up it was easy and we did not post hole much.
The mountains seemed to just keep going up and up, but eventually we entered the clear and reached the summit. Just like on Sauer’s Mountain, we were completely by ourselves!
It was not even noon and we had already gained 6000 ft on foot! We took a nice lunch break here and admired to vista of Lake Wenatchee and north into the Glacier Peak Wilderness. We could see the Chiwawa River Valley, where we backpacked together two summers ago. The Napeequa, my favorite valley, was straight ahead. And Glacier Peak, my favorite peak, was standing above the rest.
We had a nice hike down before heading home and getting some celebratory milkshakes on the way. Thanks, JieJie, for a fun day of hiking and great time spent together!