Sunday, July 24, 2005

Little Giant Pass

Quick facts
Driving distance from Seattle: 3 hours
Hiking distance (both ways): 9.5 miles (15km)
Elevation gain: 4,200ft (1,250m)
Green Trails Map: 113
Permits: NW Forest Pass required to park at the trailhead

In terms of sheer views, this is one of my favorite hikes--the view of the Napequa Valley and Glacier Peak from the pass is stunningly beautiful:
Napequa Valley[Napequa Valley as seen from the Little Giant Pass]


The hike starts with a fording of the Chiwawa River. When I did the hike, in late July, the water was less than knee-deep but at other times of the year it can be much worse. Some people choose to bring a pair of sandals and leave them tucked away on the other side of the river waiting for the return trip. There may be times when crossing Chiwawa is not a comfortable (or safe!) proposition but the good news is that you will know it right at the beginning, giving you an option of doing a different hike in the area instead.

deer
The hike first goes through a forest, which eventually opens up to expansive meadows. When I did the hike, the place was full of flies, and I couldn't comfortably stop until I reached the pass--the light breeze over there kept the flies away and allowed for a pleasant lunch.

On the way down I came across a deer. We stared at each other for a little while before it trotted away into the forest.

Driving Directions:

Take Rt.2 between Stevens Pass and Leavenworth. Turn north onto Lake Wenatchee Road (county road 207). Go for about 4.5 miles and after you cross the bridge over Wenatchee River, continue straight onto Chiwawa Loop Road (county road 22). After about 1.5 miles, take a left onto Chiwawa River Rd (National Forest Rd 62) and follow it for about 19 miles until you reach the trailhead. You can use the map below to get Google's driving directions but beware that once you get on the maze of small roads, you are better off with the brief narrative included here.

View Larger Map

Resources
This is one of Spring & Manning's "100 Classic Hikes in Washington" and it is also described in their "100 Hikes in Washington's Glacier Peak Region":












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