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Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek

Central Cascades

Location

Central Cascades -- Leavenworth Area
View map below

Length

12.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 4370 ft.
Highest Point: 7020 ft.

Rating

3.62 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2010
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Visit this trail in the springtime and you can expect to see an explosion of wildflower color!

At more than 4500 feet in 5.5 miles of trail, the route to the old Icicle Ridge Lookout site is quite an undertaking, but the views and the flowers are truly worth the energy it takes to get up there. 

As on most hikes which span such elevation changes, you'll enjoy seeing different wildflowers as you gain elevation. Balsamroot bobs at the trailhead, and hikers pass through Ponderosa pines, lupine, and then purple penstemon, even Tweedy's Lewisia as you leave the forest and traverse through rockier terrain. 

Just a quarter-mile into the trail, as you enjoy the balsamroot, cross Fourth of July creek, and get ready for another crossing in a little more than another quarter-mile. From here, the grade increases significantly and does not relent until you arrive at the lookout. There is one water source about 2.5 miles into the hike, but if you have the means, there will be snow to melt at the summit. 

Fortunately, the flowers provide a welcome distraction from the switchbacks as you climb. Arrive at an old burn about 3.6 miles in, where the mountain laurel lies thick against the path and Jacob's Ladder blankets the floor. Pause here and catch your breath and enjoy views all the way to Cashmere before continuing your climb into an expansive alpine garden with glacier lilies, spring beauties, and other tough little alpine flowers sprouting from the ground at your feet.

Four miles from the trailhead is a great spot to stop, rest and refuel before your last 1000 feet of elevation gain. Make the final push, and arrive at the top, where the views sprawl out in front of you in every direction. Find a flat spot and stretch out, enjoying the views and, if you started early enough, the peace and quiet before heading down.

 

Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.5783, -120.7969 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Cascades -- Leavenworth Area

Icicle Ridge (#1570)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails Chiwaukum Mtns No. 177

Getting There

If you’re traveling US Highway 2 east over Stevens Pass, just past milepost 99 and before you enter Leavenworth, go right on Icicle Road.

If you’re traveling US Highway 2 west through Leavenworth, turn left on Icicle Road at the end of town, where there is a large gas station on the left corner.

Once on Icicle Road, continue 9.5 miles to the Fourth of July trailhead parking pullout on the right. The trailhead, with registration box, is at the west end of the pullout. There is no privy.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek

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