Chelan, WA: Crow Hill

This 4.4-miler starts at one of the highest elevation trailheads in Washington and climbs to a 7,366-foot summit surrounded by meadows, wildlife, and massive views.
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This 4.4-miler starts at one of the highest elevation trailheads in Washington and climbs to a 7,366-foot summit surrounded by meadows, wildlife, and massive views.

Stunning scenery surrounds you from the start of this lasso loop in the Chelan Mountains. Before you begin hiking, take in views of the peaks bordering Lake Chelan and look for Mount Stuart to the south. Start by hiking west on an old, rocky jeep track, passing a stand of fire-burned trees that line the ridge's north face (you may spot American three-toed woodpeckers along this stretch).
Less than half a mile in, veer left onto a maintained trail that travels past a thin pine forest and grassy slopes punctuated with wildflowers. Ahead, the route turns back onto the roadbed and heads southwest. Watch for the occasional glimpse of Crow Hill and scan the sky for raptors soaring above the ridge. Before the trail starts to descend at mile 2.1, turn right and climb southeast up game trails for the final 0.2-mile stretch to the summit.
From the top of Crow Hill, Lake Chelan stretches out to the northeast. In the fall, golden larch trees frame views of the Entiat Mountains to the southwest. The return route descends Crow Hill's southwest ridge and reconnects with the main trail at Waypoint 7.
-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.1

Waypoints

CRW001

Location: 48.0182648, -120.5051422

From the trailhead, hike west on old, rocky and narrow jeep track marked with a sign indicating no motorized use allowed. Before you head out, take in the stunning views that surround the trailhead. Look north to see the peaks that border Lake Chelan (no views of the lake from here) and south to Mount Stuart.

CRW002

Location: 48.0180779, -120.5100098

Traverse a saddle along the ridge. A stand of fire-burned trees that line the ridge's north face are a haven for woodpeckers such as American three-toed woodpeckers.

CRW003

Location: 48.0181313, -120.5112

As soon as the old jeep road starts to get painfully steep, veer left onto a maintained trail @ Y-junction. Enter a thin forest of pines (and a few firs); pass grassy slopes of wildflowers. Ahead, climb a couple of switchbacks, then follow the trail across the hillside through open forest of pines and larch.

CRW004

Location: 48.0195923, -120.5196381

Turn hard left @ T-junction onto the old, rocky roadbed. It's steep here, but not for long. Watch for the occasional glimpse of Crow Hill over the ridge. You may spot raptors soaring above the ridge.

CRW005

Location: 48.0210915, -120.5269623

The trail pops out of thick forest for sudden views to the northwest of 8,200-foot Pyramid Mountain. Next, hike through the first big groves of larch trees.

CRW006

Location: 48.0231781, -120.5265579

You'll get up-close views of Crow Hill from this saddle. Look down and to the east for stunning views into a lush basin spotted with meadows (home to deer, elk, and bears).

CRW007

Location: 48.0243263, -120.5268478

Continue following trail across Crow Hill's west slopes. Meander through spectacular meadows dotted with pines. Keep an eye for Clark's nutcrackers, alpine larches (golden yellow in fall), and spectacular views of the Entiat Mountains, Pyramid Mountain, Graham Mountain, Duncan Hill, and Pugh Ridge. In a hurry to reach the summit? Bear right off the trail and hike north up the grassy ridge to the Crow Hill summit (the return-trip route of this track).

CRW008

Location: 48.0313721, -120.527771

Right before the trail starts to descend, turn right and head southeast up Crow Hill's steep slopes. Follow various game trails up the final 0.2-mile stretch to the summit. This is prime habitat for blue grouse and Clark's nutcrackers. In the fall, larch trees turn a golden hue, framing views of the Entiat Mountains to the southwest.

CRW009

Location: 48.0295181, -120.5238113

Crow Hill: Views are abundant from this 7,366-foot summit. Lake Chelan stretches out to the northeast. Look north to find Sawtooth Ridge, and southwest to the Entiat Mountains. Look down-thousands of ladybugs cover the rocks on the summit. Next, descend Crow Hill's southwest ridge to reconnect with the trail at Waypoint 7, then follow the same route back to the trailhead.

Scenic Views

Location: 48.0246918, -120.5272722

Pugh Ridge, Duncan Hill, and Glacier Peak rise behind larch trees. ©Alan Bauer