About 90 minutes northeast of Seattle, the 20-mile-long Nason Ridge Trail winds through forests and meadows along the crest of the Wenatchee Mountains from Stevens Pass to Lake Wenatchee. Most of the trail straddles the Cascade Crest between 5,000 and 7,000 feet and offers views of the dense forests and river valleys that characterize the state's western end to the tawny crags and ponderosa pines found in the east. Water is available around the 10-mile mark at peaceful Merritt Lake. Farther east, you'll have a chance to talk with a ranger at the Round Mountain fire lookout; keep an eye peeled for mountain goats. For a shorter dayhike, two other access trails—Rock Mountain and Merritt Lake—feed the Nason Ridge Trail from US 2.
Info: Green Trails 145, Wenatchee Lake. Wenatchee Ranger District: (509) 763-3103; www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee
-Hike provided by Mike McQuaide, author of Day Hike! North Cascades (Sasquatch Books)
Location: 47.78375, -121.040411
Smith Brook Road
Location: 47.8052444, -120.9122162