This out-and-back starts with a switchback climb through forest dotted with seasonal wildflowers. During the first mile, the trail traverses the southern slopes of Shoofly Mountain, passing a streamside campsite with wild ginger, vanilla leaf, and bluebells. Less than half a mile later, climb six more switchbacks and gain 400 feet of elevation. From here, the trail follows a flat ridgetop through meadows bordered by firs. Scan the skies for circling raptors and listen for the whistles of marmots. Views of the Little Wenatchee River Valley open up near mile 3 as you traverse several meadows beneath Fall Mountain’s summit. At 3.8 miles, descend steep slopes to the northern tip of Top Lake, a mountain lake ringed with meadows. Grab a snack and savor the views before retracing your route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography