Forum Index > Trail Talk > Entiat River Trail vs North Fork Entiat
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mxleitner
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PostMon Jun 15, 2020 6:40 pm 
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I'm heading up to the Chelan range soon for some peakbagging and curious if folks have strong opinions regarding the approach trails. I'm looking to climb Saska, Pinnacle, Emerald, and Cardinal and it appears that either trail would be doable with some minor differences in milage. Is one trail in better condition or just more scenic than the other?
Thanks
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Nancyann
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PostMon Jun 15, 2020 8:43 pm 
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If you are considering the North Fork Entiat Trail, you might want to check with the ranger station to see if the North Fork Entiat Road has been logged out yet. We walked up it to the trailhead a couple of months ago and had to climb over or crawl under too many blowdowns to even count. Not driveable by any stretch of imagination. We did see what looked like Eric Gilbertsonís ski scrapes on some of the logs and his entry in the trailhead register from his mid-February excursion. Pretty amazing journey.
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tobster
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PostTue Jun 16, 2020 8:21 am 
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If you can get to the TH for the North Fork Entiat Trail, it is definitely the way to go for the peaks you have listed. There is a very nice meadow with good camping and water about a 1/4 mile past where the N.F. Entiat Trail (#1437) meets the Pyramid Mountain Trail (#1433). There is good water the entire way along the N.F. trail.

If you were take the Entiat River Trail, I'm assuming you would then ascend up Snow Brushy Creek. That area is burned out, at least the portion between Saska and Pinnacle. Not ideal camping.

If you can't get to the N.F. Entiat Trail TH, you may be able to get to Big Hill campsite and then walk the Pyramid Mountain Trail over Grouse Pass. That's what Ira and I did four or five years ago. It is more miles and more elevation gain/loss but good trail and very scenic. 

Enjoy the trek. It's a very pretty area.

toby
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RichP
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PostTue Jun 16, 2020 9:14 am 
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+1 for tobster's recommendation. There are miles of dusty, burnt trail coming up from the main Entiat trail.
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BigBrunyon
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PostTue Jun 16, 2020 12:58 pm 
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The heavy dust and unrelenting sun is why the MAIN ENTIAT is now only utilized by top tier individuals who choose that 'pproach to prove superiority. Once you're up on those hot slopes deep in the upper entiat, knowin' that you PUT IN the work on the main stem when others didn't is a great ego boost.

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YOU NEVER KNOW!!
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mxleitner
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PostTue Jun 16, 2020 3:01 pm 
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Thanks Toby!

Appreciate the input folks. I contacted the ranger station. Sounds like FS 5606 is "open" but the ranger stated trees are falling across the road on a near daily basis. She also said the NF trail is in pretty rough shape but a trail crew should hit it soon.

Guess I'll get that Ego boost...
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mike_daly
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 8:40 pm 
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Max,

I got thunderstormed off those peaks a few years ago in early-mid July.  The snow began down around 5600' in the valley floor and so the trail was missing, but there were old blazes cut along the trail from long ago (~1930s?).  As we followed "where the trail should go", we kept getting confirmation from the blazes.  They continued up to the Pyramid Mt. Trail connection, and then on to the north.  This may help keep your nose out of the gps as you wander the forest.

Let us know the conditions you find.  I need to get back there again and take another run at them.
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mxleitner
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 8:48 pm 
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Thanks Mike, I'll let you know how it goes!
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