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Charlie Hickenbottom
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Joined: 18 Nov 2007
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Charlie Hickenbottom
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PostSat Mar 22, 2008 3:43 pm 
Keystone Ridge (USGS Entiat, Ardenvoir)
If you're looking for an early opening hiking opportunity and don't mind exploring sagebrush country without a trail, this hike offers terrific views 
Badger Mountain (back), Orondo  (center), Highway 97A (foreground, right side of river)
Badger Mountain (back), Orondo  (center), Highway 97A (foreground, right side of river)

and can often be at least partly snow free by late February.  Flowers often start in early March, with the showcase balsom bloom coming perhaps a month or more later, depending upon aspect.  By summertime, this would a scorcher of a hike.  The usual parking spot is often cleared by the WSDOT snow plows in winter, offering a dependable parking spot for snowshoeing.  Snowcover may be a little spotty in winter, so seldom recommended for backcountry telemarking.  Keystone Ridge is a provisional name, given that Keystone Point is the high spot of the ridge.
A large pullout (elevation 760') is available right on Highway 97A about 1 mile south of the Entiat River bridge.  Park here and decide on your line of ascent to the ridgeline directly above.  Many deer trails offer choices that are somewhat helpful on steep traverses.  The least steep is to head northwest towards Point 1203' then east towards Point 1975'.  This is the first high spot above the numbered rocks across the Entiat River from Entiat. 
Keystone Ridge is a provisional name for the northeast ridge of Keystone Point; Entiat (center)
Keystone Ridge is a provisional name for the northeast ridge of Keystone Point; Entiat (center)

I usually skip this rounded blip and ascend towards the saddle just south of Point 1975'.  From the parking lot, steeper terrain is directly above that is a shorter distance to the ridgetop above. Regardless of what route to the ridgetop is chosen, Points 2502' and 2620' offer great views of the Columbia River, Columbia Plateau, and towards the Cascade Mountains up the Entiat River.  This may be enough for some, and during early spring may the logical spot for a mostly snowfree hike.
With more time and ambition, higher views can be had by continuing on to Point 2982', notable from both High 97 and 97A (looking in the SW direction towards it) as the open knoll with the single large conifer just below its top.  A nice looking steep rib leads directly to this summit from alongside Highway 97A, but a house right at its base with an owner unfriendly to hikers thwarts attempts from this direction.
The highest summit is Keystone Point 
highpoint 4 miles southwest of Entiat
highpoint 4 miles southwest of Entiat

about a thousand feet higher, with a descent of only 300 feet in between.  You can get in over 3000' feet of elevation gain from the pullout to this summit.  Keystone Point can also be reached as a five minute hike from the end of a driveable road reached by driving up Mills Canyon from Entiat River Road.  A forest service map will be handy.  Keystone Point's ambiance is hindered by communication towers, but has views far up the Entiat Valley.  The lower points on the ridge actually have a more commanding view of the Columbia River.  The dedicated summit bagger will enjoy time on all of these summits, each with different aspects that have merit.
Janet Stanek and I did the shorter version recently, stopping at Point 2502'.  We enjoyed the first of the spring flowers near the base of the ridge and also enjoyed watching herds of deer working the slopes for their early season food.  While lunching and enjoying the views, we found cell phone coverage to visit with some of her relatives in Wisconsin, still buried in deep snow and experiencing cold temperatures.  We had a sunny, warm day in stark contrast to moanings from her kin of a winter that didn't want to move towards spring.

Charlie Hickenbottom
Wenatchee, WA
3-8-08

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Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 2652 | TRs | Pics
Location: Right here.
Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday
PostSat Feb 23, 2013 8:45 pm 
I hiked up here today.  I found the elevation to be about 3500' gain from the HWY when factoring in the drops along the ridge.  RT elevation gain was about 3800'.  I recently moved to Wenatchee and am in the process of finding good training hikes close to town.  4000' gain is sort of the sweet spot for me, and this one came close, and worked out well.  Great views to the Columbia and Entiat River valley.  It took me about 4 hours Wenatchee to Wenatchee.  I will be doing this one more often.  Thanks for the report!

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Joey
verrry senior member



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
Posts: 2450 | TRs | Pics
Location: Redmond
Joey
verrry senior member
PostSun Feb 24, 2013 7:49 am 
Keystone Ridge.

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MLHSN
What goes here?????



Joined: 09 Sep 2007
Posts: 1067 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
MLHSN
What goes here?????
PostMon Feb 25, 2013 6:18 am 
Welcome to Wenatchee, Tom.  Check out the 1-2 divide for a close to Wenatchee conditioning hike.  You can find the trip details by searching the wenatcheeoutdoors.org site.

edit: Let me rephrase that.  Taking the 1-2 divide all the way to the top of Twin Peaks is a good condition hike.  It's pretty in March when the balsamroot comes out.

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