I was heading up the Entiat to hike the Shetipo trail from Cottonwood CG until my son-in-law said he was free and wanted to join me. Since he lives in Leavenworth I just swung by and picked him up and we went in via the Chikamin tie trail off the Chiwawa. Due to them using that road as a firebreak for last year's Basalt Ridge fire, it is considerable better shape than when I went up it several years ago.
Here are two pics of the same spot on the road between then and now
Trying to exit
The same road now!
We spent the night up near Shetipo pass and did not encounter a single blowdown on the trail. It is dusty in places due to Mt. bike/dirt bike traffic but in excellent shape. There is even a year-round spring flowing up near the pass. And we only saw one guy and a couple of passing bikers in two days over Labor Day. I am sure that will change in deer season.
That road should also have a bridge that's in excellent shape --
Correct. It indeed has a nice new bridge that looks well designed and solidly built. Also, there are several new culverts at stream crossings and new gravel on some sections of the road. I only wish they had done a little work on expanding the Basalt Ridge TH, but I guess that would not fly under the definition of fire work. Anyway, it is all a vast improvement and I hope there is some ongoing maintenance to keep it in that shape. The Chikamin tie trail provides access to a vast area for all the multi-use groups involved.
My original interest in going to this area and original plan was to check out the Shetipo trail on the Entiat side to include it in a cottonwood CG to cottonwood CG loop via Larch lakes. Since that didn't happen, I went up today and did a dayhike to Shetiop pass from the end of the Entiat road starting at cottonwood.
The first and last mile of the trail are steep, switchbacky and rutty with churned up tread from bike tires. But, the middle three miles is a gently graded nice trail through unburned forest. Very pleasant. The trail crosses water 7 times and is beside the creek for a quarter mile or more so you don't need to worry about water. The last water is almost a mile from the top of the pass.
The trail sign says the distance is 5 miles and CalTopo dot to dot mileage is listed as 3.6. My Gaia app tracking says it is 4.6 so take your pick.
Typical forest trail in the midsection.
This is the same place I was a few days ago but came in from the Chikamin tie trail.
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