When it comes to resplendent alpine meadows, the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness can’t be beat. And when it comes to the finest flower romps within that wild area named for the longtime Washington senator and champion of conservation, Cady Ridge ranks supreme. A multitude of blossoms proliferate along this mile-high ridge. But it’s the lupines that dominate, transforming Cady into a purple mountain majesty. And views! From the inspiring Poet Peaks, to the emerald-cloaked summits along the Cascade crest, to cloud-piercing, snow-catching, ice-harboring, horizon-dominating Glacier Peak!
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Mountaineers hike on Cady Ridge. My favorite hike of the 2012 season. Louise Kornreich posted the following report:
Once our group of eight made it to the ridge top, which wasn’t as tough as the book made it sound, we were all, “ooh” and “aah” as we strolled through meadows, picked out peaks in the distance and plucked many varieties of berries.
We continued along the ridge to the PCT, where we headed south to the bowl that holds Lake Sally Ann. There was a nice campspot there which we noted for the future and then filled water bottles and took a refreshing dip.
Instead of making it into a loop with the Cady Creek or Meander Meadows trails, we headed back the way we came, figuring if it was good in one direction, why not do it twice.
It was a long day, but we made it the almost 14 miles in about 8 hours. One of the best hikes of the season!
Participants include Louise Kornreich (leader), David Coate, Richard DuBois, Nicole Hansen, Suzanne Gerber, Yelena E. Gogeshvili, Carol Jacobson, and Pam F. Roy.
Reference: Green Trails Benchmark Mtn No. 144. Day Hiking: Central Cascades, by Craig Romano, No. 73 Cady Ridge.
From Everett head east on US 2 for 85 miles to Coles Corner. (From Leaven-worth travel west on US 2 for 15 miles.) Turn left (north) onto State Route 207 (signed for Lake Wenatchee) and proceed 4.2 miles to a Y intersection after crossing the Wenatchee River. Bear left onto North Shore Road. At 7.6 miles, after passing the ranger station and crossing the White River, the road becomes Forest Road 65. Continue west on FR 65 for 14 miles (the last 2.8 miles are rough gravel) to the road’s end at the trailhead (elev. 3025 ft). Privy available.
Trailhead GPS coordinates (47.9183,-121.0874)
Forest Service Pass required.
14.14 miles, 3472 ft. gain, 8 hrs 22 min.