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Wenatchee Foothills - Gun Runs

Attractions: A short winter backcountry ski tour or snowshoe trip near the outskirts of Wenatchee near the Wenatchee Rifle and Revolver Club. For Wenatchee residents this is a scenic dawn patrol to put you in a good mood before work. Or, it’s a fun way to unwind after work day. Take along a headlamp and you won’t be concerned about starting or ending the outing in the dark. From the little peak reached on this outing, you have sensual views of the shaded foothills. And, if locals aren’t actually shooting their guns at the club down below, the setting feels surprisingly remote.


View Map: See our Foothills- GunRun Map (a 8.5'’x14” landscape). Use ‘Print Preview’ before printing to check your page setup and scale the map to a full sheet of paper.

Activity
: Backcountry skiing. Snowshoeing.
Nearest Town: Wenatchee
Skill Level: 2+ (strong intermediate) if skiing. 2 (intermediate) if snowshoeing.
Fitness Level: 2 (intermediate)
Distance: Round-trip distance is roughly 3.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet

Recommended Season: Winter.
Some winters the low-snow around Wenatchee is never deep enough to ski this route—either the snow is too thin or doesn’t have enough structure (resistance) to keep you from scraping the ground on the way down. During such winters this is a snowshoe-only route. Even during a good ‘ski’ year, you’ll probably hit some rocks and sagebrush. Ski slow, ski in control, and use old skis that you don’t mind gauging.

Access:
Drive south on Western Avenue until it takes a sharp, right-hand bend and becomes Number 2 Canyon Road. Reset the odometer here. There are two different access points we’ve marked on the map. The first is about 1.4 miles up the road at the gun club. Park out of the way at the gun club on the right side of the road or 150 yards beyond the gun club entrance on the left side of the road, then follow the cross-country route (shown on our map) that heads uphill on the opposite side of the road from the gun club. The second access point we describe in slightly greater detail is about half a mile past the gun club
just past a small rock tower near the right side of the road (odometer reading of 1.95 mile), park on the left (south) side of the road in a small pull off with a shot-up ‘No Dumping’ sign (elevation 1,430 feet)


Trip Instructions
:
--From this second parking area, walk down the road about 50 feet and bushwhack across the little creek bed on your right (south side of the road). The shrubbery is thick and unpleasant but once you’re across, life improves.
--Now follow the ridge system, before you in a southerly to southeasterly direction to climb peaklet 2,930 feet (see map). This is a cross-country route through open, shrub-steppe habitat that is scenic and easy to navigate. The ridge system you’re following is on small parcels of public land—starting of Forest Service land, moving to BLM land, and returning to Forest Service land.
--After reaching the top, you have the choice of descending the way you ascended or following a completely north-facing ridge system back down to the road and intersecting the road about a quarter of a mile from where you’re parked.
--If you’re, skiing be mindful that even in a good winter the snow is usually thin and you should ski cautiously. The skiing tends to be better down low than up high because there are fewer rocks down low.

 

Cons / Hazards:
Thin snowpack and rocks. This is no problem on snowshoes, but you need to be a little mad to ski this because the snow is rarely deep enough to eliminate all worries about grounding out. If you’re crazy, however, ski slow, ski under control, and use old skis. In case your skis stop on a rock and you don’t, a helmet isn’t a bad idea.

 
Land Ownership: Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Fees/Permits Needed: None
Reporter
: Andy Dappen, February 2008


Leave It Better Than You found It.
This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull noxious weeds along your route, disperse old fire rings (they encourage more fires), throw branches over spur trails and spurs between switchbacks (make it harder to do the wrong thing than the right thing).


Important Disclaimer:
 
Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Things change, conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers--they may make mistakes, fail to give complete information, or may not know all the issues affecting a route. So forget about finger pointing: If things go wrong,
you are completely responsible for yourself and your actions. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.