+9 9 votes

Devils Gulch Alternatives


Photo: On the Upper Mission Ridge Trail uphill of where the trail intersects the Devils Gulch Trail.


Devils Gulch Alternatives

Devil's Gulch is, arguably, Central Washington's best-known mountain bike ride.  Less known is that from the upper trailhead of this famed ride, there are a half dozen other trails to enjoy. Some of these trails will appeal to hikers who are leery of walking a trail with as much bike traffic as the Devils Gulch. And some of the trails will be a welcomed alternative to mountain bikers who have done the main attraction several times and are wondering what else the area offers.

Maps: See our topo map (print on 8.5" X 11" paper in portrait mode).
GPS Info. Download this GPX file with the waypoints noted on our map.

Activity: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running and Horseback riding. Motorcycles are allowed on these trails, while ATVs are not.

Nearest Town:
 Wenatchee


Skill Level:
Several of these routes are poorly signed and require reasonable map-reading skills. None of the trails mentioned below are particularly difficult to walk but several require advanced mountain biking skills to negotiate. Our map color codes the difficulty of the trail.


Fitness Level:
2 - Most of these hikes require intermediate fitness.


Recommended Season:
 Most of these trails are shaded and provide good summer options when it's hot down in the Wenatchee River Valley. The area is also very beautiful in autumn when the grasses and vegetation yellow. 

Access:

--From Wenatchee: Drive up Squilchuck Road toward Mission Ridge. At milepost 8.1 (1 mile uphill from Squilchuck State Park), turn right on Forest Road 9712 (Beehive Reservoir Road). Drive this road 2 miles to reach the Beehive Trail trailhead (Waypoint B3); 2.5 miles for a pullout to go up Beehive Mountain (Waypoint B7); 3.9 miles to reach a pullout at the upper end of the Beehive Trail (near Waypoint B6), or 4.35 miles to reach the Upper Devils Gulch Trailhead (Waypoint D1). No permits are required to park at any of these sites.

--From Cashmere.
In the summer of 2013 flash floods washed out some of the lower stretches of the Mission Creek Road, preventing recreationalists from driving to the Upper Trailhead from Cashmere. You can drive to the Lower Devils Gulch Trailhead and then mountain bike via the roads to the Upper Trailhead, but there are sections of road that are impossible to drive. Tor reach the Lower Trailhead: Exit Highway 2 at the westernmost Cashmere stoplight. Cross the bridge into Cashmere and at the main intersection in town (flashing light) go straight (you’re on Division Street). In a few hundred yards the road bends to the right around the schools and becomes Pioneer Avenue. Shortly after this bend, turn left on Mission Creek Rd. Go roughly 0.5 mile and turn right at the T intersection. Cross Mission Creek and turn left at the next road, which is Mission Creek Road. Now drive 7.5 miles to a Y in the road near where the pavement ends. Near the end of pavement and around this Y in the road, the property bordering the road is private, strewn with dead cars and junked appliances. No trespassing signs are visibly posted making, it seem as though you can’t drive the road. Ignore them. Take the left branch and follow Road 7100 along Mission Creek for about 2.75 miles to the lower Devils Gulch Traillhead (Northwest Forest Pass required).


Trip Instructions:

Most of the links to the route descriptions below have been pulled out of our mountain biking guidebook, and make reference to riders rather than hikers. Sorry. Also, these guidebook descriptions don't always use the upper trailhead of Devils Gulch as their starting point so you'll need to perform the mental gymnastics of starting and ending you’re hike at a different spot. If you can't handle this, go back to school.

1)
The Beehive Trail provides a 4.4-mile (roundtrip) forested ride (or walk) of intermediate diffuculty with some views. This hike starts to the right of the kiosk at the Devils Gulch upper parking lot and runs parallel to the Beehive Reservoir Road (Road 9712) for a half mile before crossing Road 9712 and heading downhill (toward the Beehive Reservoir) through some older forests and through some logged forests. The route is most enjoyable if you go out and back on the trail. For variety, however, you could descend the trail and return to the start on Road 9712. At the bottom, you might also want to tack on the easier Beehive Camp Spring Trail (0.8 miles) and then return to start by Road 9712. See our topo.

2)  Beehive Mountain. 
If you're returning to the start of the last route via Road 9712, take a short detour above the Beehive Reservoir and climb Beehive Mountain. This little mound should really be called Beehive Bump rather than Beehive Mountain, but the views from the top are well worth the effort.

Photo: View from Beehive Mountain.

From Waypoint B7, head east on a spur road to Waypoint B8 and B9 and reach the top after two-thirds of a mile (one way). The jeep road leading to the top is steep and rocky and mountain bikers will find it of intermediate difficulty. This is a good hike to take with children -- it's short and sweet. After a hike you might also want to visit the nearby Beehive Reservoir where you can splash yourselves to cool off, or try a little trout fishing from the banks of the lake.

3)
The Devils Spur Trail can be done as a 5.6-mile out-and-back trip. From the Upper Devils Gulch Trailhead, the first half mile is the same as the Beehive Trail (the first route described above). After the trail crosses Road 9712 at Waypoint B6 turn right and follow the trail on a long, downhill traverse. Some of the slopes this trail traverses are exposed and intimidating -- if you're on a bike, don't be afraid to walk here and there. Also if you're on a bike you may be so focused on not slipping off the edge of the trail that you don't take in the views. Stop now and then to enjoy the setting. See our topo.

4)
The Pipeline Trail is an easy 5.7-mile (round trip) out-and-back route to the Mission Ridge Ski Area. The 'trail,' which is really a road, starts right across Road 9712 from the Upper Devils Gulch Trailhead and traverses sidehills all the way over the ski hill. The irrigation pipeline beneath the road was refurbished during the summer of 2014, so the road is currently quite wide. Over time vegetation will fill in the margins of the road and improve its appeal. See our topo.

5) 
The Clara Lake Loop is a 5.4-mile loop with some steep descents. Hikers will find the route to be of intermediate difficulty while mountain bikers will need more advanced skills to ride this safely. Starts by heading 1.2 miles uphill from the Devil’s Gulch Trailhead along Road 9712. From a small pullout on the left (no signs) at Waypoint S1, take the Squilchuck Trail 1.1 miles to the Clara Lake Trail at Waypoint C2. Turn left here and descend the Clara Lake Trail (steep in places) for 0.8 miles until you intersect the Pipeline Trail at Waypoint P2. Turn left and follow the Pipeline Trail 2.3 miles back to the start. See our topo.

6) The Upper Mission Ridge - Devils Gulch Loop is a varied 9-mile route with views, basalt flows, forests, and flowers. On a mountain bike, you also get some difficult technical riding on upper part of the Mission Ridge Trail. To complete the loop, head 1.85 miles uphill from the Upper Devils Gulch Trailhead along Road 9712 to Waypoint MR1. Now take the Mission Ridge Trail downhill for 4 miles miles until it intersects the Devils Gulch Trail at Waypoint D4. Turn right and follow the Devils Gulch Trail (uphill) 3.1 miles back to the start. See our topo.

7) Mission Peak. Mission Peak was once a fire lookout so you know it's got a long and spectacular view over the surrounding. The Wenatchee River Valley, Stuart Range, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Glacier Peak are all visible from this 6800-foot peak. To get there, follow Road 9712 about 2.75 miles from the Upper Devils Gulch Trailhead to Waypoint MP1 (Note you can often drive at least 2 miles of this before the road becomes sketchy for low-clearance vehicles. At Waypoint MP1 ‚Äčfollow an unmarked, blocked 'road' that ascends to the summit. This 'road' was decommissioned long ago and now feels much more like a trail than a road.  See our topo.


Additional Information: Most of these routes are dry--bring plenty of water.
 
Fees/Permits: As of 2015, neither a Northwest Forest Passes nor Discovery Pass were required at any of the trailheads noted on our map.

Dates and Updates. This post was initially published 6/21/2008. In mid-June of 2015 we revisited all these trails, added additional trails, created a new map, and added GPS data.

More Hikes: Maps and details of over 150 regional walks in our on-line hiking guidebook.

Leave It Better Than You Found It
. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…

Disclaimer.
 Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers--they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route.You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.