Scenic USA - Washington

Burch Mountain Ridge

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Burch Mountain View - Wenatchee, Washington

Photos by Eric Noel
Eric's Burch Mountain Gallery

   North Central Washington State, promoted as a land of endless discoveries, is dominated by the Northern Cascade Range. Here in the foothills, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is one of those places where new found adventures lie. Covering four million acres, this diverse forestland runs up the eastern crest of the Cascades, from Mount Rainier to the Canadian border. Lone Pine - Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, WA
   Washington’s Route 20 and U.S. Route 2 are the only major highways to cross the northernmost section of this range. Here, a short side trip from the Stevens Pass Greenway leads to Wenatchee (Wa-Nat-Chee), Burch Mountain Road, and ultimately the Burch Mountain Ridge. Wenatchee Valley, bordered by the dramatic peaks of the Cascade Mountains and its dense forests of fir, spruce and larch, is better known as the Apple Capital of the World. First visited by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1803, the valley was found with rich with volcanic soil, but proved too arid for commercial agriculture. Now irrigated by the Columbia River Irrigation Project, Wenatchee quickly became one of the world's largest producers of apples. Today, more than 170,000 acres of orchards dot these Cascade foothills.
   Heading out of Wenatchee, Burch Mountain Road leads northward into the Cascade foothills. On clear days the 360 degree views are superb. From up on the ridge, scenery is all about majestic mountain peaks, and views of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers. About five miles out of town, hikers may begin their ascent toward the Burch Mountain Ridge. This frigid January scene easily conveys the soup du jour of Eric’s trek, a suitable snowshoe day.

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