All photos from this trip can be found here.
The area probably sees more snowmobiles than day hikers during heavy snow seasons. After making a right turn turn onto service road 4818 (Kachess Dam Road), I was only able to drive for about 500 feet or so before stopping at end of the plowed road. After parking my car next to several others at the turnaround, the pups and I proceeded to hike the 1.5 miles to the trailhead.
There had been plenty recent snowmobile tracks on the road, so I was able to take advantage of them to avoid postholing and solely rely on microspikes for traction. As soon as we turned off at the road junction heading easterly toward the summer trailhead, it became apparent that there there hadn’t been any recent foot tracks to follow. The snow deepened on this stretch of the road, but I was still able not to posthole as much by staying right in the middle.
Once we got to the trailhead, I put on snowshoes and started following the Kachess Ridge Trail toward the ridge. For the most part the trail was easy to follow by observing the grooves in the snow. Only a couple places required some scrambling but we managed to stay in the direction of the trail. Once we got to Silver Creek, the trail stayed parallel to the creek on the west side. If my memory served me correctly, Kachess Ridge Trail switched back at 1.8 miles in from the trailhead and headed up the east slopes in a southwesterly fashion. But rather than going all the way to the switchback, I decided to start scrambling up the slopes westerly at 1.5 miles to cut out some distance.
On the ridge there were some ski tracks going off the steeper west slopes just before the tower; we stopped at the tower like the time before. Clouds never broke away and we were left with just views of the tower and one another during our stay. On the way down, the huge amount of snow allowed us to shortcut southeasterly all the way to west of the knob at 3600’ and reconnected with our up tracks to hike out rest of the way.