Mission Ridge: Mission Fulfilled / 使命脊: 實現使命

Mission Ridge up ahead
Mission Ridge up ahead

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We slept in this morning and got a late start on the day. I didn’t plan on getting out today, but then the glorious sunshine lured me in again. While looking for a new hike that didn’t require snow gear, I realized we could go to Mission Ridge.

The Lowdown on Mission Ridge

Access: East Fork Mission Creek Road
Round Trip: 10 miles
Elevation Range: 2120′-4963′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available

East Fork Mission Creek Road

Mission Ridge was going to be our last Saturday’s plan. But that was before I found out about the last week of skiing at the ski resort. And after studying the terrain, I realized by entering from the resort side would have taken us longer. So thanks to Dan Lauren‘s report, we took the shorter approach through the City of Cashmere.

As soon as we got to the parking area, a few dirt bikers came out of the road closure gate. They then quickly disappeared after getting onto another route. At first, I thought we had to take the road but ended up taking the dirt road next to it. The path looked to be the bikers’ stomping ground judging from the tread marks.

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Road Washout by the Second Creek Crossing

The sun was blasting when we started hiking. Thanks to the tall trees we were in the shade most of the time. After crossing the first creek on some small tree branches, another group of bikers came up after us. Before long, we caught up to the same people before the major washout at the second crossing.

One of the bikers nearly flipped his bike over while attempting to ride it through the creek. So he decided to come back to this side after getting help from his partners to get his bike upright. Then the pup and I walked by the washout and crossed on small logs farther up the creek.

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North Slopes to Mission Ridge Summit

We made a third creek crossing at the two-mile mark. Then we left the road on the other side and scrambled up steep slopes through down trees. The terrain flattened above 3000′, but it stayed forested with lots of down trees. We followed one of the many undulating ribs to Point 4234 and then dropped down onto the western saddle.

From the down tree-infested saddle, we got up toward Point 4508 and then picked up the Mission Ridge Trail. The trail bypassed two knobs from the east while traveling south, and then it hugged the ridge crest past 4600′. The last 300′ of hiking was on gentle terrain; we left the trail at 4800′ and headed up to the summit.

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Mission Ridge Summit

We arrived on a summit that had trees the north, so not much to see in that direction. The only good view we got was the long-running ridge of Mission Peak to the south. I almost didn’t notice Mount Lillian sitting behind Point 5621 until it was time to head down.

There were also views of Teanaway and the Stuart Range to the west. But I couldn’t get a better look at the specific peaks without the help of my zoom lenses. The summit was also too low to see into the City of Wenatchee. But I did get a glimpse of Badger Mountain farther north.

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We had a rather unexciting exit. Once we got back down to the mentioned saddle, the views were back to minimal. However, we found a better way to descend the rib and bypassed the down trees encountered on the way up. The two-mile road walk back to the car was nice and quiet.

So long
So long

See more trip photos here.

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