Beaver Hill + Plain Ridge by Natapoc Mountain via Leavenworth / 海狸山丘

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Beaver Hill and Plain Ridge perch over Chumstick Highway by Natapoc Mountain. The roadway connects the Plain Valley and the City of Leavenworth via an old railroad grade. Meanwhile, it gives access to many beautiful valleys.

Beaver Hill from Plain Ridge
Beaver Hill from Plain Ridge

See more trip photos here.

For Beaver Hill on Tiger Mountain, check out this post.

Beaver Hill and Plain Ridge at a Glance

Access: Beaver Hill-Plain Ridge Pass
Round Trip: 3.7 miles
Elevation Range: 2260′-3088′
Gear: microspikes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Plain, Washington

The community’s name was once Beaver Valley over a hundred years ago. But the postal service didn’t approve it because it was too long. So the residents requested a more “plain” name, which couldn’t have been simpler.

Yesterday’s last-minute trip didn’t leave us much time to explore. I cut the outing short to be in Wenatchee at a decent hour to start early on Beaver Hill. The trip was also an excuse to visit the 59er Diner on the way home.

Chumstick Highway over the pass
Chumstick Highway over the pass

See more trip photos here.

Beaver Hill

Beaver Hill is southeast of Plain, one of the few gems along Wenatchee River Valley. It provides excellent solitude and a short, one-mile hike to the top. To the west stands Natapoc Mountain, which doesn’t see many people.

The hill also makes an excellent beginner’s hike because of the short distance and moderate elevation. The 600′ gain over two miles was perfect for the puppy. Then we would explore other places later if we had more time.

In the first clearing
In the first clearing

See more trip photos here.

North Ridge Route

From the pass, we hiked southwest uphill while hugging the ridgeline. It wasn’t long before we were at the false peak, also the northwest summit. Then it was a quick, 10-minute ridge traverse to the semi-forested summit.

It’s been cold from the get-go, with temperatures in the low 30s. There was snow on the ground, but not enough to break out the snowshoes yet. So I used microspikes to keep from slipping on the sometimes icy trail.

Beaver Hill north ridge
Beaver Hill north ridge

See more trip photos here.

Beaver Hill Summit Views

Beaver Hill stands a little over 2800′, with both summits offering decent views of the area. I could see Icicle Ridge and even the top of The Enchantments peaks. Plus, Plain and the nearby high points were all within our sight.

We also had views of the prominent Natapoc Mountain to the west and Tumwater Mountain to the south. But I couldn’t see to the north because of the trees. In the springtime, a variety of wildflowers would strew the hillside.

Icicle Ridge view from Beaver Hill
Icicle Ridge view from Beaver Hill

See more trip photos here.

Onward to Plain Ridge

Since we still had time, I wanted to explore more in today’s gorgeous weather. So I decided to visit Plain Ridge north of the pass as well. Despite not researching beforehand, I knew the southwest ridge would be straightforward.

After dropping off the snowshoes back at the car, we ran across the road. Then we went back into the trees on the west slope and scrambled. Soon, we reached the ridgeline and walked the road in recent snowmobile tracks.

En route to Plain Ridge
En route to Plain Ridge

See more trip photos here.

Plain Ridge Summit Plus Exit

The road bypassed the summit from the north, so we left it and stayed on the crest. Snowshoes would’ve come in handy as we postholed half of the time. But it wasn’t long before we were on the woodsy high point.

Below the top was an opening that looked over Chumstick Highway to the south. So I took a few photos before going back to the road. Then we retraced our steps and scrambled to the car at the pass to finish the trip.

Exiting
Exiting

See more trip photos here.

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