Church Hill by Natapoc Mountain / 靠納塔帕克山的教堂山丘

  • Reading time:3 mins read

The modest Church Hill may be short in comparison to the nearby high points. But the summit offers decent views and, best of all, solitude. The short but steady climb gives a great workout too.

Church Hill northwest ridge
Church Hill northwest ridge

See more trip photos here.

Church Hill at a Glance

Access: NF-115 by Chiwaukum Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 1.7 miles
Elevation Range: 1760′-3360′
Gear: snowshoes
Route Info: Fred Beavon
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Church Hill

Unlike yesterday, today’s weather wasn’t going to be glorious. So I ditched my initial plan by Stevens Pass and continued east. Later I looked for anything accessible along Tumwater Canyon. Then I came across Church Hill.

It was our shortest trip so far this year. But the .85-mile each way meant we gained close to 1900′ per mile! Though, it’s great to have a short day. So I could use the extra time to do other things later.

A sloppy start
A sloppy start

See more trip photos here.

East Face

Two parties took the southwest ridge via Hatchery Creek Road. But it would require driving up to 2300′. With the extra snow this season, we wouldn’t have made it very far. So the snow-covered eastern slopes were our best option.

From the frozen ponds, we worked our way up to the minor east ridge. The firm snow in the lower forest allowed us to move at a good pace. But the higher we went, the softer the snow. So snowshoes didn’t help much after a while.

Tunneltop Ridge
Tunneltop Ridge

See more trip photos here.

Church Hill Summit

The terrain felt steeper than it looked. That, together with the massive debris and soft snow, made the going slow. Later we reached the northwest ridge at 3300′. As I looked around, the aftermath of the Chiwaukum Creek Fire was evident.

Views were open because of the charred trees. Or “black chopsticks,” as I call them. But I still had to peek through branches to see the notable peaks. The two distinct high points along Highway 2 were Natapoc Mountain and Tumwater Mountain.

Natapoc Mountain
Natapoc Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Outro

Going down, we went into the gully just south of the minor east ridge. There was more snow over the debris. But we still had to watch out for gaps. So plunge stepping was out of the question.

As the slopes flattened at the bottom, snow conditions improved. So it was easier to walk back to the car in boots. Later on the way home, we made a stop by my favorite Sultan Bakery!

Church Hill overlooking Wenatchee River
Church Hill overlooking Wenatchee River

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.