Keechelus Ridge by Ugly Duckling and Amabilis Mountain / 凱契拉斯脊

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Keechelus Ridge by Ugly Duckling and Amabilis Mountain spans between Keechelus Lake and Kachess Lake. The ridgeline extends north over Mount Margaret, meets Rampart Ridge above Lake Lillian, and connects to Box Ridge.

Farewell to Keechelus Ridge
Farewell to Keechelus Ridge

See more trip photos here.

Keechelus Ridge at a Glance

Access: NF-4832
Round Trip: 7.8 miles
Elevation Range: 2420′-5151′
Gear: snowshoes, microspikes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

Keechelus Ridge is well-known among snowmobilers and skiers for the groomed trails. Most people stop on Microwave Hill to marvel at the landscape there. The expansive views include Mount Rainier and Mount Stuart.

We’ve been to the radio tower on the ridge twice. So our goal today was the actual high point .25 mile east. The Price Creek Sno-Park exit has since closed as a part of the Keechelus Wildlife Overcrossing project (update).

A rough start
A rough start

See more trip photos here.

Road Walk to Keechelus Ridge

The quickest way to NF-4832 from Keechelus Lakes’s south end was via Kachess Lake Road. En route were wildlife corridor closure signs to remind folks of the restricted area. But because of snow, we walked from the plowed pullout.

It was my first actual snow trip since New Year’s Eve. In the past, we’d cut through the woods to dodge snowmobiles. But this time, we stayed on the roadway for the healing foot before putting on snowshoes on Road 124.

Roadside view below Keechelus Ridge
Roadside view below Keechelus Ridge

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch

The road had spotty views to the west, including Loser Ridge and Keechelus Lake. But we’d veer off the main path a few times because of the number of side roads. Then we crossed Road 4934 at 4300′ to the gully soon after.

Shortly, we left the road and headed steeply east uphill for 500′ to the summit ridge. We went out into a clearing before making the final bit during this. A short traverse southeast then put us on the forested summit.

The final stretch on Keechelus Ridge
The final stretch on Keechelus Ridge

See more trip photos here.

Keechelus Ridge Summit Views

We continued southeast to a clearing with views from the east to the southeast. By then, the clouds had lifted to offer the stunning sight of Kachess Lake’s lower half. To its east were the notable Kachess Ridge and Easton Ridge.

We spent the rest of our time basking in the sun. Meanwhile, upper Kachess Ridge was too misty to see most high points. But Not Knox showed up at one time with the familiar logging clearing down its west slope.

The southern half of Kachess Lake
The southern half of Kachess Lake

See more trip photos here.

Outro

After soaking in the views, we dropped onto the gentle south slope through the open forest. Soon, we went out onto Road 124 and walked a bit before diving back into the trees. Meanwhile, we aimed for the car to the direct south.

We cut through Road 4934 three times before staying in the trees for the rest of 800′. Then we reached the road and walked 500′ to the car. En route, the snowmobile in the middle of the roadway from this morning was still there.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

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