Cascades Mountains Leeward Forests, Part 2

Part 2 provides a description of National Wilderness Preservation System, National Fish Hatcheries, State Lands, and Local Sites.

National Wilderness Preservation System

There are five units of the National Wilderness Preservation System in the Cascades Mountains leeward forests.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Snoqualmie National Forest, Wenatchee National Forest, and Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, Washington, is 414,700 acres with 700 lakes between US Route 2 and I-90. The glacier-carved area has permanent snowfields. At lower elevations on the eastern side of the Cascades, the wilderness is a ponderosa pine-grassland forest, while on the western side, Douglas fir, cedar, and western hemlock forests predominate. Enchantment Lakes-Cashmere Crags (N47˚29’ W120˚48’) has sheer rock faces up to 1,500 feet and is considered one of the best rock climbing areas in the U.S. Snow Lake (N47˚29’ W120˚45’) within the wilderness is a water source for Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. A tunnel from the bottom of Snow Lake drains into Nada Lake when needed, and the cool water flows downstream to the fish hatchery. The northernmost area of the wilderness is along Whitepine Creek (N47˚46’ W120˚56’), the easternmost area is along Ingalls Creek (N47˚28’ W120˚41’), the southernmost area is at Stonesthrow Lake (N47˚23’ W121˚20’), and the westernmost area is along Philippa Creek (N47˚37’ W121˚38’). The Chiwaukum Creek proposed RNA (N47˚42’ W120˚47’) is in the eastern portion of the wilderness west US Route 2 and the Wenatchee River corridor. It was established to provide a representative old growth grand fir community.  There are also ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests in the RNA. The Icicle/Frosty Creek proposed RNA (N47˚39’ W120˚57’) is a valley with a western red cedar/hemlock forest. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail traverses the wilderness from south of Stevens Pass (N47˚43’ W121˚4’) 67 miles to Snoqualmie Pass (N47˚26’ W121˚24’).

Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness

Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness, Washington, is 153,000 acres, to the east of Stephen Mather Wilderness and including lands in the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests. The wilderness includes the Sawtooth Range and Twisp River, with 63 lakes. The northernmost point is near McKinney Mountain (N48˚32’ W120˚25’), the easternmost point is on the South Fork Libby Creek (N48˚15’ W120˚18’), the southernmost point is at Point No Point on Lake Chelan (N48˚3’ W120˚25’), and the westernmost point is at Hock Mountain (N48˚27’ W120˚40’). Wolf Creek (N48˚29’ W120˚24’) in the wilderness west of Winthrop is considered eligible for the national wild and scenic river system.

Glacier Peak Wilderness

Glacier Peak Wilderness, Mount Baker and Wenatchee National Forests, Washington, is 566,000 acres, bordered by the Stephen Mather Wilderness (North Cascades National Park) to the north and Henry M. Jackson Wilderness to the south. The wilderness touches Chelan Lake on the east. Glacier Peak (N48˚7’ W121˚7’) is 10,541 feet in elevation and a volcano. There are 200 lakes and granite cliffs as high as 1,000 feet. There are 450 miles of trails. Places in the wilderness east of the 121st meridian include Glory Lake (N48˚26’ W120˚58’), Tolo Mountain (N48˚24’ W120˚54’), Flora Mountain (N48˚15’ W120˚42’), Bonanza Peak (N48˚14’ W120˚53’), Domke Falls (N48˚10’ W120˚33’), Estes Butte (N48˚1’ W120˚47’), Schaefer Lake (N47˚58’ W120˚51’), Twin Lakes (N47˚55’ W120˚51’), White River Falls (N47˚57’ W120˚56’), Irving Peak (N47˚54’ W121˚0’), and Clark Mountain (N48˚3’ W120˚58’). The Pacific Crest NST follows Agnes Creek and South Fork Agnes Creek south to Suiattle Pass in the wilderness. The Chiwawa River, a tributary of the Wenatchee River, is eligible for the national wild and scenic river system from its headwaters in Glacier Peak Wilderness (N48˚9’ W120˚54’) downstream to the wilderness boundary (N48˚5’ W120˚52’) and continuing into the Wenatchee NF to the confluence with the Wenatchee River. Rock Creek (N48˚1’ W120˚46’), a tributary to the Chiwawa River, is eligible for the national wild and scenic river system. The White River is eligible from its headwaters in Glacier Peak Wilderness (N48˚2’ W121˚8’ downstream to Wenatchee lake (N47˚50’ W120˚49’) and its tributary, the Napeequa River, is eligible from its headwaters near Butterfly Glacier (N48˚5’ W121˚0’) to its confluence with the White River (N47˚55’ W120˚54’). The Entiat River is eligible for the national wild and scenic river system from its headwaters near Entiat Glacier (N48˚9’ W120˚47’) downstream to the wilderness boundary (N48˚4’ W120˚42’).

Stephen Mather Wilderness

Stephen Mather Wilderness, Washington, is 634,000 acres and overlays parts of the North Cascades, Lake Chelan, and Ross Lake units of the national park system. The wilderness borders Pasayten Wilderness to the east, Glacier Peak wilderness to the southwest, and Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness in the map area, and Mount Baker and Noisy-Diobsud Wildernesses to the west of the map area. East of the 121st meridian, all of North Cascades National Park except for the Stehekin River corridor between Cottonwood Camp (N48˚27’ W121˚0’) and Agnes Creek (N48˚23’ W120˚50’) is within the wilderness. Places in the wilderness in North Cascades National Park include Agnes Gorge (N48˚22’ W120˚51’), Rimrock Ridge (N48˚24’ W120˚57’), Mount Logan (N48˚32’ W120˚57’), Elijah Ridge (N48˚39’ W120˚58’), Katsok Peak (N48˚35’ W120˚53’), Corteo Peak (N48˚30’ W120˚47’), Twisp Mountain (N48˚28’ W120˚39’), and McGregor Mountain (N48˚25’ W120˚8’). Boston Glacier RNA (N48˚30’ W121˚0’) is 3,000 acres including a cirque at the head of Skagit Queen Creek. Boston Glacier is the largest cirque glacier in the North Cascades. Surrounding the glacier are forests of subalpine fir and Larix. The Pacific Crest NST passes through the southern portion of the wilderness between Bridge Creek (N48˚29’ W120˚42’) and Stehekin River (N48˚26’ W120˚52’). All of the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area except the shoreline of Lake Chelan and the Stehekin River corridor are within the wilderness. Places in the wilderness in Lake Chelan National Recreation area include Hock Mountain (N48˚27’ W120˚40’), Camels Hump (N48˚22’ W120˚34’), Twin Peaks (N48˚17’ W120˚33’), Castle Rock (N48˚15’ W120˚42’), Battalion Lake (N48˚21’ W120˚47’), and Coon Lake (N48˚23’ W120˚50’). All of Ross Lake National Recreation Area except for the shoreline of Ross Lake is within the wilderness. Places in Ross Lake NRA within the wilderness east of the 121st meridian include Panther Creek (N48˚42’ W120˚59’) and Lightning Creek (N48˚54’ W120˚59’). The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail crosses the wilderness in the Ruby Creek area (N48˚42’ W120˚59’).

Pasayten Wilderness

Pasayten Wilderness, Mount Baker and Okanogan National Forests, Washington, is 531,000 acres and bordered by the Stephen Mather Wilderness (Ross Lake National Recreation Area) on the west, the international border with Canada on the north, and Loomis State Forest on the east. The southern boundary includes lands in the Okanogan National Forest. The northwestern edge is north of Hozoneen Mountain (N49˚0’ W121˚1’), the northeastern portion is at Goodenough Peak (N48˚59’ W119˚53’), the southeastern portion is at Middle Fork Camp (N48˚53’ W119˚54’), and the southwestern area is at Crater Mountain (N48˚44’ W120˚55’). The wilderness is known for the largest population of lynx in the 48 contiguous states, has 150 peaks over 7,500 feet, sheer-walled canyons, and plateaus. There are 600 miles of trails. Places in the wilderness include Hells Hole (N48˚57’ W119˚52’), Chewuch Falls (N48˚52’ W120˚1’), Lost River Gorge (N48˚44’ W120˚27’), Last Chance Point (N48˚41’ W120˚34’), Nohokomeen Glacier (N48˚47’ W120˚58’), West Fork Pasayten River (N48˚56’ W120˚37’), and Remmel Mountain (N48˚55’ W120˚12’). The Pacific Crest NST follows the ridgeline through the wilderness from Harts Pass north to the Canadian border. The Pacific Northwest NST crosses the wilderness from west to east, passing Dry Creek Pass, Deception Pass, Devils Stairway, Frosty Pass, Bunker Hill, Peeve Pass, Cathedral Pass, Teapot Dome, Rock Mountain, and Goodenough Peak. The Chewuch River from its headwaters (N48˚57’ W120˚10’) downstream to the wilderness boundary (N48˚50’ W120˚1’) is considered eligible for the national wild and scenic river system.

National Fish Hatcheries

The National Fish Hatchery system in the Cascades Mountains leeward forests includes two sites. Entiat National Fish Hatchery, Washington (47˚42’ W120˚19’) is seven miles west of Entiat on the Entiat River.  It produces salmon for use in the Columbia River fisheries management plan. Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, Washington (N47˚33’ W120˚40’) is two miles south of Leavenworth on Icicle Creek. It produces Chinook salmon and steelhead for use in the Columbia River fisheries management plan. The Icicle Creek NRT (see) is on the facility grounds. The fish hatchery includes 700 acres of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness surrounding Snow and Nada Lakes. An underground pipe and tunnel from the bottom of Snow Lake to Nada Lake provides water to Nada Lake when cold water is needed at the hatchery. The cold water then flows downstream to Icicle Creek and the fish hatchery.

National System of Public Lands

The National System of Public Lands in the Cascades Mountains leeward forests includes the Chopaka Lake Recreation Area and Chopaka Mountain Wilderness Study Area, Washington (N48˚57’ W119˚44’), an aspen-sagebrush-bordered lake and forested mountain between Loomis and the British Columbia border. The area is known for spring wildflowers.

State and Provincial

State, provincial and local sites in the Cascades Mountains leeward forests includes 19 sites.

Brent Mountain Protected Area, British Columbia (N49˚28’ W119˚54’) is a 4,344-ha high elevation alpine and subalpine area with krummholz vegetation. It is west of Penticton off of Route 97 via Apex Mountain Road.

Camas Meadows Natural Area Preserve, Washington (N47˚28’ W120˚34’) is west of Cashmere off US Route 97. The largest known population of the Wenatchee Mountains checker mallow and the Wenatchee Larkspur are found in a large flat meadow surrounded by the Wenatchee Mountains.

Cascade Recreation Area, British Columbia (N49˚18’ W120˚56’), is a backcountry area at the headwaters of the Tulameen River north of E.C. Manning Provincial Park. Vegetation is mountain hemlock.

Cathedral Provincial Park and Protected Area, British Columbia (N49˚4’ W120˚12’) is a 33,300-ha wilderness park on the Washington State border, adjoining Pasayten Wilderness on the south. Access is from Route 3 via the Ashnola Valley. The core area contains six lakes, including a lodge on Quiniscoe Lake. There are three maintained hiking trails.  The Centennial Trail continues west to E.C. Manning Provincial Park and east to the Snowy Protected Area.

Chelan Wildlife Area, Washington, includes one unit in the Cascades Mountains Leeward forests.  White River Unit (N47˚53’ W120˚52’) includes scattered tracts along the White River upstream from Lake Wenatchee and surrounded by the Wenatchee NF.

Conconully State Park, Washington (N48º33’ W119º45’) is an 81-acre reservoir recreation area on the Bureau of Reclamation’s Conconully Reservoir.

Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area, British Columbia (N49˚38’ W121˚0’), is a 5,700-ha hiking and camping area on the Coquihalla Highway (Route 5), located in the transition zone between coastal and dry interior forest.

Keremeos Columns Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚15’ W119˚7’) is northeast of Keremeos off of Route 3A. The hexagonal basalt columns rise out of a Douglas-fir forest and are viewed by a hike across sagebrush grasslands on private property. The columns are on private land and are not within the park.

Loomis Natural Resources Conservation Area, Washington, consists of two blocks totaling 24,700 acres in area and lying mostly above 5,000 feet in elevation. The montane habitats are Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine with aspen and shrub-steppe.  The North Block (N48˚53’ W119˚46’) is west of Loomis via Touts Coulee Road and adjoins the Pasayten Wilderness and Snowy Protected Area.  The South Block (N48˚42’ W119˚53’) is north of Conconully on Forest Highway 13.

E. C. Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia extends along Route 3 for 58 km between Hope and Princeton (from the Sumallo River in the west (N49˚15’ W121˚7’) to the Similkameen River in the east (N49˚8’ W120˚41’)). The hiking and camping park includes the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail near Route 3 (N49˚4’ W120˚49’). Vegetation ranges from coastal western hemlock with stands of Pacific rhododendron to Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir throughout most of the area along Route 3 to drier Douglas-fir in the east. It is part of the Sumallo River/Skagit Valley Important Bird Area, harboring the northern spotted owl. The park adjoins the Pasayten Wilderness on the south.

Nickel Plate Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚24’ W119˚57’), is at the north end of a glaciated lake and is dotted with large boulders, glacial erratics left behind when the ice melted. It is west of Penticton off Route 3A.

Peshastin Pinnacles State Park, Washington (N47º33’ W120º31’) overlooks the Wenatchee River with 200-foot-high sandstone spires.  There is a one mile trail.

Scotch Creek Wildlife Area, Washington, consists of five units in the Okanogan River watershed.  Mineral Hill Unit (N48˚33’ W119˚48’) is west of Conconully adjoining the Okanogan National Forest in the eastern Cascade forests ecoregion.  The 920 acres is along the West Fork Salmon Creek and is a bunchgrass-ponderosa pine forest.

Snowy Protected Area, British Columbia (N49˚4’ W119˚56’) is a 26,000-ha wilderness area to the east of Cathedral Provincial park and north of Pasayten Wilderness and Loomis Natural Resources Conservation Area. Access is from the Ashnola Valley south of Route 3, via the Ewart Creek Trail. Vegetation ranges from dry grassland to alpine meadows. A population of California bighorn sheep is protected.

Squilchuck State Park, Washington (N47º19’ W120º22’) is a 300-acre fir and ponderosa pine forest eight miles south of Wenatchee, with ten miles of trails.

Teanaway Community Forest, Washington (N47˚15’ W120˚54’) is a 50,300-acre tract north of Cle Elum on both sides of the Teanaway River. The state-owned area is managed by a community advisory committee to provide for both forest products and recreation.

Twenty Five Mile Creek State Park, Washington (N47º59’ W120º16’) is a lakeside recreation area on Lake Chelan. The area includes hiking trails on the creek.

Lake Wenatchee State Park, Washington (N47º49’ W120º44’) is at the outlet of a glacial lake and surrounded by the Wenatchee NF. There are eight miles of trails.

Whipsaw Creek Ecological Reserve, British Columbia (N49˚23’ W120˚36’) contains stands of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir interspersed with grasslands of sagebrush-bluegrass. It is located 10 km south of Princeton off of Route 3.