One of my favorite things about Washington State is the diversity of hikes depending on your mood, location or fitness level. There’s something for everyone.
Saddle Rock in Wenatchee, WA is a great day hike option if you’re not in the mood for a 5-hour slog up to an alpine lake BUT you do want amazing views.
And maybe a spot with a swing that overlooks the valley. Just saying.
Giant swings with great views? Yes please…
Washington has amazing hiking, which can take you up incredible peaks and through gorgeous valleys. But we don’t always got time for that 🙂
And spring is an absolutely perfect time to get out, when the flowers are blooming and the grass is a bright vivid green. When you can start your hike at 10am and not totally sweat to death within minutes.
It gets HOT on the east side of the Cascade Mountain range. Most people think the weather in Washington State is like Seattle- raining and grey everywhere. It’s not. Sunscreen definitely required.
Wenatchee is about a 2 and a half hour drive from Seattle, home to the Apple Blossom Festival. It’s great if you find yourself driving to Spokane, or heading to Leavenworth for the weekend. There are lots of cool little hiking trails that would only take up a few hours of your day.
You can see Saddle Rock from downtown Wenatchee, but when you get there it’s peaceful and calm.
It is a popular hike though, so you will meet a lot of people on the trail. BUT this worked out because that’s how I found out about the swing!
It’s not listed on any of the trail guides; it’s just something that locals know about. Yeaaaa local knowledge.
Getting to Saddle Rock:
There are two places to access Saddle Rock. My GPS took me to the Circle Street entrance, but there is a northern entrance on Skyline Drive.
There is a parking lot just by the trailhead where you can park for free on Circle Street. There is clear signage under some power lines, and a wide-open path. This is to the right of the parking lot.
Once you are on the trail, it goes up almost immediately for a few minutes before it flattens out and you are left with the option to go left or right.
Going right will lead you on a lovely hike winding around the bottom of the rock, but won’t lead you to the top.
There is a very steep section that can be difficult to climb. It is NOT recommended that you do this after is has rained. It can be dangerous to climb as well as damaging to the trail.
To get to the saddle is about a hour or so (plus or minus) hike, depending on your fitness level. There are also two options to reach the saddle.
You will eventually reach an area with four trees, with a wide trail that continues to the left, and a rocky, narrower, stepper trail to the right.
If you want to get to the saddle quickly, take the option on the right.
You can also continue on the wider path to the left, which will take you to the top of the ridge. From there, you can walk along the ridge to the right to reach the saddle. You can’t miss it.
Getting to the Swing:
Regardless of how you get to the saddle, you will be on top of the ridge. You can see the Wenatchee valley below you. Take a few photos.
Facing the valley, the path to the swing will be on your left. Continue to walk along the ridge to get there.
You will see a tree in the distance on the right, standing alone on the edge of the ridge. A rock pile surrounds it. This is where you will find the swing!
You will go up a few more times before you reach the swing, but it’s not hard to follow the path. You might lose sight of the tree, but it’s only about 15 additional minutes to reach it once you summit the ridge.
The swing is quite high off the ground so take precaution when trying to get on it!
- The site at Circle Street is current under some maintenance and construction. At the moment there are no facilities on either access site, so be aware before starting your hike.
- The area is very exposed with almost no tree cover. Be sure to bring sunscreen and water.
- There are lots of additional narrow paths that wander through this area. Some of these trails are on private land, so stick to the wide hiking path.
- This can be a beautiful way to see the sunset or the valley at night. Just be aware that the parking area closes at dusk, so you may have to park a bit further away.
Let me know when you find the swing! It’s a beautiful view over the valley. If you’re lucky you’ll see a kestrel falcon, just keep your eyes peeled 😉
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