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Basalt Ridge via Rock Creek

Average Rating:    (4.6 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 5

The suggested route climbs up Rock Creek Trail 2.5 miles. It begins with s strenous climb but settles down after a couple hundred yards. The trail is fairly smooth and appears to see little use except from a few horses and hikers. There are several minor creek crossings as the trail wanders through deep forest. At 2.5 miles take the right hand fork on the Rock Tie Trail #1538. While smooth this trail switch-backs up to the top of Basalt Ridge. It is a vigorous climb. Elevation gain is 3500 feet in 5.2 miles. Except for a couple of poorly designed switchbacks it is all ridable. At the top of ridge you come to the intersection of the Basalt Pass Trail 1530 and the Basalt Ridge Trail 1515. The Basalt Pass Trail decends very steeply to the Chihamin Road FS 6210. At this point my group was into the ride two hours. Taking a right on the Basalt Ridge Trail wanders along the south side of the ridge just below the top. There are several decent views of the Chikamin drainage. After two miles of climbing, some strenuous, you come to the intersection of Minnow Creek Trail 1539 and a trail going off to the right that purportedly goes to a viewpoint. The sign at this trail intersection had long ago been vandalized. The Minnow Creek Trail drops to The Chikamin Road, and like Basalt Pass can be tied into a loop via Minnow Ridge Trail 1524 back to Chiwawa Road. We explored the unmarked trail to the right but since it drops sharply after a couple hundred yards turned around and proceeded on Basalt Ridge Trail. After climbing sharply from this trail junction you eventually crest the ridge. At this point there are spectacular views of Glacier Peak and the North Cascades. Many parts of this section will not be ridable to all but the most experienced riders. As the trail begins to descend you come once again to an unmarked trail intersection. The right hand fork goes through the trees for 200 yards to a nice rosk outcropping and more great views of the mountains and Chiwawa valley. The descent down the Basalt Ridge Trail from the top makes all the climbing worthwhile. In just 3.4 miles you lose 3500 feet of elevation on virtually virgin single track. On our trip we saw no evidence on mountain bike use after leaving the Rock Creek/ Rock Tie intersection. This section back to the road showed no use by anyone at all. This was a big chain ring high speed decent that put us back on the road in 35 minutes. The trail contains many switchbacks, but is in superb shape. At the bottom it is less than two miles back to Rock Creek.
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Latitude
47.45780853075031
Longitude
-120.76171875
Trail Directions
Take US 2 to Coles Corner 19 miles east of Stevens Pass. Turn north on SR 207. At 4.3 miles cross the Wenatchee River and take the right hand fork on Chiwawa Loop Road. Continue for 1.3 miles and turn left on FS 62 the Chiwawa River Road. Follow the pavement for 11.1 miles at which point the road turns to gravel for another 4 miles. You will drive past the Basalt Ridge Trailhead on the way to the Rock Creek Trailhead to begin the ride.
Trail Length
11.4
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Lake Wenatchee
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

Review Date
September 22, 2011

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Cyrus Rafii ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Did the full loop from Finner creek campsite to Rock Creek via the Finner Rock tie trail. Then Rock creek trail, tie trail to Basalt Ridge trail, up to the peak where views are indeed fantastic. Then down the Basalt Peak trail back to Finner. Much of the up is unrideable now due to dozens of blowdowns and thick alder and shrub growth. This is especially true on the Rock Creek tie trail. In places, there are big trees down almost every 100 yards. It appears there has been no maintenance in the last 2 years. Very tiring riding and having to stop to lift up the bike. Also, the Rock Creek trail has dozens of new water bars made of logs which are a good 4-6 inches elevated above the tread making this section also near unrideable on the uphill except for the strongest riders. The downhill on the Basalt Peak trail is sheer bliss though. Smooth tread, only a few blowdowns, great views and near 4000 ft of nonstop descent. A great day, but a lot of work due to the poor trail conditions.



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Review Date
June 7, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: pinchflat ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
The trails around Basalt peak are pretty much the only ones that are open to mountain bikes and closed to dirt bikes. So they have a different feel to them which I like. I also like that there are two ways to get to the peak (well, there are four but only two make sense). You can either go up Rock creek as most people do, or you can take the harder route from Chikamin creek TH that I recommend for (very) strong riders who also like steep downhills.

Recommended Route:
Start from Chikamin creek TH and climb 1000' up to Minnow creek TH. That was the warm up. From here, the trail gets pretty steep but you can still ride it all the way to the top. First you climb another 1000' or so to the junction with Basalt ridge, turn right and go all the way to the view point (it's worth it). Now go back half a mile and go up the Basalt ridge trail for 2.5 miles climbing 1,500' higher. Checkout the awesome views from the peak and head down to Basalt pass. The descent to Basalt pass is fast is swoopy, very fun. Once you come to Basalt pass, lower your seat before hitting the eponymous trail. It's pretty steep but a lot of fun on a trail bike. Once you come down to the road, you can either cruise back to the trailhead or if you have energy left, ride Chikamin creek. To get to that trail go down the road a bit and look for a hidden trail on the left.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Upper Chikamin tie.



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Review Date
August 4, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Chris ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
This is a trail that you are missing out on. A fantastic climb up Rock Creek to the top of Basalt Ridge offers some great views of the Cascades and Glacier Peak. The downhill back to the Chiwawa Road on the Basalt Ridge trail rocks. This trail gets NO use, not even horse tracks. A trail crew has gone over the trail in the last couple of years so it is in excellent shape.

Recommended Route:
The one described in the introduction. The Chicimin Tye trail would be another alternative.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Mad Lake



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Review Date
August 25, 2002

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: prator , from gearhart ore.

Summary:
same as route A high endurance type ride cause of 3,000 + elvation change in a few miles. The rode ride makes some of the climb a bit easier.

Recommended Route:
go up fs6210 that's the one to chikamin tie turn on minnow creek tr #1539 go up 2 miles turn right on basalt ridge trail 1515 and ride and sight see for 2 miles turn left on rock creek tie 1538 go ripping downhill on this newer trail for 2.8 miles 3,000 foot descent or so and turn left on rock creek tr. #1509 and go 2.5 miles to chiwawa river road and down that road for 2 miles back to car. Forgeet some of the other trails cause they were nuked by horses. A great alsmost no use trail that was cleared when i rode it june 2001. A true narrow singletrack.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
all the motohead trails



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Review Date
August 4, 2002

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Chris , from Edmonds, WA

Summary:
I originally rode the Rock Creek trail in 1997 to the edge of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area as described in Kirkendall's book. I have also ridden the Chikamin area rides on numerous occasions and been curious about the Basalt Pass and Minnow Creek trails. Although short, this is a small chain ring climb the entire way so allow at least four hours to complete the ride. The Rock Creek trail after the initial steep start is a nice,but continuous climb to the Rock Tie trail. From here it can be described as either strenuous, or grueling depending on your attitude and conditioning. The Rock Tie trail switchbacks for several miles to the top of the ridge. It is a clean, non-technical single track trail that sees very little use. I saw no evidense that anything but a couple of horses had been on the trail all summer. The Basalt Ridge Trail at the top of the ridge is pretty much the same way. I looks like a trail maintence crew had been over the trail within the last couple of years. It is in great condition. The are superb views along the way. The decent back to the road is absolutely a big ring rip. There is no one and has been no one on this trail for ages. At the top there was one set of boot prints, but literally nothing has decended the trail and left a mark. If you are interested in a high quality, if somewhat difficult ride, this is it! Maybe the length of the the does not qualify it as "epic" but I guaranty you the effort and the views do.

Recommended Route:
Directions to this trailhead can be found it both Kirkendall's "Mountain Bike Adventures in Washington's North Cascades" Ride 39, and Alan Bennet's "Mountain Bike! Washington A Guide to the Classic Trails". While neither author did the route mentioned above the directions to the trailhead are the same, and Bennet's book details the area with a sketched map.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Mad Lake via Chikamin Tie



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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)