South Cle Elum Ridge, Cle Elum, WA

Looking at my Washington state highways and recreation map on my wall with all my explored trails in highlight, I observed that I haven’t yet delved in the vast south Cle Elum network of trails. But first, a quick venture up 903 past Roslyn, WA towards Hawkins Mtn.  The Northwest Xterra club was heading this way today and I tried to catch up with them but as always is the case – if you don’t make it to the assembly area on time you will likely never find your group. I made an attempt up NF-160 but turned around at a certain point because I wasn’t comfortable with going further without a recovery backup rig. I continued up 903 until the very end, at the Deception Pass trailhead.

Moving south across i-90 I ventured up into the ridge line just south of Cle Elum, WA. This place has numerous trails to explore, reminiscent of Naches. I stumbled across the Incident Command Center for the Ellensburg fire that was nearby. It was interesting seeing a 8×8 Hemitt army transport that far up into the mtns. I drove one of those in Desert Storm. Spoke with a US Army E-4 and he gave me some insight on the status of the nearby trails. Some trails to the south west were closed off since the fire there was only just 77% under control.

Moving on, I explored NF-114, a mountain top with a flock of turkeys and NF-211, which has an excellent Cle Elum overlook campground.

It is said that is possible to find one’s way through all the NF roads from i-90 and make it all the way southwest-ish to 410. I believe that the Washington BDR, (Backcountry Discovery Route) makes it’s way through this area. I haven’t done that yet but will shortly.

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4 thoughts on “South Cle Elum Ridge, Cle Elum, WA

  1. Hello, my name is Kyra Holland I was born and raised in Cle Elum wa.. Ill I can say is I love Cle Elum.. My mother moved us kids to tri cities wa summer of 2002 .. I tell my husband all the time that if I could go on a long vacation anywhere in the world I would choose Cle Elum Washington lol.. It’s just so beautiful there and there’s so much to do during the winter and the summer seasons.. Looking at your pictures and reading your site blog has truly helped me remember so much of my childhood and how I can’t wait to take my family hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, boating, snowmobiling Exedra Exedra… There’s so much of the area yet to explore for myself also.. As a teenager we would ride our horses up in the woods.. And as a child and still do every summer go camping all over Cle Elum, Roslyn, Ronald, I think ya get it lol..the hole area was are play ground… For sure alot has changed there.. some I honestly say for the better.. The rest is just unnecessary and if they don’t stop changing stuff and adding all the BS that Cle Elun has gone without and can for sure go without, Sadly it will lose its site of it originality… And it’s going to be just like any other town on the way Map in Washington…yeah Suncadia is nice and all and I can’t wait to go Explorer it also… But it did take a big chunk of our hunting grounds away.. well again thank u for sharing you’re beautiful pictures.. Hope to post some of my own really soon lol..

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    1. Glad that you enjoy my posts and thanks for the kind words. Cle Elum is beautiful place; the whole of Washington is just stunning. No other place quite like it on Earth. I am compelled to explore more and more every time I venture out.

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  2. I found you staement about the WDBR appealing. I live off 410 in Bonney Lake, and camp in Teanaway every Sumner. I have been interested in finding the overland route from Greenwayer to Cle Elum to make the trip more interesting and traffic free. I know there maps and I know I can download offline GPS routes, but am nervous about going it with only one rig. Have you done it yet? We have a 2015 modded Jeep Wrangler and plenty of recovery gear. Would love to map the route with you.

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    1. For the most part, the way from Greenwater to Cle Elum are pretty easy roads. A wrangler with recovery gear should do you pretty damn well. I’ve singly done many of the dirt tracks and roads. That being said, going out alone has some serious risks to it. I recently got hurt when I was out alone and luckily, it wasn’t so bad as to prevent me from getting home. It was a wake up call, so to speak. I don’t yet have a time frame for running that trail but I will let you know when that finalizes.

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