With a weekend planned in Leavenworth with Mel and Katie, we decided to find a local scramble. We discovered Wedge Mountain on the Mountaineers website and decided to check it out. The top promised views into the enchantments on a trail that was dog friendly so we could take Mel’s Golden Gravy.
drive time from Seattle
Researching this peak proved to be one of the biggest challenges. Turns out there are two Wedge Mountains. One labelled on topographic maps as Wedge Mountain (5781′) and the other as the highest point on McClellan Ridge at 6885′. We were after the higher of the two ‘Wedge Mountains’ which involved a scramble to the summit. Point 5781′ is more of a hike and is prominent from the town of Leavenworth.
The second challenge was the drive to the trailhead. There was a maze of logging roads we had to navigate making the drive almost an hour from Leavenworth! Not to mention we had conflicting information on the location of the trailhead. South Wedge and Wedge have different trailheads so depending on which website you look at you get different directions. We ended up having to direct using Gaia to get to the one we wanted (GPS 47.49893, -120.68948). As the logging road got further up the mountain the road got worse we huge ruts and washed out sections. We took these slow in Mel’s SUV and at one point I got out to guide her.
After the drive, we were all pretty happy to be out of the car and walking on the trail. It was hot and dusty, we didn’t start until 1:20. The trail was steep and pretty much ran straight up to McClellan Ridge at around 6200′. We got good views out to Wenatchee as we got into a burnt-out area from an old forest fire. The view from the ridge into the Enchantments Snow zone was really beautiful. We spent a little while eating a late lunch, soaking in the views.
The trail didn’t continue onto our summit so we bushwhacked over down trees mostly following the north-trending ridge until we reached a viewpoint with an obvious notch before us. The true summit was across the notch which required a scramble to get to. I decided to follow the ridge which involved one very ‘airy’ move which I didn’t recommend Mel to follow me on. The summit had a register and worse views that the overlook point (due to views of snow lake being obscured by the ridge). Gravy didn’t love that she couldn’t join us on the scramble so Katie stayed back with her.
We were only an hour going back down to the car, not needing to stop much we made it back by 5 not looking forward to the drive ahead.