Trail info


Updated to 3.1
NAXJA Member
Frost Mountain Trail (4W310)
Distance: 1.18 miles
Running Time: Approx. 20-25 minutes one way
Difficulty: More Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Frost Trail is a short (1.18 mile) trail that runs up hill to the site of the old Frost Fire Lookout tower. There are a couple of very steep hill climbs and a few sections that have the usual tree roots sticking out into the trail. When wet this would be a very very difficult trail due to the hill climbs. When dry, this is a fairly easy trail. Stock Jeeps should not have any problems with the Frost Trail. The final 150 yards of the trail are a steep climb up to the top, and a little narrow with a drop off the right side that may have your passenger closing their eyes. To top it off, there is a gathering of rocks near the top on the left side of the trail that cause you to tilt a bit off-camber to the right. The trail tops out at around 5725' and offers a 360 degree view that includes Mt. Rainier and the Stewart range to the north. Due to the fact that this trail is well removed from the other trails on the Manastash ridge, it seems as though it gets little use and therefore it is in good shape.
Buck Meadows Trail (4W311)
Distance: 6.31 miles
Running Time: Approx. 2 hours one way
Difficulty: More Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The old timers know this as the "Divide trail" however since about 1998 the forest service has called it Buck Meadows on all their lists and maps. Now in preparation for the new Travel Management Plan that is set to go into effect in 2010 the forest service is now listing the trail as the Divide trail again. By what ever name you want to call it this trail is fairly easy and to that end kind of boring. There are a few hill climbs/decents along the route that will earn the trail a More Difficult rating when conditions are wet. The western 1/3 of the trail also has some areas that are really tight in the trees that make it suitable only for short wheelbase vehicles at that point otherwise it would be suitable for larger rigs.
There are a few places along the trail that afford views of the Cascade and Stuart Mt. ranges. Logging in the area has caused the trail to change course a few times and may make it impassable if not for a chainsaw. Route finding can also be a bit confusing as well.
For our money there are lots of trails out there that offer a better challenge and better views.
Wells Meadow Trail (4W328)
Distance: 1.5 Miles
Running Time: Approx. .5 hours
Difficulty: More Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Wells Meadow trail runs from FS3100 up the ridge to meet with the Manastash trail (4W306) by way of Wells Meadow. The trail meanders though forest, meadows and crosses over Manastash creek before making its final ascent to meet up with the 4W306 trail.
The Wells Meadow Trail is a scenic drive that is a fairly easy trail unitl things get wet, then it becomes more difficult. This is a good route to take if you wish to get onto the Manastash trail without driving all the way to the top of Quartz mountain.
Tipover (4W330)
Distance: 2.55 Miles
Running Time: Approx. 1 to 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Tipover trail connects the Tripod Flats Trail (4W307) to the String Trail (4W309). As there are no direct ways to access the Tipover trail access must be made via another trail in the area. Choices are: Tripod Flats, Manastash Ridge or the Kaner trail combined with the Manastash Ridge trail. Plan your day accordingly as running the Tipover trail combined with one of the other trails makes for a long day.
From the String trail the Tipover trail makes it's way down the east side of Manastash ridge to join the Tripod Flats trail. Most of the trail winds through very tight forest only occasionally emerging to cross large rock fields. Clearance is tight and the Tipover trail is not well suited for full size rigs. At just about 2.5 miles in length, the trail can get a bit monotonous at times as it seams to go on forever but you tend to forget that you have just run 2 or 3 hours worth of trails just to get to it. In actuality there are longer trails in the area.
In the summer expect a lot of dust and in the winter months lots of mud.
Lilly Pond Lake Trail (4W617)
Distance: 1.9 Miles
Running Time: Approx. .5 hours
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Lilly Pond Lake Trail climbs from FS590 up to meet the Kaner Flat Trail (4W676) at Lilly Pond Lake. The final section of the trail is a steep loose rocky hill climb that can be all but impassible with just a hint of moisture and will require winching when wet.
The rest of the trail will have you climbing over large tree roots and through deep ruts as well as some areas that seem to stay wet all year long, due to natural springs in the area.
The Lilly Pond Lake Trail also makes a good exit off of the Kaner Flat trail if you do not wish to complete the eastern half past Lilly Pond Lake.
C.J.R.s Hideout (4W644) (Bald Mountain) Trail
Distance: 3.16
Running Time: Approx. 1 hour one way
Difficulty: Easy
Pass Needed: NO
This short and easy trail is well suited for stock Jeeps and SUVs. CJR's Hidout trail runs from FS1701 on the south end to join 4W695 (Mid Summit Trail) on the north end. If you do not wish to take on the increased difficulty of the Mid Summit Trail then you best turn around and retrace your steps at this point. The views from this trail are incredible, affording views of the Ellensburg Valley, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams. If you are looking for a bit more challenge the Mid Summit Trail makes a good loop when combined with the Bald Mountain Trail. Although not a difficult trail this is one of our favorites on a clear day for the views.
Sweet Home Trail (4W665)
Distance: 1.3 miles
Running Time: Approx. 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Pass Needed: NO
The Sweet Home trail runs north from the Mud Springs trail to join the Clover Springs trail at about it's mid point. This is a fairly easy trail with little challenge. At just under half a mile into the trail traveling north from the Mud Springs trail you will come out on an old and unused forest service road. The trail would appear to continue straight ahead but this is not the case as the trail straight ahead goes nowhere. Instead turn left and follow the FS road until you pick up the continuation of the trail on the right.
Cattle Camp Trail (4W675)
Distance: 1.5 Miles
Running Time: Approx. 20 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Pass Needed: NO
The Cattle Camp Trail runs from FS-1702 up hill to join the CJRs Hidout trail (4W944) on Bald mountain. This is a fairly easy trail that winds it's way through old clear cuts and really is only an alternate entry or exit to the 4W944 trail. This trail is suitable for just about any SUV and full size vehicles.
Kaner Flats Trail (4W676)
Distance: 6.9 miles
Running Time: Approx. 4 - 5 hours
Difficulty: More to Most Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Kaner Flats trail runs from FS1903 up hill to join with 4W306 (Manastash Ridge Trail) and is a mix of off-camber, hill climbs, tree roots and above Lily Pond Lake, lots of rocks. In the wet months this trail becomes a winch fest with hill climbs that are all but impossible to even walk up let alone drive up.
From FS1903 up to the intersection with FS-1901 the trail is rated as More Difficult and in the dry parts of the year would actually boarder on being easy. 1.5 miles from the start you come back onto FS1903, from here follow the markers and turn right to follow FS1903 .75 mile to pick up the trail again on the left.. At 2.09 miles you come out on FS-1901 turning right and continuing on FS1901 to pick up the trail again after .2 miles. The trail continues it's climb from FS1901 and becomes a Most Difficult rating at this point.
East of FS-1901 rigs that have excessive lift (6" or more) with taller tires are guaranteed some damage due to the off-camber spots tipping you into nearby trees. This is not a trail for stock rigs, new drivers or the faint of heart. At one hill climb access has been blocked with large trees to stop damage that was being done. The only way up the hill is a line to the left side and between two very close together trees. Full size rigs will be guaranteed damage here as the trees only have about enough room between them for a Jeep.
There are ample chances to exit the trail at a number of points up to Lily Pond Lake so you can make the trail as long or as short as you would like. If you don't wish to do the harder parts of the trail then do the lower section up to FS-1901 and exit at that point.
East of Lily pond lake the trail traverses some very large rock fields that will leave you a little shaken up at the end of the day. However the views from the upper sections of the trail are beautiful.
Woodpecker Bypass Trail (4W685)
Distance: .8 mile
Running time: Approx. 15 min
Difficulty: More Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Woodpecker Bypass trail is a short trail at the end of the old FS1708 (Milk Creek Rd.) and is the access to the top of Manastash Ridge which joins the 4W307 and 4W694 trails. This is also one of the best ways to access Funny Rocks and Moon Rocks from Hwy 410. The trail starts off in an old clear cut before entering a short forested area and eventually a small wood bridge. Much work has been done here to fight erosion and to fix deep mud holes in the trail (the pictures were taken well before this). Please do not "mud bog" here, continuing to rip up the trail will only get it closed to all of us. Just past the bridge on the left and in the trees is the Milk Creek 4W686 trail that returns you back down hill to the FS1708 road.
Following the bridge, continue up hill and you will find yourself at the base of one long and steep hill climb. During the summer months this is a soft and dusty place. Lockers can come in handy, especially on the tracks to the right side that have a lot of loose rock in them. Be cautious not to get sideways, this hill has wrecked more than one Jeep in the past with spectacular and long roll overs. With a little moisture, even a light mist, this hill becomes a slippery mess.
Once at the top of the hill, bear right and follow the trail, continuing up hill until get to the top of the ridgeline. From this point you can turn left to pick up the Tripod Flats Trail (4W307) or continue along the ridgeline to the south to access Moon Rocks, Summit Trail(4W694) and the CJRs Hideout Trail (4W644)
Milk Creek Trail (4W686)
Distance: 3.5 miles
Running Time: Approx. 45 minutes
Difficulty: More Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Milk Creek trail runs from the end of FS1708 up hill to join with Woodpecker Bypass (4w685) trail just past the bridge. The trail recently had almost an extra 2.5 miles added to its distance after the forest service decided not to maintain the upper 3 miles of the FS-1708 road and bermed the road just around the corner from the 590 road turnoff. A new trail maker here proclaims the road to now be the 4W686 trail. As of July of 2009 we have upgraded the difficult rating to More Difficult as the previous washouts along the trail have become much worse due to the harsh winter of '08. One of the washouts will require if not a modified Jeep a driver with lots of experience to get though. The washed out area can be bypassed by using the "shortcut" hill climb but it is very steep and during wet month will be a nightmare in and of it's own if not impassible. 2.4 miles after the beginning of the trail the Milk Creek trail bears off the "road" to the left. From here it winds through old clear cuts and into and out of stands of forest and passes by a nice pond before joining the 4W685 trail.
Summit Trail (4W694)
Running Time: Approx 2 hours
Difficulty: More Difficult
Distance: 4.7 miles
Pass Needed: NO
The Summit trail runs west from the FS-1701 road on Manastash Ridge to the junction with 4W307 Tripod Flats and 4W685 Milk lake trails.
Along the way the trail winds through dense forest, small meadows and along the ridge line affording views of Manastash Lake far below and it's feature obstacle, Funny Rocks.
Funny Rocks is located about half way along the trail and provides a popular playground for rock crawling but is much smaller in area than nearby Moon Rocks which is located on the 4W695 Mid Summit trail.
If you do not wish to climb or descend the rocks there is a bypass in the woods but the bypass wasn't much easier and we find the route up the rocks to be the best line anyway.
The trail from the western side to Funny Rocks is suitable for full size rigs, however, east of Funny Rocks the trail gets very tight in the trees and damage is almost guaranteed for larger rigs unless you are very careful.
Mid Summit Trail (4W695)
Distance 2.27 Miles
Running Time: Approx. 45 min one way
Difficulty: Easy to More Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Mid Summit Trail (4W695) starts on the FS1701 Road and runs up hill to arrive at Moon Rocks and joins 4W694 (Summit) trail. This trail is for the most part fairly easy except for some very steep rocky hill climbs that can be next to impossible to climb if wet.
The Moon Rocks are in the same basic area as Funny Rocks but cover about 5 times the area. There are almost unlimited lines up the rocks providing challenge for about any type of 4x4.
There is a bypass of the rocks to the west side and through the woods. However, this is not the easiest bypass and you might find it better to climb the rocks instead! Use caution if there is a lot of dust and sand on the rocks as it diminishes traction and can be outright dangerous for walking on. Slips and falls with the subsequent trail rash to ones arms and hands is common.
For a taste of Moab with a northwest flavor, check out Moon Rocks and be sure to air down!
Mud Springs Trail (4W696)
Distance: 11.25 miles
Running Time: Approx. 3 to 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy to More Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Mud Springs Trail runs from FS1601 on the eastern side west past it's namesake Mud Springs and continues climbing to an elevation of just under 6400' as it meets FS1600 at Clover Springs. Along the way the trail afords some beautiful view points to the south overlooking the William O. Douglas wilderness area.
The Forest Service lists the Mud Springs Trail as More Difficult but the first half of the trail from FS1601 west to Mud Springs is actually very easy. Suitable for just about any high clearance vehicle this section of trail amounts to a little used road that will have you putting your foot down on the gas a bit just ot overcome the mototony and get through it quicker.
Past Mud Springs the trail does become "More Difficult" in nature with lots of off camber sections, tight areas in the trees and a final hill climb up to Clover Springs that is long, loose and dusty in the summer and all but impassible when wet. If you do not wish to continue on this harder section of trail you can exit at Mud Springs via FS1611. We have found snow along the trail in enough quatity in July to turn us back and it can linger well into August at the west end due to the 6400' elevation.
Clover Springs Trail (4W697) (Lower section)
Distance: 2.5 miles
Running Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The lower section of the Clover Springs trail runs down hill from FS-1605 to join FS-1600. At the bottom end and just off the side of FS-1600 the trail is unmarked and almost impossible to discern as it literally drops off the edge of the road down a steep embankment and through a clear cut. We are unsure if this is the official outlet of this trail as we could find no trail marker here when we exited off the trail.
When we ran the trail we started up the hill at the point where the trail becomes just a "more difficult" rating and runs up hill to the ridge line to meet the Mud Springs trail. As you round a corner on FS-1605 the trail maker for the lower (most difficult) section is in the trees and on the left. Continuing on FS-1605 a little farther will bring you to the upper section of the Clover Springs Trail on the right.
The lower section of the Clover Springs trail starts with a steep and at times off camber descent as it winds tightly through the trees. At just under half a mile the trail drops onto an old forest service road. Turn to the left and follow the shelf road for approximately 1/3 mile and watch for the trail to drop off steeply once again on the right side. Here again you will descend a steep hill making your way into the bottom of the ravine and Nile Creek. As the trail winds through the ravine it will cross Nile Creek several times and gets very tight in the trees necessitating 3 or 4 point turns for even short wheelbase rigs. After a mile of this you will be at the foot of the hill climb out of the ravine. This final climb is steep and intimidating. Lockers are highly recommended. Even when dry, walking up this final hill climb proved to be mostly impossible on the trail itself, we had to walk in the woods and zig zag up the hill.
Recommendations: We would not advise trying this trail if conditions are wet, the hill climbs and descents would be too dangerous. Rigs attempting this trail should have lockers, mud terrain tires at a minimum and a good winch. We would not recommend this trail for long wheelbase rigs or drivers who are new. Body damage even for a well equipped rig is a high possibility.
Clover Springs Trail (4W697) (Upper section) Distance: 5.1 miles
Running Time: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy to More Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The upper section of the Clover Springs trail is shown by the forest service to be a "More Difficult" trail. We would only consider a few places along the trail to be a hint of a challenge for the less prepared or equipped. For the rest of the trail it is easy riding. One section of the trail passes through a large meadow, please tread lightly, no bogging and stay on the trail!
When running the trail uphill towards the rigeline you will come to a junction with the 4W665 (Sweet Home) trail at 3.65 miles which diverges off to the south and also climbs the ridge to meet the (Mud Springs) 4W676 trail. If you continue on the Clover Springs Trail you have another 1.4 miles until you join up with the Mud Springs Trail.
If you run the trails in this area in the early spring the difficulty would be much worse with snow. During the winter deep snows will make these trails inaccessible.
Powerline Trail (4W900)
AKA Ravens Roost Trail
Distance: 7 miles
Running Time: Approx. 2 hours one way
Difficulty: More to Most Difficult
Pass Needed: NO
The Raven's Roost trail is not only extremely fun but also provides you with a spectacular view once you reach the top of the trail from a vantage point in excess of 6000 feet in elevation. For the most part this is an easy trail. Several sections allow you to get the speed up. However the tank traps were deep even in August and proved to be a big challenge.
It should be noted that the Forest Service has asked that we detour around these tank traps and mud pits as they are endangering cables that run up to the facility at the top of the hill. Plans are in the making to reroute the trail from these areas or to barricade entrance to these holes.
Take it from us, we all spent the better part of a day digging the clay from under our rigs after getting into the mud pits, it wasn't fun, so my suggestion is to just stay away from them. This isn't ordinary mud either, it is watered down clay and is very very heavy and sticky, even with the power washer it took me over 2 hours to get most but not all of it off my Jeep.
At the upper end of the trail the grade increases and becomes strewn with lots of loose rock that will have you bouncing around your rig. The view along the way is more than worth it though. Several places exist to enter onto or exit from the trail. Off of the main road, just about any trail or road to the right (going up hill) will cross onto the Raven's Roost trail.
Manastash Ridge Road
Distance: 11.4 miles
Running time: Approx. 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Pass Needed: NO
Not to be confused with the Manastash Trail (4W306), the Manastash Ridge Road runs from Observatory road just outside of Ellensburg along Manastash Ridge to join FS-1701 on the west end above Cliffdell. At 11.4 miles in length the road is fairly easy and suitable for most high clearance and full size vehicles. There are at least two hill climbs that will require the use of 4Low however as they are steep, rutted and comprised of loose dirt/rock. For these areas it is recommended that you have a winch handy or you will need to find a go-around, for which there are some available but we have never needed.
There are several vistas that afford some great scenic views along the trail and nice places to stop and have lunch while you enjoy the scenery. Although not terribly difficult the Manastash Ridge Road is a favorite run for us when we have people new to offloading or we are just desiring a light day in the woods.
We highly recommend a GPS for this road as numerous crossing roads and paths can make route finding confusing. We have sidetracked in the past even with using a GPS! Sporadic logging along the route can make things even more confusing at times.