One of the best areas for hiking and camping in the Central Cascade Mountains in Washington is the Little Naches area. It’s ideal for short day hikes as well as longer overnight adventures. The area is situated in the Naches Ranger District in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. It’s quite a popular area for outdoor recreation and sits about 40 miles to the west of Naches.
There are primitive and modern campgrounds to choose from and it’s also a pretty popular spot for dirt biking, horseback riding, and ATV riding since it has miles of excellent trails.
(photo by bahai Views)
In total, the Wenatchee National Forest is home to about 3,000 miles of trails with the Naches Ranger District housing a lot of them. You’ll find that a lot of the trails are enjoyed by dirt bikers as well as hikers, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for safety reasons. However, there are also several fine trails that are for hiking only. For instance, all bicycle and motorized vehicles are prohibited to travel on the trails which leading into the Goat Creek Wilderness and William O. Douglas Wilderness areas.
Horses are allowed on these trails though, and hikers will need a permit in the two wilderness areas. The main trail will take you to Pacific Crest Trail and you can join this path at Raven Roost. The road to Raven Roost offers some fantastic views of the valley and Mount Rainier. The trail numbered 951 at Raven Roost is about four miles long and quite scenic and pleasurable to hike along.
There are a few other trails which are reserved for horses and hikers only. These are the Bear Creek Mountain paths that are numbered 1130A and 1130. These are considered to be wilderness trails by the Forest Service and that’s why all motorized vehicles are banned from travelling on them. These two trails combined are a total of 8 miles long.
While trails 1130A and 1130 are for hikers and horses, they shouldn’t be confused with Bear Creek Trail since this seven-mile path is open to horses, mountain bikes and dirt bikes as well as hikers. If you haven’t guessed by now, most of the trails in the area are numbered. You can check out their level of difficulty before visiting them and also find out if they allow any types of vehicles.
There’s no charge for camping in the primitive grounds, and some of them don’t have water and toilets. This means you’ll need to take a water supply with you if you plan on camping out in them. You should see a fair share of wildlife in Little Naches area as there are plenty of elk and deer in the region.
They may even walk through the campgrounds during the evening. They can also be seen grazing in the many meadows as well as heading through the forest and over to the Little Naches River to get a drink of water. Cougars, bears, and wolves have also been spotted in the area by hikers and campers.