132 – Swakane Canyon

Listed in the book, Desert Hikes Washington by Dan Nelson and Alan Bauer, Swakane Canyon sounded like an area we would enjoy exploring. In the Wenatchee Valley for several days of hiking, we were able to spend an afternoon there.

Swakane Canyon Trailhead
Swakane Canyon Trailhead

Swakane Canyon covers a large area, and the trail, an old road, steadily gains in elevation and seems to go on almost indefinitely. The view seems to go on forever too as with no real turn-around point along the trail, you simply hike up and around the hills until you have had enough and are ready to turn around. We had covered approximately eleven miles by the time we returned to the trailhead.

Swakane Canyon . . . along the trail
Swakane Canyon . . . along the trail

While wildfires burned through most of Swakane Canyon last fall, the wildflowers are quick to return. We spotted arrow leaf balsom root, bluebells, shooting stars and many more.

Wildflowers of Swakane Canyon
Wildflowers of Swakane Canyon

More information and recent trip reports for Swakane Canyon are available on the Washington Trails Association website, here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/swakane-canyon.

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4 thoughts on “132 – Swakane Canyon

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  1. I’m thinking of doing this hike soon. Thanks for the info! I plan on hiking 500 miles on the AT when I turn 50. I like your 60 before 60 theme!

    1. Thanks Kelly! I’ve stumbled upon your blog on several occasions while researching hikes . . . and have certainly enjoyed your posts. Come to think of it, I believe it was your blog I was recently telling Kent about just before I took a little side trip for a private moment behind a tree on a recent hike! Isn’t yours the one where you wrote that you practically had some entire trail to yourself, except for running into a couple of hikers (that were peeing)? Anyway, we got a big haha out of that one . . . and now carry walkie talkies (so we can warn each other when someone approaches).

      Looks like our hike to Lake Ann was about the same time as your backpack. We were on our way to the Lake along the trail through a big talus slope and passed two gals backpacking out. We may have passed each other!

      Stay tuned, we’re off in a few days for our first multi-day backpack of the season. Will be hiking and camping along the shore of Lake Chelan on our way to Stehekin. This should be a great trip! Anyway, we’re out there a lot . . . hope we run into each other one of these times!

      1. Small world, right? Can’t wait to hear about your Chelan Lakeshore trail trip! I really wanted to do that one with my youngest on memorial day weekend, but the boat cost and crowds made me reconsider. But it is one I hope to get to ‘someday’.
        If you liked the story about me catching some people peeing, you should read the one about where some people catch me peeing. (yes, people–like several) http://kellbell-whywouldanyonereadthis.blogspot.com/2013/01/for-barefoot-jake.html
        I’ll be looking for you on the trails! It would be great fun to actually meet.

      2. Swakane Canyon makes a great hike! Keep in mind that there is no obvious turn around point on this hike. We kept on going and going and going, up and around each new ridge until we were exhausted . . . then had to turn around and hike all the way back down. It’s a hot, dry trail, so bring plenty of water.

        We passed the turn off along Alternate 97 as we headed up to Lake Chelan to backpack along the Lakeshore Trail and I noticed they had recently graded the beginning of the road. When I turned off the main highway to head to the trailhead, there was such a deep rut in the gravel road as it turned and climbed that I nearly bottomed out my old Volvo. Of course our mechanic calls our car a “bobblehead” anyway, so maybe we noticed it a bit more than most, but it should be a much easier drive now that it has been smoothed out some.

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