ElevationAscent: 4,925' 1,501 m
Descent: -4,928' -1,502 m
High: 7,389' 2,252 m
Low: 2,492' 760 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)
Current trail conditions
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“No singletrack, but fantastic mountain scenery.”— Ted Stroll
Family Friendly It's steady climbing, but kids could ride a mile or two of it at the bottom, which is fairly flat.
About mile 11.3, and about 3500 feet above the valley floor, one reaches Harts Pass and an intersection with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (bicycles forbidden under Forest Service policy) and other dirt roads. There's a Forest Service guard station there, with residents in the summer of 2015, and a picnic table.
So far, the scenery will have been unexceptional, though pleasant. But as you look up the road from Harts Pass toward Slate Peak, you get a glimpse of what's in store. Ascending, the road winds through a landscape that looks like the Swiss Alps. And you start to get better and better views of the Cascades.
To get to the old military observation site at the top, you go through a gate (motor vehicles must stop at this point) and do a tough final power climb. At the summit, you're standing on Slate Peak, a mesa that the military may have leveled off for their now closed observation tower. There, the views are nothing short of unforgettable. You'll be ringed by jagged peaks, some snow-covered, in every direction except north, where you see a magnificent valley (maybe a cirque) in the Pasayten Wilderness well below you. Don't forget your camera.
The descent will, naturally, be a blast and you'll be rewarded for all of that climbing.
Land Manager: USFS - Okanogan & Wenatchee National Forest Office