The popular Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge trail is a 3.5-mile loop about 40 minutes from Leavenworth, Washington. You won't beat these views near Leavenworth!
Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge is a popular hike in Wenatchee National Forest with tourists and locals so make sure to get there early to get a parking spot and beat the crowds! If you're in Leavenworth for the day and are looking for something to do during the afternoon, this hike is a great nearby option.
Often, you'll see trail runners testing themselves on the trail's slops as well as bird waters seeking out some of the wonderful native birds of the Pacific Northwest.
Did you know? The Canyon Crest to Rat Creek Ridge Trail is one of Traverse the Pacific Northwest's 10 Best Trails Near Leavenworth, WA. Have you hiked them all yet? Let us know your favorite in the comments below!
Directions to Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge Trail
The trailhead is 40 minutes from Wenatchee but only 4.2 miles from downtown Leavenworth. This makes it an ideal hike for someone looking for a nice afternoon getaway. It'll take about 14 minutes to drive from Leavenworth to the trailhead.
The route does take you fairly far up Mountain Home Road, which, even in the driest of times, can be difficult to navigate. Make sure to drive slowly and avoid the potholes as best you can, and you'll be fine!
What You Need to Know
Here are the basics of what you need to know before going to explore the Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge Hiking Trail:
Permit: Not required
Best time to visit: April through September.
The trail gets lots of sun throughout the day.
The best views are at the top.
Bears have been seen on the trail.
You may want hiking poles for the descent as there is some loose rock.
Dogs are allowed but should be kept on a leash.
Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge Trailhead
The trailhead for the Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge Trail is on Mountain Home Road, about 4.2 miles from Leavenworth. As you're driving up the road, the trailhead will be on your left side. Look for a pull-out on the right-hand side, just across from Downer Forest Road 7300. It's just a gravel lot that's easy to miss.
Artist Credit: Emma H. Baldwin
Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge Hiking Trail Stats
The Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge is one of the best hikes near Leavenworth. It's a wonderfully scenic, easy-to-access route along Rat Creek Ridge that provides constant views of the surrounding hills.
The trail is 3.4 miles long, with an elevation gain of around 500 feet. You can expect it to take 1.5 hours to complete the entire loop hike. But don't worry, the length+elevation make this hike a breeze!
Hiking the Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge Trail
The trail starts off of Mountain Home Road in a small parking lot. Hikers can expect easy terrain for the first 0.3 miles before hitting the first of three left-veering trails.
You're going to want to avoid all of these, continuing straight on until you loop back around. The first trail on your left is the Ridge Ride Trail which meets up with Mountain Home Landing. The next left turn you'll see is towards East View Point Trail, don't take this one either!
Artist Credit: Emma H. Baldwin
Keep going until the trail splits once more. Most people choose to stay on the right-hand side as it becomes Rat Creek Ridge. Follow this along until you get to a dead end, have to double back, and then you can take the other trail, Canyon Crest, back to the trailhead.
Make sure to take your time and look around. You should be able to see down into Leavenworth and catch glimpses of some of the tallest mountains in the area, including Cashmere Mountain.
Canyon Crest to Boundary Butte
If you want to make your day longer, you can take another trail 0.8 miles to Boundary Butte Road and then up to Boundary Butte at 3,047'. It starts from the same trailhead on Mountain Home Road.
The detour to Boundary Butte adds another 1.8 miles of hiking and another 600 ft or so of elevation gain.
Tips for Hiking the Canyon Crest to Rat Creek Ridge Trail
Go early to avoid the crowds and the sun.
don't expect too many views till the top.
You may want to bring hiking poles for the way down.
Avoid getting onto the PCT.
Is Canyon Crest to Rat Creek Ridge Trail hard?
No, the Canyon Crest to Rat Creek Ridge Trail isn't particularly hard. It is 3.4 miles and gains around 500 feet. There are a few steeper sections, some of which are covered in loose sand, but in general, the trail is suitable for most hikers.
Where is the Canyon Crest to Rat Creek Ridge Trail?
The trail is on Mountain Home Road, around 4 miles from Leavenworth. It should take a total of 15 minutes to get to the trailhead from Leavenworth.
Do I need a permit for the Canyon Crest to Rat Creek Ridge Trail?
No, you don't need a permit to park at the trailhead for Canyon Crest to Rat Creek Ridge Trail. It's on Mountain Home Road and easy to access from Leavenworth.
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