Waterfall Walks and Lake Wenatchee Sockeye Update
John Kruse, July 17, 2020
The heat of the summer has finally made an appearance making this a great time to hike a trail to a cold and refreshing waterfall. Looking for suggestions? Here’s a few:
Rainbow Falls near Stehekin in the North Cascades National Park Complex is a must visit destination if you are in this area. From the trailhead it’s only a ¼-mile round trip walk to enjoy the mist from the 312-foot waterfall. There is one catch though, the normal shuttle bus operated by the National Park Service in Stehekin is not running this year so you’ll have to hike or bicycle here from the boat landing.
Silver Falls is another great option located west of Entiat in Chelan County. Drive 29.5 miles up the Entiat River Road to reach the trailhead. From there you’ll have a relatively steep climb of 600 feet for about a mile to reach the top of the falls. The total trail distance is 1.7 miles making this a favorite for families.
Douglas Falls can be reached from Douglas Falls Grange Park, a DNR managed property near Colville. A 1.5-mile loop hike which includes travel over a suspension bridge will give you good views of this picturesque waterfall.
Rodney and Hardy Falls don’t get the respect they should. You can reach them through a 2.5- mile hike from Beacon Rock State Park in the Columbia River gorge. The 600-foot elevation gain on a hot day will let you truly enjoy the 50-foot waterfalls you’ll find here.
Finally, you can’t talk about waterfalls in Eastern Washington without mentioning Palouse Falls. Located north of Lyons Ferry you can take in views at the State Park here of a dramatic 198-foot drop as the Palouse River spills into a basalt basin below. No hike is required for this view but there are also trails taking you towards the top of the falls. If you go this way be sure to stay on the main path and don’t get too close to the cliffs. Several people have fallen from the edge with tragic results.
LAKE WENATCHEE SOCKEYE
An unexpectedly strong return of sockeye salmon up the Columbia River this summer (over 330,000 fish as of July 14th) has a lot of anglers wondering if and when the popular Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishery will open up this year.
Checking in with WDFW Biologist Travis Maitland I learned he is, “Cautiously optimistic that there will be enough fish for a modest fishery at the lake. Modest meaning 30 to 40 thousand salmon which would be 7 to 17 thousand over and above the spawning escapement goal of 23,000.”
If this forecast holds true, Maitland anticipates the daily limit would be 2 to 4 fish and the season could start as early as the last week of July but probably the first week of August since the run is a bit late this year.
OKANOGAN LIMITED ENTRY DEER HUNTS
Eighteen special limited entry deer tags will be issued this summer allowing six bowhunters, six muzzleloader hunters and six modern firearms hunters the opportunity to harvest deer in the 6,000-acre Charles and Mary Eder Unit of the Scotch Creek State Wildlife Area in September and October. Located in Okanogan County, this wildlife area is known for having a healthy amount of both mule and white-tailed deer. The deadline to apply is August 14th and winners, randomly drawn, will be announced at the end of August. You can apply online through the WDFW website or through the WDFW North Central Regional Office in Ephrata.
John Kruse – www.northwesternoutdoors.com and www.americaoutdoorsradio.com
Union Creek Falls near Chinook Pass – J. Kruse