2017 Hiking Guide

14 PIPESTONE CANYON [ TWISP, WASHINGTON ] ROUND TRIP: 9 Miles ELEVATION GAIN: 700 ft. HIKING SEASON: Summer NOTES: Tracing the path of the 2014 Carlton Complex Fire. *Please note: Keep an eye out for venomous snakes in the area from mid-April to Mid-October (especially when hiking with dogs and small children). DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From Winthrop drive south for 2 miles on the East County Road to a left turn onto the Bear Creek Road (follow signs to the golf course). One mile past the entrance to the golf course look on the right for Lester Road (dirt/rough) which climbs to an informal parking area in the upper meadow. PARKING PASS: None OVERVIEW A number of variations make this a great early season choice for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding with the main attractions being abundant views, wildflowers, and snow-free ambling. Owing to severe erosion following the 2014 Carlton Complex fires approaching the rim trail from the parking area is not recommended at this time. Whichever route you choose bring a daypack with a hat, sunblock, water, appropriate footwear and, if later in the season, be alert for snakes. DESCRIPTION From the parking lot take the very obvious valley trail (actually, a well- established low angle road bed) for 2 miles dropping 170’ of altitude while making your way past a pair of scenic ponds. The trail then winds through a stand of mixed conifers and cottonwoods before entering a broad meadow where you can use a derelict International Harvester combine as your turn-around point. If you prefer a more vigorous outing look for an unmarked footpath on the left that will lead you sharply uphill to an intersection with the rim trail which can be followed to its high point (9 miles round trip with 700’ of elevation gain) before turning around. While it is tempting to continue on the rim trail bear in mind that you will encounter very steep and unstable terrain where old stream courses have been eroded by the rains.