Feb 19, 2018

Slack Canyon/Douglas Creek, Washington

20 comments

One of my favorite places to take folks, or to just get away for a while, is Douglas Creek, in Grant and Douglas counties. It's just a short jaunt from Wenatchee, easy to do in a day, or even a half day if conditions are good. It's also a great overnight trip, with a fair-sized camping area.

 

There's a lot of history to Douglas Creek, at one time it was the rail route from the wheatfields, down to the Columbia River, and also provided passenger service from the Waterville Plateau to Wenatchee. The tracks were utilized until the 1970's, but are now gone. Some remnants of the railroad remain, and it's a fascinating area to explore.

 

One interesting challenge on the route is Douglas Creek itself. There's a crossing which can be very easy, or too deep, fast and dangerous to attempt, given the conditions. Immediately after the water crossing, is a steep, rocky, rutted and loose climb which can test even a well set up overlanding vehicle. Ira took this photo of Stubs the Jeep with trailer in tow, coming back out from a NWOL camping trip in 2017:

 

There is a good hiking trail, and a primitive campsite which we've used in warm and chilly weather:

 

I try to organize two NWOL trips to Douglas Creek every year, usually in the spring and fall.

Feb 20, 2018

 

There's a pretty interesting ghost town up by Waterville where those tracks from the canyon run by. I've been racking my brain to figure out what the steam was used for in town - heating maybe?

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 20, 2018Edited: Feb 20, 2018

Bryan, yes there is! I actually went and snooped around there a few years back. A little creepy, but you can imagine what it was like at the time. There is an old store there with things still on the shelves.

 

Feb 25, 2018

Careful, those ol' wheat farmers all have rifles for trespassers, and enough farm equipment to make an entire rig vanish... ;)

Feb 26, 2018

Don't miss this trip with Guy if you haven't done it!!! So worth it!!

Mar 9, 2018

Should be a good trip again this weekend!

Mar 12, 2018

How was the trip this year? Hoping to go that way next weekend

Mar 31

A year later, and the creek crossings were a bit challenging. All of them:

 

 

I know I am a little late to this thread but I was looking for places to explore. I’ve been looking at the map trying to find this trail, do you guys start from down by palisades on Slack Canyon Rd? Can you take it all the way up to Douglas?

Yes, I start by going through the Palisades, then up via Slack Canyon Road. The main route pops out onto the Waterville Plateau a few miles later. Can't follow Douglas Creek all the way to Douglas. There will be trail runs for this route during the Northwest Overland Rally, on Friday June 21 & Saturday June 22.

Sounds good, thank you! If I don't get out there before then, I will get signed up during the rally.

May 16

I am looking for a place to go this weekend. Anyone have GPS tracks, waypoints or a route for this trip?

I am in the same boat. I could use the tracks/waypoints as well. Was thinking about doing this Memorial Day weekend.

May 20

Not tested and not confirmed but from this thread here is where i think the route is https://caltopo.com/m/1NAQ. Hope that helps Jeff and Logan

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