Sage Hills

Photo By Steve Maher

Distance: 5.5 miles (out and back)

Time: 2 to 2.5 hours

Terrain: Dirt trails, single-track, out-and-back

Elevation: 650 feet gain/loss

Best time to go: Spring through fall. Trails are closed to the public from Dec. 1 through March 31 every year to protect wildlife that inhabit the area during those months and to prevent erosion to trails. To avoid the intense summer heat, go in the early morning or late afternoon.

How to get there: From downtown Wenatchee, Drive west on Fifth Avenue, which turns into Number One Canyon Road. There is a small, unmarked parking lot on the right corner of Number One Canyon Road and Sage Hills Drive. Walk north on Sage Hills Drive a quarter mile to the Lester trailhead. From there head north until you reach what is commonly known as the “Saddle” at approximately 1.5 miles. Continue heading north, staying on the trail that heads west-northwest up Coyote Canyon. Avoid taking any spur trails that drop off to the right. After about another 1.75 miles, you will reach the top of Coyote Canyon. Return and head back to the Lester trailhead.

Highlights: This is a great trail to run because it provides a decent distance (5.5 miles) and because the hills you encounter are not killers. Indeed, the rolling hills found at Sage Hills offer wonderful views of the Columbia River, the Wenatchee Valley and the North Cascades. Springtime brings vibrant color to the area: arrowhead balsamroot, serviceberry and lupine abound.

Lowlights: Share the trail with mountain bikes. Summer heat makes midday use almost unbearable.

Things to know: Park efficiently as the parking lot is small and can only accommodates 7 to 8 vehicles. No fee or pass required. Plan ahead; there are no facilities at the trailhead. Keep your pets leashed and clean up after them. Stay off muddy trails as foot tracks in the mud accelerate erosion.

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