Image: Craig Romano
These pinnacles are short and steep, with bonus spring wildflowers.

Peshastin Pinnacles

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 1.5 miles round trip

Long a favorite haunt among the carabiner crowd (the rock climbers), hikers will find the Peshastin Pinnacles much to their liking, too. Several trails weave through these 200-foot high sandstone spires perched on a sunny hillside above the fruited Wenatchee River Valley. When you’re not fixated on the striking outcrops and sculptured slabs surrounding you, peer out over orchards to a backdrop of ridges and peaks. In spring the pinnacles are painted with wildflowers.

This little 34.5 acre park packs quite a varied landscape within its tight boundaries. Hike through a gate entering a magical kingdom of rocky spires resembling rows of shark teeth protruding from a golden hillside. From the main access, trails diverge left and right. It really doesn’t matter which direction you choose to explore this sculpted landscape. Walking along the park’s periphery makes for a nice 1.5-mile hike with a 400-foot gain of elevation.

Hike clockwise, first entering a big dry draw. The surroundings are dull brown most of the year, but from March through May, desert butter cups, avalanche lilies and arrowleaf balsamroot add brilliant touches of color. Staying on the main trail, head up a series of tight switchbacks beside the Grand Central Tower, one of the more prominent of the Pinnacles. The way then bends east then slopes beneath Sunset Slab. Head up to a small ridge crest dotted with lonely pines.

Pass by the Dinosaur Tower and hang around a bit to observe falcons and hawks riding thermals, then hike to the Martian Slab for an out-of-this world view of the countryside. The trail then decends in steep switchbacks to the trailhead gate

Watch For: Rock doves and quails

Note: Discover Pass Required

Getting there: From Seattle Follow SR-522 to Monroe. Then Take US 2 east to Leavenworth. Continue east on US 2 for another 9 miles turning left on North Dryden Road. Reach trailhead at Peshastin Pinnacles State Park in 0.5 mile.

Craig Romano is the author of nine Washington hiking books, including Day Hiking Central Cascades.

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