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Sloan Creek Road

Sloan Creek Road, Forest Road #49, is a great Scenic drive with great vistas and short day hikes!
Sloan Peak from Sloan Creek Road, photo by Martha Rasmussen

Sloan Creek Road is both beautiful and historical!  The road roughly follows the old trail to Sauk Pass and Indian Pass over the mountains to the Wenatchee area.  This was a well traveled route used by the local Sauk-Suiattle tribes then later by prospectors.  Later the logging railroad laid tracks along the North Fork Sauk River and today it is forest road #49, Sloan Creek Road.

What make the Sloan Creek scenic drive a unique destination is this is the only drive where you will see the beautiful North Fork Sauk River.  There several places to pull over along this wild river and enjoy a picnic.  Get out and stretch your legs with two short easy day hikes to huge majestic cedar trees and a 60 foot waterfall!


North Fork Sauk River, photo by Martha Rasmussen
We will begin our drive by setting your odometer to zero once turning off the Mountain Loop Highway.  The road gradually climbs through forested land.  At mile 1.2 you will see the turnout for the North Fork Sauk Falls.   The 0.2 mile trail descends 200 feet to a great view  of the waterfall.  You can hear the waterfall from the road and sometimes see the mist rising from the tremendous force of the NF Sauk River as it is forced through the narrow canyon below.  Reaching miles 1.7 you see a massive pile of boulders to the left.  This was a huge slide that came down in 2003 closing the road.  Notice the road dips at this location so that water can flow over the road.  This is called a road ford and is used where culverts can't be installed because they will constantly block with materials.  There are two road fords on this drive.  Continuing past the trailhead on your drive at miles 2.6 you will come to a turnout along the road with a very nice view of the river. 

Looking up at the waterfall from Sloan Creek Road, photo by Martha Rasmussen

When you reach miles 2.7 look up the slopes of Bedal Peak to the right where a creek makes several drops forming waterfalls. During heavy snow melt you can hear the waterfall from the road.  At miles 3.0 you will reach another turnout where the river forms deep pools and a sandy bank.  This area is a popular primitive camping site.  You will see the Lost Creek Ridge trailhead to the left as you reach miles 3.1.  This is a longer day hike and backpacking trail with several steep switchbacks eventually bringing you to the ridge above and amazing views!  At miles 3.4 you will reach your second day hike, The Harold Engles Memorial Grove.  The trailhead is on the right and you will see the trail dropping down the bank to the trees below.  This is an easy loop trail with very little elevation gain.


Sloan Creek, photo by Martha Rasmussen

Continuing on your drive you will cross the bridge over Lost Creek at miles 4.4.  The Sloan Peak Climbing Route is just beyond this and you will see the sign on the right.  At miles 6.6 you come to the second road ford where often a couple of inches of water is flowing over the road.   The road is designed this way to let water be routed to flow over the road.  You will reach a Y in the road at miles 6.8, the road to the left goes to N. Sauk Trail and the one to the right is Sloan Creek road and goes to the Bald Eagle Trailhead also known as Curry Gap.  After driving almost .5 miles you will come to the trailhead where there is a foot bridge to the trail over beautiful Sloan Creek, NF Sauk River's biggest tributary.  There is a vaulted toilet at the trailhead.  Please keep in mind that a federal recreation pass is required to use this trailhead.

Looking at the mountains from the end of the Sloan Creek drive, photo by Martha Rasmussen


Once Reaching the trailhead parking area at the end of your drive, the views of the mountains are spectacular!  The current Bald Eagle trail starts off on what was once the Sloan Creek Road. 
If you look upslope from the parking area by the vaulted toilet you will see the old forest road # 4920 which some people still hike today to get to Bowser Lake.


A scenic drive with easy day hikes, waterfalls & mountain vistas!  A perfect weekend get away!