This route is one of two routes to the Poe Mountain summit. The other route from Little Wenatchee Ford Trailhead is Poe Mountain Trail
, a forest trail. Although this route is slightly longer, 2.7 miles vs 2.0 miles, it has less climbing and most of it is a gorgeous, scenic ridge hike.
The Poe Mountain via Little Wenatchee Ridge Hike starts from a trail sign for Irving Pass Trail #1545
, at the edge of the forest at a small parking area about halfway up the ridge. Beginning in the fir forest, the trail climbs continuously in the forest, mostly on switchbacks, until it reaches the ridge top. Views are limited here, due to all the trees. So enjoy the beautiful forest during the climb.
At the 0.7 mile mark, the trail veers left/northwest as it reaches the ridge top that is still in the forest here. Now on the ridge top, the trail follows the ridge line northwest as it climbs to the Poe Mountain summit that is a high point on this ridge. Most of this climb is gradual however there are a few short, steep stretches. Slopes of the ridge clearly drop off on each side of the trail, although the ridge top is easily wide enough for the trail and the dropoffs aren't so steep as to invoke fear. In other words one definitely knows they are on a ridge top and can enjoy it without worry.
Heading toward Poe Mountain, the trees begin to thin revealing snowy mountain views into the far distance to the southwest. On a clear day Mt. Rainier, 14,411 ft., can be seen. Soon the trees give way to grassy, high meadows with beautiful summer wildflowers. The now unobstructed views are even more awesome on both sides of the trail - left/southwest and right/northeast. To the right is a vast panorama of nearby mountains. On the left, the Little Wenatchee River is nearby in the valley below, and the mountains start across this valley.
At about the 1.9 mile mark the trail makes a short, very steep climb to a nice lookout point. Besides the views to the southwest and northeast, there is a good view down the ridgeline here and plenty of places to sit and admire these views.
Continuing on, the trail reaches a trail junction with Poe Mountain Trail
at the 2.6 mile mark. However, the trail sign here only points to Irving Pass and Poe Mountain. There is no arrow to Poe Mountain Trail
that just climbed up to this junction to join this trail for the final push to the Poe Mountain summit. Bear right at this trail junction to circle around and climb to the summit over the next few hundred feet.
A the summit there are awesome views in all directions - nearby mountains to the northeast, the ridgeline of this hike to the southeast, the Little Wenatchee River valley and distant mountains including Mt. Rainier to the southwest, Cady Ridge and the Little Wenatchee River drainage to the northwest, and Poets Ridge with Longfellow Mountain as its next high point to the north.
After sufficiently enjoying the summit, head back down the way you came up, to return to the parking area.
Fir forest, high grassy meadows, and summer wildflowers.
The Poe Mountain summit is the site of an old fire lookout.