Someof the Wenatchee foothills trails are closed during the winter months (Dec. 2-April 1st) to give wildlife a much needed sanctuary, but there arestill good options left for hikes. You may need snowshoes or micro spikes,depending on the amount of snow and ice.
The Chelan-Douglas Land Trusthas a good listing of trail openings and conditions, please check their websitewww.cdlandtrust.org.
TheHamilton Cemetery Loop
Onetrail the Land Trust does not list is on the East Wenatchee side, well withinsight of the city and easily accessible: the Hamilton Cemetery loop. It is aless-used, pleasant route.
Toget to the trailhead, drive along 10th St and just above the Evergreen Memorial Park & Mausoleumat 1301 10th St. NE you will find a small parking area by thehillside, next to a fenced-in storage area. The trail goes straight up the hillfrom there.
Theinitial climb may take your breath away, but once on top of the hill the goinggets easier as the terrain levels out.
Youwill have several options of trails to follow, they will all lead to the oldHamilton cemetery. For the most scenic one, you can choose the trail leading west(to the left as you reach the top) following the ridgeline.
Thewalk will take you through sagebrush and grassy growth, offering views of theriver, city and the foothills in the background. You will be looking at MissionRidge directly across the river.
Tothe north you will see Burch Mountain and beyond it, towards Cashmere, thealmost always snow-covered tops of the Wenatchee Mountains at Blewett Pass.
Duringthe snowy season, the hilltop is dotted with tracks of critters who live there.You may see the tiny footprints of a mouse or the larger indentations of arabbit, indicating their homesteads and routes.
Overheadyou may see hawks or flickers who like to winter on the hills. Coyotes wanderthere, too, so be mindful of that.
Whilethe trail is mostly flat, there will be a couple of hills to descend and ascendalong the way. A walking stick may be helpful.
If you feel like you are getting disoriented, keepyour eyes to the powerlines – the main service road runs right below them andwill lead you back to the parking area.
TheOld Hamilton Cemetery
TheHamilton cemetery is not obvious until you are right upon it. A lone tree marksthe spot, with wind chimes and other decorations hanging from it.
Thegrave markers are interesting – and on occasion, sad – to read. They indicatethe resting places of young men who died in war, small infants who did not liveto their first birthdays as well as long lives lived.
Thespot itself is an excellent viewing place where you can see for miles allaround. It is also a place of quiet and calm, in the middle of the vast opencountry.
TheDuration of the Hike
Thehike can take anywhere from one hour to two, depending on how often you pauseand the pace you like to maintain. It is impossible to get lost as you willalways see where you came from, but the many trails may keep you guessing whichone to take.