Tronsen Ridge Trail (historically known as the Mount Lillian or Tiptop Trail) is a steep ridge top trail located just south of Ruby Creek off of Blewett Pass. This trail runs southeast above Highway 97 ending on the Liberty-Beehive Forest Road No. 9712. Late spring or early fall is the optimal time to hike this trail.
Access: There are a couple of options for accessing Tronsen Ridge Trail. Drive southeast along US Highway 97, turn left onto Five Mile Forest Road No. 7224 and drive 3.4 miles to Tronsen Ridge Trailhead. The Five Mile Road allows users to access the Tronsen Ridge Trail and also allows for day hikes to higher elevations. Although narrow, there is an area with enough room to turn a trailer around at the trailhead.
Another option for accessing Tronsen Ridge Trail is from the summit of Swauk/Blewett Pass. From Highway 97 turn south on Forest Road No. 9716 and follow it for 3.7 miles to Forest Road No. 9712. Turn left on Road 9712 and continue approximately 4.8 miles (about .3 miles past Ken Wilcox Horse Camp) to Trail 4W312. Those folks driving high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles can proceed north on Trail 4W312 approximately one mile to Trail No. 1204. It is advised to park at the junction of Road 9712 and Trail 4W312 as parking and turn-around conditions are unknown at the junction of 4W312 and Trail 1204. Road No. 9712 is extremely rough and rutted beyond its junction with Forest Road No. 3500.
Length: 8.2 miles
Use allowed: Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking or motorcycle use.
Note: There is a seasonal trail closure to motorized use on the Tronsen Ridge Trail from October 15 to June 15. This closure is in effect to protect elk calving habitat.
Not allowed: ATVs
Elevation gain: 1,600 feet; the trail begins at 4,000 feet rolling up and down along the ridge top ending at 5,600 feet.
What you will see: The forest visitor will have opportunities to glimpse views of Devils Gulch, Mission Ridge, Wenatchee Mountains, Miller Peak, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier and Mount Stuart. Visitors will also see geology of the Swauk Formation and possibly see a plant fossil, wildlife viewing and hunting. From late September through the first part of November, Western Larch turn gold and their needles fall leaving a yellow carpet on the forest floor. Other tree species in the Swauk include Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine and Grand fir.
Visitors may see wildlife tracks and animals such as elk, deer, bear and coyote, or hear and see a diversity of forest birds including Red Tailed Hawk, Red Breasted Nuthatch and Pine Siskin. Tronsen Ridge Trail can be explored in segments or hiked in a single day. Remember, it is hunting season so wear bright-colored clothing and make your presence known.
Information: Wenatchee River Ranger District, 548-2550 or Cle Elum Ranger, (509) 852-1100