WENATCHEE — A recreation plan for the Stemilt and Squilchuck basins is nearing completion.
The plan covers more than 17,000 acres owned by Chelan County, the state Department of Natural Resources and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. It includes ideas to increase access to hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
The plan splits the Stemilt-Squilchuck basin into three areas and includes these proposals:
Upper Basin Loop Road and Orr Creek Road, northeast of Upper Wheeler Reservoir
Create designated camping areas around some of the lakes and reservoirs and continue to allow dispersed camping around others.
Build parking areas and trailheads with possible bathrooms around the lakes and reservoirs.
Make a designated target shooting area around an old quarry near Upper Basin Loop Road and Rock Ridge Road.
Possibly build a sno-park at the base of Upper Wheeler Road.
Squilchuck State Park and Mission Ridge
Build a north-south trail is planned along the Mission Ridge and Naneum Ridge corridor.
Create snowshoe and ski trail from Squilchuck State Park to Mission Ridge.
Make additional cross country ski trails, south and east of the state park.
Add a sno-park at Squilchuck State Park and possibly a third one at Mission Ridge.
South of Upper Wheeler Reservoir
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife does not support more trails because the area is important elk habitat, according to county documents. A seasonal closure of Pole Flats road for elk could also be considered. In the winter a warming hut could be built at the intersection of Naneum Ridge and Jumpoff Ridge roads for snowmobilers.