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  Junior Point / Shady Pass

This road crosses the high, pretty much unbroken ridge line of the Chelan Mountains. This range looks almost like a big plateau. But there are distinct summits here. The east side is drier and also more fire ravaged, giving the area an open feeling with great views. The west side is deep Cascade forest. Here orientation and views resemble the situation of a bug crawling around in a thick shag carpet.

1.(1160ft,mile00.0)START-END NORTH: jct S Lakeshore Rd - Shady Pass Rd, just west of Twenty Five Mile Creek State Park on Lake Chelan
2.(2000ft,mile02.6)profile stays right at jct with Slide Ridge Rd
3.(6540ft,mile14.5)TOP: turnoff to Junior Point is on left
4.(5730ft,mile17.1)intermediate low point
5.(6100ft,mile19.0)Shady Pass: turnoff to Big Hill on right
6.(2470ft,mile27.3)profile turns left onto Entlat River Rd
7.(1320ft,mile44.9)START-END WEST: jct Wa19 Entlat River Rd - Wa287 Mud Creek Rd


From East. FR59 puts and end to the vacation meanders of South Lakeshore Road, on Lake Chelan. It climbs steeply above the lake, twisting and turning like a real mountain pass road. The pavement ends at the juntion with Slide Ridge Road. Shady Pass Road steeply ramps itself up the south facing slope. The views of Lake Chelan keep getting better. In the morning they are flatly lit from the front, and there is not much shade. But it did make me look forward to some possible shade on the pass. But the pass, at this point, is still very far away.

After a last great view of the lake, the road traverses and meanders towards the ridge on its north side. Meanwhile an apocalyptic looking match stick forest has taken over every slope, mountain and ridge line in sight. But in my opinion it still looks more appealing than a clear cut pattern, which you see so often in northwestern forests. After reaching an intermediate high point the road ahead can be seen stringing along, hopping over to the next peak, i regluar arcs like a telephone line. To the north a high ridgeline in the North Cascades becomes visible for the first time. Lake Chelan makes another appearance, deep below, behind a curtain of matchstick forest.

It's reasonable to expect the next traverse to be the top. After all no higher points are visible along the ridge, at least not until you get to it. But it's getting closer. And the best views are from shortly before the top. The highest point along the road is signed as Junior Point. There is a campground here and a rest room inside a yurt.

From West. (described downwards) Progress from here on becomes dramatically faster, even if Shady Pass is not reached yet. A long traverse, with just enough drop to make Shady Pass a separate summit connects Junior Point to the pass. Right about here the matchstick forest ends and a deep, endlessly green tree groundcover takes over. There is no view from Shady Pass, but there is a sign, and the road goes over slightly higher points before and after the pass. A spur road from here goes to the north, and I imagine it has still better views of the North Cascades, than I had from the traverse between Junior Point and Shady Pass. The descent on this side is deeply graveled and it was steep enough to wear out my disc brake pads, and overheat the brake fluid. Wish I had regular brake pads. Shady Pass road merges onto paved Entlat River Road. From here great time can be made, without worrying about the destroyed brake pads.



( < FR8410 Slide Ridge s(u) | Salt Creek Summit > )
Junior Point s(u) , Shady Pass , FR53 Mud Creek s(u) , Wa972 Winesap - Lake Chelan : lower part of FR59 Shady Pass Road > up FR59 > Junior Point s(u) > Shady Pass > down Entiat River Road > Brief > up FR53 Mud Creek > FR53 Mud Cree s(u) > Wa971 north > Wa971 Winesap - Lake Chelan s(u) > Lake Chelan State Park > South Lakeshore Road north > back to starting point: 75.6miles with 8390ft of climbing in 7:56hrs (VDO MC1.0 m5:13.9.14).
Notes: another hot September day in Washington. But the pictures already do have that warm fall light.