from the Stehekin Valley Guide Book
Coon Lake-McGregor-Bullion Loop Trail is full of options with three different trailheads to choose from. One is .5 miles above Tumwater Bridge, one at High Bridge and one at Bullion Campground. At the Bullion Campground trailhead, there is also a small loop trail and another leg of the trail that leads to Cascade Corrals. This is better understood by looking at the map. The easiest route is to start above the Tumwater Bridge, as the road has gained much, of the elevation for you. From this trailhead you may elect to meet the Stehekin Road at High Bridge, Bullion Campground or Cascade Corrals. Starting at Tumwater Trailhead, it is an easy one mile through mostly cedar and fir timber to Coon Lake and McGregor Trail Junction.
An option for those wanting a longer-hike is to turn left onto McGregor Mountain Trail for a ways and then come back and continue on the loop. One mile up the McGregor Mountain trail takes you to a nice view of the valley and to a falls which provides, a scramble trail to water. The higher you go up McGregor Trail, the better the view!
This option is a good half-day hike for those staying at Stehekin Valley Ranch or a good day hike if part of the McGregor Mountain trail is used, since you can hike all the way back to the ranch and not worry about return transportation. Coon Lake is nearly a mile long and rather marshy on the trail end. You will often see wildlife, such as ducks, deer and an occasional beaver on or near the lake. About four-tenths of a mile after leaving the lake a stock trail takes off to your left which goes to the East end of the lake. You do not want to take this turn. Another two-tenths of a mile takes you to a junction that you will need to make a decision at. Keeping right will bring you to High Bridge, a left will continue you on the loop towards Bullion Campground and Cascade Corrals.
route you will soon cross a large rockslide and have a good view of the valley
and Agnes Creek. Approximately one mile
past the junction, you will see a small sign which says loop. A right here will take you to Bullion
Campground and the Stehekin Road, keeping left will take you on the north leg
of the Bullion loop trail for .5 mile and another junction marked loop. You will need to watch for this sign will
closely because the horses that use this trail do not turn here and this turn
is hard to notice. What you are looking
for is a small 4"x4" post about one quarter mile past the large rock
slide. A right here will continue you
on the loop. It will soon cross the
road and skirt the river for a short distance before crossing the road again and
returning you to Bullion Campground. A
left will bring you to Cascade Corrals (Stehekin Valley Ranch) and if you are
staying there, you can bear left around the barn and field to the camp. If not, bear right on the driveway and it
will lead you to the Stehekin Valley Road.
This is the same trail that is used for horseback rides, so don't be surprised to see five or six horses. The best thing to do when meeting horses is to step off the trail on the lower side. Try to avoid abrupt movements. A horse will not spook when he sees you if you don't surprise him. It is best if you let them know you are there, if you are not out in the open, by chatting with the wrangler or guests.
Rainbow Loop Trail
five-mile loop with the lower trailhead taking off from the road 2.6 miles from
Stehekin Landing and the upper trailhead at 5.0 miles up-valley from the
landing or .4 miles above Harlequin Bridge.
I recommend starting at the upper trailhead as the elevation gain is a
little less, Also, the first half of the loop is forested, so it is cooler uphill
Two miles will bring you to the junction of Rainbow Loop and Rainbow Creek Trails; here you take a right. An optional hike is up Rainbow Creek Trail a little more than a mile which will take you to an exposed bluff with an excellent 180 degree view of Lake Chelan and the Stehekin Valley. Continuing right at the junction you will drop down a short distance to where the trail crosses Rainbow Creek. This is a nice spot for a rest or lunch beside the creek. After climbing up from the creek, the next .4 miles you will be on a flat bench that takes you past Boulder Creek Trail on your left.
Stay right and you will start descending into the valley. On the way down there are several nice views of the valley and lake. If you do not plan on hiking the whole loop ,the lower leg is your best choice for scenery.
There are many other trails that could be considered moderate, depending on how far and how fast you go.
Bridge Creek Trail. Part of the Pacific Crest Trail System, this trail can also make a nice day hike. Three miles takes you to a bridge and a nice spot to rest or try your hand at catching some wild Cutthroat Trout. If you continue on from here you will switchback up about one-half mile to a trail junction. Take a left here and go up the North Fork of Bridge Creek to Walker Park about three miles or continue on to Grizzly Creek for a total of six miles. This trail takes you up a mountain valley with only moderate elevation gain. Although not as picturesque as some of the more strenuous hikes, this is nonetheless a nice place to spend the day.
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