Van Epps Pass

Ronald, Washington (Kittitas County)

Last Updated: 06/20/2021
5 / 5 ( 4 reviews )
Zoom in to see trails...

Highlights

Highlight: Van Epps Pass
Located in the Salmon La Sac Recreation Area of the Okanogan - Wenatchee National Forest, Van Epps Pass trail is just North of Roslyn, Washington, home of the hit TV show Northern Exposure. The trail is only accessible for four-wheel-drive vehicles from the middle of June till November. This trail, combined with several other great trails in the area, makes for an excellent day trip. Van Epps Pass has several technical sections that can present the driver with some challenges, including a drive up a dry creek-bed and some stream crossings. The fantastic views of the surrounding snow-covered mountains and picturesque alpine meadows reward those that take on the challenges of Van Epps Pass.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

( MODERATE - DIFFICULT )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trailhead is located on Fortune Creek Trail at Waypoint 4. But there is signage on NF-4330-170 for this trail at Waypoint 2. So either starting point is correct.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Cle Elum, Washington

Head north towards Roslyn and Ronald on WA-903 for about 17.5 miles where you'll find the staging area on your right, marked by a large log cabin on your right with a bit of history. You should air down here because in 100ft or so you'll start the dirt road that leads to the trailhead. The staging area also has an outhouse for a last-minute pit stop. Just past the staging area, make a right on NF-4330 and follow the road for another 7.7 miles to the trailhead for the Fortune Creek trail. Other explorers usually start here and do the first four waypoints and connect with the trailhead for Van Epps Pass. If you want to do just Van Epps Pass you stay on FS-4330 about a mile further to FS4330-170 on your right. Take this road about 4 miles and Van Epps Pass trail will cross in front of you at Waypoint 2. There is signage here.

Camping

Dispersed
Designated

Trail Reviews (7)

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Are you able to take ATV's on this trail?
–Rick Hansen (08/16/2018)
–Roberto Ruggeri (08/22/2018)
Q: Any issues taking a full size 4x4 up there? (width/breakover) ('99 Range Rover lifted/33" MT tires or near stock Tundra)
–Christian Kuhtz (08/05/2017)
–Peter Jancola (06/18/2021)
–Roberto Ruggeri (08/06/2017)

Writer Information

Michael Graham

Mapping Crew - Washington

Michael Graham is retired from the U.S. Army as an Infantry First Sergeant with 23 years of service. He did a tour in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He presently owns a Process Service Company in Tacoma. He is originally from Upstate New York but after being stationed in Washington knew immediately that this part of the county felt like home. He had a Jeep CJ5 as his first 4x4 but back in the 80's there wasn't a lot of hype and add-on parts as there are today. Building your rig is half the fun, making it your own style. He has actually found it to be an addiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, in the Tacoma / Puyallup area and loves the sport of "wheeling" which allows access to so much more than a hiking trailhead. He enjoys organized rides and poker runs and the freedom and exploration this sport allows. Finding this website and authoring trail write-ups has really enhanced this sport for him. If you are new to the sport or just looking for someone to show you the trails he would love to hear from you.
For individual use only, not to be shared.