Just outside of Wenatchee is the Dry Gulch preserve containing many trails and jeep roads maintained by the Appleatchee Riders that offer spectacular views of the valley and wildflowers in the early spring. A challenging 8.2-mile run is the Rooster Comb – Saddlerock Loop. This run starts at the Saddle Rock Trailhead in SW Wenatchee. The Dry Gulch area is a former gold mine that’s full of open trails. The trails can be confusing, but it’s easy to look for landmarks to run to.
The run starts up past Rooster Comb with a 1.8 climb that ascends over 1000 feet. The trail to Rooster Comb is closed, so head right at the access trail and continue up the hill. The trail will start descending at 2.5 miles. There is an offshoot trail that turns right. Stay left and on the main trail. Continue downhill for another .75 miles and turn left and past Dry Gulch Road and into the gulch. Start climbing out of the gulch and turn right to another descent four miles into the run.
The trail drops 820 feet over the next mile, so have the quads ready. Following the decline is the 1.5-mile approach to Saddle Rock, the highlight of the run. Run between the two peaks that make up Saddle Rock and enjoy the views of Wenatchee, Columbia & Wenatchee Rivers, and the Wenatchee-Okanagan Forest.
Take any number of trails, including the popular Saddle Rock trail, for 1.5 miles back to the parking lot. For those not quite as adventurous, the Saddle Rock Trail can work as an out and back from the Saddle Rock Trailhead to the Jacobson Parking lot for four total miles.