The Cle Elum Ranger District (west end of 2nd St., 509/674-4411, www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee , Mon.–Fri. 7:45 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m.) office of the Wenatchee National Forest has information on more than 750 miles of hiking trails. Stop by their office for maps, a detailed trail guidebook, and camping, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling information.
Take Highway 903 from Cle Elum  northwest to Cle Elum Lake; a number of forest roads branch off to backcountry hiking trails, including access to the south end of Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area . From the north end of the lake, take forest roads 4308 and 4312 to the Thorp Creek trailhead for a 3.1-mile hike to tiny Thorp Lake and Kachess Ridge.
A six-mile one-way hike on Trail 1307 leaves Salmon la Sac Campground and follows a ridge to an excellent view atop Jolly Mountain.
For horseback trips into the backcountry, contact Three Peaks Outfitter/Guide Service (509/674-9661,www.3peaksoutfitters.com) for day rides or multiple-day pack rides. They even provide guided fishing and hunting trips. High Country Outfitters (509/674-6852 or 888/235-0111, www.highcountry-outfitters.com ) will bring along everything you need for an overnight pack trip, ranging $90–350 depending on the level of service you’d prefer. The area offers choice cross-country skiing at Cabin Creek Nordic Ski Area, a groomed “sno-park” at exit 63 off I-90, and west of Lake Easton State Park . Permits for day-use will cost you $11 and are available at any ranger station, REI store, or a variety of other retailers.