Manastash Ridge Trail 4W306

Manastash Ridge Trail (4W306)

Distance: 7.4 Miles
Running Time: Approx. 3 hours one way
Difficulty: More Difficult

Pass Needed: NO

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The Manastash Ridge Trail begins at the top of 6300' Quartz Mountain.  The trail runs south to a dead end at Rocky Saddle a very large ravine with no 4x4 access.  The views along the way are spectacular.

The trail runs the ridge line affording great views of  Mt. Rainier and at times the Stewart mountain range to the north.  At one point in the trail near to the intersection with the Shoestring Trail there is a great knoll that you can drive to the top off for a panoramic view which is a great place to stop and have lunch.  Just after the turnoff of the String Trail (4W309) the trail has been blocked in many places by fallen trees and the route to Rocky Saddle is almost not worth the trip as the bypasses of downed trees is a bit of a hassle and it is a dead end anyway.

One section of trail just before the Shoestring is really rocky, lift and bigger tires are definitely a plus here.  This section has two sides you can follow separated by some trees.  If you are traveling southbound the left side will get you really off camber and has gotten worse in the last few years.  Even careful placement of the tires will put your A-pillar in contact with a tree to the right side as we all have the same battle scar from this piece of the trail.  The right side is strewn with very large rocks and choosing a good line is essential to keep from getting high centered.  A good spotter is helpful.  We did manage to get a Grand Cherokee through this trail on 31" tires unscathed but I think it really speaks volumes to the drivers ability not the rig.

You can exit the Manastash trail via the Wells Meadow Trail (4W328), Shoestring Trail (4W308), Kaner Flats Trail (4W676) and the String trail (4W309)

Getting There:

From Ellensburg, follow Manastash road 23 miles west.  Manastash road eventually turns to gravel and becomes FS31.  Continue on FS31, just after Buck Meadows the road will make a hard right turn, cross a bridge and "T" into FS3100.  Turn left on FS3100.  It is 8.3 miles to the top of Quartz Mountain from here.  The trail starts at the top of Quartz Mtn.

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