Sage Hills closures begin Dec. 1 to help wildlife survive winter

by Rachel Hansen | Nov 28, 2022

Sage Hills trails system will close for four months starting Dec. 1 to provide winter sustenance and quiet range land for mule deer and other wildlife. The area will re-open for outdoor recreation around April 1.

"With the recent snow, we expect more mule deer will move into the area for winter,” said Von Pope, senior wildlife biologist with Chelan PUD. The herds typically migrate to the Wenatchee Foothills starting in December and peak in March, he said.

Chelan PUD manages Home Water Wildlife Preserve -- about 960 acres in the heart of Sage Hills – as part of its federal license to operate Rock Island Dam.

Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and the City of Wenatchee also close public access on more than 2,220 acres of open space adjacent to PUD property to protect winter range. The closure includes trailheads north of Fifth Street, such as the Horse Lake Reserve trail system and the side trails of Dry Gulch Preserve.

As conditions allow, several alternative trails will remain open for winter exploration, including Saddle Rock, Jacobson Preserve and Castle Rock. Please leash your dogs, and avoid areas where the ground is soft to prevent lasting trail damage.

For up-to-date information on trail conditions, check the Land Trust’s website or Wenatchee Valley TREAD’s website and app.

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Rachel Hansen: (509) 661-4320
Libby Siebens: (509) 661-8291

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