The Icicle River Valley is a spectacular outdoor playground that supports a wide variety of native species and wildlife. A perfect example of the Icicle Valley’s balance of recreation and biodiversity is Sam Hill—a 40-acre property renowned for spectacular climbing, wildflowers, and native species.
Sam Hill boasts more than 12 well-known crags, but access was threatened when development became a real possibility. In the early 2000s, the U.S. Forest Service acquired property up Icicle Road for recreation, but could not acquire the adjacent Sam Hill property due to its privately-held mineral rights. CDLT agreed to own and steward the property, until such time as the Forest Service might be able to own and manage it along with its adjacent pieces. Local climbers and Land Trust members Mark Shipman and Freeman Keller led the drive to protect the property from impending development. Thanks to a coalition between the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, Trust for Public Land, and the Washington Climbers Coalition, Sam Hill was purchased and permanently protected in 2005.
In 2020, CDLT was able to donate Sam Hill to the U.S. Forest Service, thanks to a generous donation of the property's mineral rights by the Bevis Family. The Land Trust, in turn, was then able to donate the Sam Hill property to the Forest Service. This is part of a Forest Service effort to increase the amount of protected property on Icicle Road for recreation.
CDLT has enjoyed making this property, with its beautiful hikes, spectacular views, and alpine wildflowers, accessible and known to our members and the public at large. A successful partnership and a happy ending for Sam Hill!
Conservation Easements Fee Properties Other Conservation Projects
Located at the beginning of Icicle Canyon, Sam Hill is a great place to explore. The trails in the area were established by climbers, are unmaintained, and often are quite steep. We recommend wandering the property in the spring to catch some amazing wildflowers.
For rock climbing in the area, visit Mountain Project’s webpage on Sam Hill.
Directions: Driving west on Hwy 2 from downtown Leavenworth, take a left on Icicle Road. In 3.5 miles, there will be a large pull-out on the left side of the road where you can park. The Sam Hill property is on the north side of the road and the main trail begins directly across from the pull-out. Once you start up the trail, you will notice a few Land Trust signs that will let you know you are in the right place. For a Google map of the parking area, click here.