The Historic Sunset Highway
Cle Elum to Wenatchee via Blewett Pass
This is a driving description of the old Sunset Highway from Cle Elum over the old Blewett Pass to Peshastin and then eastward to Wenatchee. Blewett Pass was the original route of State Highway No. 7 and then became a part of the official route of the Sunset highway in 1919.
Blewett Pass is the section of the Sunset Highway between Cle Elum and Wenatchee. The pass was named after Edward Blewett, a Seattle mining promoter of the 1880s. The route as most all our highways, started out as an Indian trail. The route began to be used by miners who had discovered gold in Swauk Creek in 1867 and again in 1873 when they discovered gold in Peshastin Creek, which is above Ingalls Creek. The Swauk Mining District was formed in 1873.
The Old Blewett Pass Highway was also a part of the Yellowstone Trail from 1925 - 1930 and it is located between Peshastin WA on the north end and the junction of US-97 and SR-970 (Lauderdale Junction) at the south end. One section of the old highway is a 13 mile spectacular yet harrowing ride with 248 curves on a narrow roadway. With no guardrails you climb along the side of a mountain to the summit at 4061ft.
Most people are familiar with the Old Blewett Pass Highway , built in 1922 with it’s 248 curves on a narrow 13 mile stretch of highway. The stretch of road that became a part of the Yellowstone Trail in 1925. Well before that old highway was built, there was an earlier road over Blewett Pass.
This section of the old abandoned highway begins near Blue Creek and Mineral Springs Campground. To get there, turn off U.S. 97 at FR 9738 and walk across the highway to the abandoned section. You can hike up the old road for a few miles along Swauk Creek.
The Gas Station was built in 1926 and soon after a campsite was built. The old gas station and campsite are no longer in business.
From the Ingalls Creek Trailhead you can hike up an abandoned section of the old highway for approximately 1.5 miles. The road ends at the old landslide that buried the old road in the 1960's. There are spectacular views from the old roadway up on the mountain.
Campbell Road was a section of the old highway located at the north end of New Blewett Pass Highway south of Peshastin. This old road is still in use today and runs along the west side of Highway 97. During the summer months you can visit the fruit stands along this road.
After crossing the Wenatchee River from the west, the old highway curved to the left and connect with what is now School Street. The old highway then becomes Main St. and crosses the Wenatchee River again. The concrete pavement was poured in 1926 and some of the slabs are dated.
Between Cashmere and Monitor there are 2 sections of original concrete pavement. One section is on Mt Stuart Dr. and the other is on Carey's Corner. I also found a dated slab near the Old Indian Cemetery. It is dated 9-10-20.
Mines and Miners of the Swauk by Josee Ann Jordan 1964 -(pdf file)
Swauk Basin Historyby Wesley C. Engstrom 2006 -(pdf file)
Existing & Forgotten
Towns Along This Segment