Black Canyon (Umtanum Ridge)


Backpack - Black Canyon (Umtanum Ridge)

An overnight late-week (Thursday-Friday) backpacking trip to Black Canyon/Umtanum Ridge. This trip is all about the journey – wildflowers and birds, a beautiful canyon, and expansive views from our campsite on the ridge. This trip is rated as moderate difficulty, with 7 miles RT and 1250 ft elevation gain.

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 7.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,250 ft

TBD based on roster

Prime season for viewing desert wildflowers and a hot-spot for spring bird watching, Black Canyon is considered a gem of our Washington Desert trips.  Hike through a canyon of black basalt talus slopes, with hillsides of wildflowers.  Attain the ridge for expansive views to the northeast, Kittitas Valley, and to the west, the Cascades. We will setup camp on the ridge and spend some time exploring.  This trip is also during a full moon, so with luck of a clear sky, we may have some interesting night-time views.

This will be a dog-friendly trip, with at least one Springer Spaniel along with us.

If you have any questions about this trip, gear, etc., please don’t hesitate to contact the leader.
Note: while this trip is open to all club members, the trip is part of the Foothills Branch, B3 Backpacking Series.

A few notes: 

  • Water sources may be scarce, so plan to carry most of your water for the trip.
  • Pace will be slow to moderate (see note above).
  • Plan to wear sturdy boots, light-colored clothing and wide-brimmed sunhat for the hike; bring warm clothes for the desert night and likely windy ridge.
  • The high desert of Eastern Washington is also home to bighorn sheep, elk, wild mule deer, rattlesnakes and ticks.  More information on what to do in case of a chance encounter will be shared in trip communications and at the trailhead.

Black Canyon (Umtanum Ridge)

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports