Day Hike - Black Canyon (Umtanum Ridge)


Day Hike - Black Canyon (Umtanum Ridge)

Exploring nature for 13.5 miles averaging 1.75 MPH. (not Black Canyon) Parallel Umtanum Canyon and Ridge going up and down through many draws and side canyons. These varied terrains and environments lead to a large variety of flowers.

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  • Moderate
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 13.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 2,800 ft
  • Pace: 1.75, no maximum

7:45 AM 3/10 mile past/west of the Untanum Creek Falls Trailhead, This link is exactly where you want to go-   

This area does have ticks and rattlesnakes.  Most of the area we pass through burned in last year's fire (almost all of the grasses and flowers look to have survived). 

A trip report with attached photo album:

The group will almost certainly split up in part. The person or people in front will stop every half hour to let those trailing catch up.  

You can stop whenever you want to examine flowers, observe birds, take photographs, etc.  You can stop as often and as long as you like as long as you average 1.75 MPH. If you are traveling under that speed, I will ask you to stop less and hike more.   

I will provide a flower guide for the hike that will be sourced from the scouting hike I do the week before. 

Information about the steppe shrub ecosystem

A picture of the informative sign at the Cowiche Canyon Uplands explaining the strategies used by plants in dry, windy climes

This is a very helpful site that has information about plants and their families, this page discusses using the plant families as an approach to learning about plants: 

A Nick Zentner discussion that explains how Manastash and Umtanum Ridges were formed and are still growing.    (long version)   (short version) 

I am familiar with and can help you with the Washington Wildflower app. It is free, one of the multiple reasons it is preferred by many people I’ve talked to. It also lets you scan lists by partial names, including the family name. The flower album I have included has family names and descriptions. Getting to know the families will help greatly with identifying flowers (especially with this app).   

The location of our hike as seen on the Washington Wildflowers App. The location can be important because the app throws a pretty wide net when pulling up results and one of the first things you want to do when looking at a candidate is confirm that it has actually been observed in the location where you are. In this example the map is for Wenatchee desert parsley which was included in the possible results using this location, but is not found at this location.


Black Canyon (Umtanum Ridge)

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
Trip Reports