Cowiche Canyon


Day Hike - Cowiche Canyon

An East of the Cascades Naturalist trip with opportunities for birds, wildflowers, and geography, on a gentle grade rail trail along Cowiche Creek.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 100 ft

Updated:  West trailhead at Cowiche Canyon at 9:30 am.  

Directions to trail head:  From I-82 take exit 31A to get on westbound US-12. Take the second exit, signed “N 40th Ave. and Fruitvale Blvd.” Drive under the freeway, across Fruitvale, and in 1.5 miles turn right onto Summitview Ave. Continue 7.1 miles and turn right on Weikel Rd., signed for the Cowiche Canyon Trail.From Ellensburg, drive east on Interstate 82 to exit 31A to get on westbound US 12. Take the second exit off US 12 --the exit is signed "N. 40th Ave. and Fruitvale Blvd." Drive under the freeway, across Fruitvale, and in 1.5 miles from US 12 turn right onto Summitview. Continue for 7.1 miles and turn right on Weikel Road (signs on Summitview indicate Cowiche Canyon turnoff). Drive 0.4 mile on Weikel Road, and turn right at the sign for Cowiche Canyon.

We’ll see basalt and andesite cliffs along a creek with wildflowers in the spring.  The creek is always close at hand, and the riparian vegetation and sagebrush hillsides are home to numerous species of songbirds, while raptors and vultures circle above the cliffs. 

As a Naturalist trip, we will move slowly and pause frequently to identify species and listen to bird calls.  

Bring binoculars. Here is a link to maps and more information:


Cowiche Canyon

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports