Day Hike - Frenchman Coulee


Day Hike - Frenchman Coulee

Combination photography & naturalist slow paced hike to view, identify & photography wildflowers, rocks, scenery and a waterfall.

  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 4.8 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 259 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 1,046 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 mph or slower with frequent stops

Meet at the trail head at 9am. We will depart at 9:05am.

From Ellensburg, drive east on I-90 to exit 143, Silica Road and The Gorge Amphitheater. At the bottom of the ramp, go left under the freeway for 0.7 mile. Turn left on Vantage Road SW. A Discover Pass is required beyond this point. Travel 2.6 miles to a small, easy-to-miss gravel parking lot on the right, surrounded by concrete barriers. There are no amenities.

Note: I will be camping at Wanapum State Park on Friday night. You might consider doing this also. Or, check the roster and contact those willing to carpool.


This is a combination  photography and naturalist field trip - slow day hikers are welcome to join us. We will be hiking at a very slow pace with frequent stops to take photos and identify plants, etc.

Hiking poles are suggested to help maneuver loose rocks. A tripod is good for taking waterfall photos.

Be sure to pack your 10 essentials! This is a requirement, not a nice to have list!

Optional Sunday Activity:

Wildflower and Wind Power Walk: April 28th

Explore the vast array of shrub steppe wildflowers at the Wild Horse Wind Facility. Enjoy the guided wildflower walks, presentations, displays, and wind turbine tours. RSVP Required:

Morning Session:

  • 10 a.m. Wind Turbine Tour
  • 11 a.m. Wildflower Orientation
  • 11:30 a.m. Wildflower Walk

Afternoon Session:

  • 2 p.m. Wind Turbine Tour
  • 3 p.m. Wildflower Orientation
  • 3:30 p.m. Wildflower Walk

Frenchman Coulee Waterfall

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