Trip

Day Hike - White Bluffs - Hanford Reach - North Slope

White Bluffs - Hanford Reach - North Slope

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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.
  • Sat, Apr 21, 2012
  • Seattle 20-30 Somethings
  • Day Hiking
  • Adults
6:00 AM at 65th St P&R
It's that time of the year again! This is my annual hopefully-not-cold-hiking-season-kickoff trip to Hanford Reach! If you've never been on this hike before, it's quite a treat. The drive is far, but you're rewarded by a full-bore desert in the middle of Washington. The only thing missing is the cactus. We start hiking from a beautiful grove of trees next to the Columbia River, and hike up along the bluffs and to the sand dunes. The hike is along the Columbia River as it bends around the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Across the river you can see some of the buildings from the reservation as well as the mountains in the background. It's a very surreal place. No need to bring your Geiger counter either. Usually we have some opportunity to explore below the cliffs or around the dunes and often can go down to the river, but it depends on the year and if the trails are not too eroded. Most years, the flowers are out in full force and there is plenty of time for pictures. In years past we have also seen lots of wildlife - birds, deer, lizards, and the occasional Mountaineers group floating the river. This hike runs about 4-5 miles (depending on where and how far we go), and a few hundred feet of elevation gain. Despite the easy-looking stats and our relaxed pace, this one can sneak up on you because of the hot desert environment. Still, this hike is definitely appropriate for new hikers. This is a popular hike so register early!
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