White Bluffs, Hanford Reach & South Slope


Day Hike - White Bluffs, Hanford Reach & South Slope

There are good views to be had in this area and much of the plant life is unique to areas east of and near the Columbia.

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  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Elevation Gain: 1,200 ft

Meet at Ravenna P&R underneath I-5 at 65th north at 6:15 AM. Be visible opposite the expresso stand in the portion of the P&R north of 65th.

The White Bluffs area offers very nice views along the free flowing Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. Many birds and interesting flower species, many endemic, are to be found. I've visited this area a couple of times already this year and look forward to seeing which new species will have come out. My experience is that White Bluffs South as described in the book does entail some travel off trail generally in grassy meadows. I expect to do the loop shown in the book nearest the road and not travel as far as described by the authors in their description. The route I followed had one somewhat exposed section on a game trail about 10" wide for about fifteen feet as it crosses a steep dirt slope. This slope can be avoided by backtracking 1/4 mile to a flat meadow and walking up the road but good scenery will be missed. Estimated five miles with 700' of elevation gain.

If time allows we should have time for a quick out and back to the nearest sand dune on the White Bluffs north hike which is just 5 miles from the White Bluffs south trail. The flowers are more profuse on the White Bluffs north hike again with endemics. Estimated 6 miles round trip with 500' of elevation gain.

This is a Naturalists hike, but I expect a generally fast pace on White Bluffs south and a slower pace with more stops if we do the north hike as well. On my last trip White throated Swifts played on the air currents in the late afternoon. I probably won't start home until about 5:30 pm.


White Bluffs, Hanford Reach & South Slope

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
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