Trip Report    

CHS 1 Hike - Yakima Skyline Ridge

A classic sunbreak trip to central Washington. Very windy but otherwise excellent.

  • Road recommended for high clearance only
  • As reported elsewhere, the last few hundred yards to the trailhead parking area are along an unpaved road with a very uneven surface.  We had a pair of Outbacks that handled it no problem, but standard clearance vehicles would likely have had difficulty.  As a fallback, it's possible to park where the pavement ends and walk to the trailhead from there; it's not every far.

    Trail in great condition throughout.   

This was a CHS hike to the Yakima/Umtanum area east of the Cascade Crest, with classic Central Washington goal of escaping the rain and finding dry conditions and wide open spaces.  The weather forecast called for very high winds - over 30mph - so high that the wind chill was expected to be in the 30s even though the temps were  expected to be in the 60s!   Even though it was very windy, the cold windchill temps did not happen, and we were comfortable all day.  Though somewhat wind-battered while on the trail, we lunched near our summit turnaround in the lee of some rocks, and enjoyed the classic view of Yakima Canyon, with the Yakima River  winding below and Selah Butte rising above it across the way.  After our hike we drove the scenic Yakima Canyon Road to Ellensburg, where we had some excellent pizza at Cornerstone Pie.

On the drive home the western Washington weather returned exactly on cue as we crossed over Snoqualmie Pass, where we were greeted by heavy rain, thick dark clouds, low visibility, and temperatures in the low 40s.  The contrast between east-of-the-crest and west-of-the-crest could not have been more stark.

Overall an excellent sunbreak hike in what is turning out to be an extended wet spring in Seattleland.


Photo credit: Bryn Bohanon