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Trip Report    

Day Hike - Umtanum Ridge

Good late winter/early spring hike for a sunshine break. If it's been a wet year, be prepared with poles & traction devices for footwear to aid on steep sections with slippery mud or snow.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Where the Umtanum Ridge trail departs from Umtanum Creek trail, there was several inches of water on the trail. Elsewhere water runs down or across the trail. USGS map shows area along this trail has seeps and seasonal streams.  On this day, there was little or no vegetation growth and no leaves on the trees.  Due to steepness of the trail, when it was muddy it was also slippery.  Near the top, snow was hard packed and traction on boots needed for safe travel.

Driving to the TH along Canyon Road, we saw many big horn sheep and deer on the steep sides of the canyon along the Yakima River.  The trail starts with a suspension bridge over the Yakima River and after passing the cut-off for the Umtanum Creek trail, winds up a shallow canyon.  We started out at 9:30 a.m. and after elevation gain of about 500 feet broke out into the sunshine.  Around 11:45, we stopped for lunch around 2800'-3000'; then, decided not to proceed further due to large areas of hard pack snow and lack of traction devices for boots.  Snowy Stuart Range and Ellensburg were clearly visible from our lunch spot on this blue sky day. We were back to our vehicles by 1:30pm, muddy and content to have spent a day in the sunshine.  IMPORTANT: Now needed all year, American the Beautiful pass or $5 daily fee (paid at TH). The state's Discover Pass is not valid here.