CHS 1 Hike - Yakima Skyline Ridge

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 1 Hike - Yakima Skyline Ridge

A wide-open-spaces desert ridge hike in Central Washington south of Ellensburg. A long drive, but worth it. CHS hike led at a CHS 1 pace (1.5-2.0 mph).

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.
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 6.1 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,920 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 2,730 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0 mph

Tibbetts Valley P&R in Issaquah (SR-900) at 7:00am.

This hike was cancelled due to COVID-19.


Yakima Skyline Ridge is a spectacular wide-open-spaces ridge hike in Central Washington south of Ellensburg.   Its a desert landscape, with low plants instead of trees, which means we'll be completely exposed to the open sky above and will have expansive views extending miles in all directions.  It is a bit of a drive to get there, a little over 2 hours each way, but for many the drive is considered worth it after an early spring spent hiking among the close-in trees and frequent grey winter skies west of the Cascade Crest.  As a bonus, on our way to the trailhead we'll drive through beautiful Yakima River Canyon, one of the prettiest driving routes in the area.

In order to satisfy CHS1 route guidelines for May our turnaround point will be the saddle at elevation 2500' about 1/3 of the way along the upper ridge that leads to Gracie Point.

 After the hike we'll stop to eat at a location in Ellensburg or Cle Elum TBD.


Yakima Skyline Ridge

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
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