Black Canyon (Apr 19, 2008)

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black_canyon_coverConditions: Day Hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Wenas Lake
Area: Yakima
Reference: Best Desert Hikes Washington
Stats: 9.9mi, 1931' gain (round trip)

Black Canyon is a great early season hike. It's right off Wenas Road near Ellensburg and Yakima. Before it gets hot enough to fry an egg on your forehead, this is a great place so see the last few patches of snow and new flowers emerging from those lingering patches.

Lupine, shooting stars, grass widows, yellow bells, bitterroot, balsam root...so much variety.

There is an old homestead cabin in the canyon. Each year it looks just a tiny bit more overgrown. The area slowly in the process of reclaiming the homestead.

We usually start at the upper trailhead if we have a car with the clearance to get there (and the road is drivable). From the upper lot the trail (an old road) enters the canyon and a series of berms block the way for ATV's (though the past few trips it's clear the ATVs are still going over or around the berms). The series of old roads goes higher and higher up (4WD and ATV are allowed on the higher reaches of the area) until reaching the ridge.
 
Black Canyon Slideshow

black_canyon_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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