Kelly Hollow (Apr 16, 2011)

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kelly_hollow_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS The Cottonwoods
Area: Ellensburg/Yakima
Reference: Desert Desert Hikes Washington
Stats: 11.82mi, 2288' gain (round trip)


I wanted to try a new hike in the desert hike series. This one looked promising. It was just further east/south along Umtanum Ridge from Black Canyon. What the heck...I'll give it a go.

I could have driven through the gate with the Subie but even I, with the higher clearance Subie didn't like the look of the road so I backed up a bit and parked outside the gate. The "route" follows a 4WD road. I hiked all the way up the road to the ridge and bumped into a couple of nice gents. We chatted a bit (did I mention they were awfully nice) and then I found a nice spot for a late lunch. It was a short break before the hike back out.

The trip wasn't quite what I'd imagined. It was beautiful but here are some thoughts...

The road/route follows an area that is much more open that Black Canyon.

The road/route is open to higher clearance vehicles. In fact as I was walking a couple of trucks did amble up the road. The road isn't in good shape. OK for high clearance but it was really a pain in the neck...OK pain in the feet...to walk. Lots and lots of rocks. It felt like I was walking through a quarry.

The trash...oh my goodness...the garbage and debris that just littered the area. I'm guessing that because the road is accessible to high clearance vehicles that people do drive up here for target practice. And...they bring and leave behind their targets (old PC monitors, washing machines, tires, etc). I couldn't believe the amount of garbage littering such a beautiful area. This place could really use a clean up. Get a couple of high clearance trucks and a crew of volunteers to pick up and pack out all this junk.

So I can say I hiked this trip. I think I can also say I don't think I'll be back. Lots of the other trips in this area have much better payoff for the effort.
 
Kelly Hollow Slideshow

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