Black Canyon (Apr 21, 2012)

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black_canyon_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Wenas Lake
Area: Yakima
Reference: Desert Hikes Washington
Stats: 10.75mi, 2058' gain (round trip)

I've been out to Black Canyon a few times. A great place to visit and a different approach to reach Umtanum Ridge. In Springtime it can be a GREAT place to see the wildflowers. I was a little early this year. Or was it late? It was hard to tell. There wasn't any snow so to speak on the route but the reliable flowers were absent. No worries. It's a beautiful trip early season before the heat of summer turns everything brown.

I parked down low (you really do need a Subie or higher clearance vehicle to read the "real" TH. I didn't want to risk it with Gertie (my new Jetta Sportwagen). So hiking from the road on the road...I first reached the TH parking area. From here the old jeep track is bermed which doesn't stop some of the 4-wheeler cheater (as the fresh tracks I saw made it evident). The road narrow in the lower part of the canyon. In late Spring it's worth watching out for rattlesnakes. Ticks were my only concern today.

I hike up the old road to the junction and then stayed right. This "road" heads east and gains Umtanum Ridge further east. I hit the ridge, walked westerly along the ridge crest on the road, and then at the first real junction, headed south down yet another road meeting up with my track nearly completing my lollypop loop trip. Then it was a sort trip back out to the car.

I was pleasantly surprised to see no one else out on the "trail" this day. It was nice feeling like I had the place to myself.
Black Canyon Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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