Meeks Table (Jun 10, 2012)

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meeks_table_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Meeks Table
Area: Yakima/Ellensburg
Reference:
Stats: 5.5mi, 857' gain (round trip)


Meeks Table is a real gem. Too bad it's such a loooong drive. I'd heard about this trip for some time hearing bits and pieces of it from several friends. I had an inkling to check it out an managed to talk Gwen, Kirsten and Jim into joining me. I think Kirsten was the only one who had previously been here. Carpooling from the SE8th P&R we cruised over I90 and headed out towards Ellensburg then down to Yakima and then finally back up Hwy 410. Yes...it was a long drive....3h15m. Yikes!

There was a bit of snow left on the road and I wasn't sure Gertie (Jetta Sportwagen) would clear it without getting stuck. So, we parked back near the previous turnoff at a wide spot in the road and we were "hiking" by 10:15am. Meeks Table is interesting. It's an almond shaped mesa with one approach from the west side. Nearly all other sides are a steep cliffs that drop off. The first park of the hike is on an old logging road. Evidence of recent logging were all around. Since Kirsten had been there before, she recalled scouting for a thin boot patch leaving the road that then widens into a more real trail. The route goes through some nice forest and then begin a short but steep climb to the ridge that provides access to the table.

When we finally reached the ridge, we saw our first flowers. Then more. Then an exclamation of "I SEE BITTERROOT"! The ridge walk isn't long but it then suddenly flattens as we reached the table. Lots of large ponderosa trees, long green grasses and tons of flowers on the table. Kirsten suggested we do the table counter clockwise so we kept to our right, on the south side of the table (at first). We found a nice lunch rock and stopped for a break with some views.

We slowly walked the outside edge of the table with short jaunts deeper in.

It's only a bit over 1.5+ miles from the car to the start of the table. The hike itself is short so there is plenty of time to dawdle (photography).
 
Meeks Table Slideshow

meeks_table_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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