Swakane Canyon (May 6, 2012)

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swakane_canyon_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Rocky Reach Dam
Area: Wenatchee
Reference: Desert Hikes Washington
Stats: 10mi, 2267' gain (round trip)


What a nice day on the east side (of the crest). Long discussions followed between, Jim, Kim, Gwen and I on just what "eastern Washington meant". We all knew...we were in central WA. East...who the heck knows where that starts :)

I'd been hankering for a trip up Swakane Canyon. It would be interesting how the burn back in 2009 changed the area. Found out an area already open and sparse on tree cover can get more open and more devoid of shade on a hot day.

The "trail" is really just a gated road. It does not follow the Canyon. Instead the road climbs up the north side of the canyon nicely gaining elevation and then it swings around to the east and then heads north.

Lots of flowers about. Some might say not many but for this area...I think this was about peak. Lots of lupine and balsam root about. A lone scarlet gilia had us all dumbstruck. We followed the roads through many twists and turns until about 3 miles in you hit the obvious "turn around point", the natural dike that makes a nice spot to take a break and have lunch. Kim hung around her stalking lizards while Jim, Gwen and I hiked further up the road til we got to some north slopes and yet another change in flowers...finding shooting stars of all things.

At a nice convenient spot on the road (switchback) we turned around and headed back to the meeting spot to find Kim hiking up the road to meet us. Lots of shutter delay on the hike back down to the car.   A nice sunny and warm day.
 
Swakane Canyon Slideshow

swakane_canyon_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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