Yakima Skyline to Gracie Point (Mar 10, 2012)

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yakima_skyline_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Pomona
Area: Yakima
Reference: Desert Hikes Washington
Stats: 10mi, 2723' gain (round trip)

The thought of another wet, sloppy and cold snowshoe wasn't appealing to this group. This time of year the pull is to head east and get some dirt under the boots. Suzanne did the arraning and a nice sized group was in. Best part...leaving the snowshoes, ice axe and microspike at home!

The group: SuzanneH, BarryS, JimK, and Gus.

I'd been nearly up to the top of Gracie last year. It's barely a bump on the ridge but the booming thunderstorm headed my way had me skedatling for cover.

Heading east worked, as soon as we were over the pass, the skies turned blue. Nice...

Trail is obvious...just follow the track heading first uphill and then it pretty much follows the ridge crest after than with lots of minor ups and downs along the way.

I love this trail. I've reached the ridge from other TH's. The view down to Roza Dam and the Yakima River is beautiful. We were a little early for the flowers but that's OK...a little bit of yellow did manage to poke it's head above ground before we got there. The bitterroot too were up but far from blooming.

Given that it was mid March...temps were still a bit on the chilly side and it was a bit windy.

We continued along the ridge until the point was in site. There are lots of old dirt road tracks up here. Many are drivable if you have a high clearance vehicle. When we had Gracie in sight we stayed high following an old road trail that goes west of the real Skyline Ridge trail. We circled around the base and then eventually just picked a line and headed up.

It was a bit windy at the top so after a couple of photos, we dropped down the north side a bit and found shelter for lunch.

Here I turned around. The rest of the group continued on a short bit (maybe a 1/2 mile or so) so that they could call it a double digit mileage hike. I took a slow pace letting the double digiters catch up and then we followed the trail back down to the car. Before getting in...quick tick check for people and pets. Ick!
Yakima Skyline Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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