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Atop the Blue Mountains is an awesome way to spend the weekend or longer. Neighboring Ski Bluewood, there are multiple places to dispersed camp and enjoy a star-filled evening with the family. Bring your hiking shoes, binoculars, and/or a few guide books and explore!

  • Distance:

    Within 1.5 Hours

  • Difficulty Level:

    Day Tripper, Adventurer

  • Seasons:

    Spring, Summer, Fall

  • Elevation:

    4,800 - 5,400 feet

  • Pets:

    Yes

  • Status:

    Open

  • Reservations:

    No

  • ADA:

    No

  • Multi-Use:

    N/A

  • Motorized Vehicles :

    N/A

  • Your Public Lands

    Umatilla National Forest (Walla Walla Ranger District)

  • What To Do
    • Hiking/ Biking

      Trails nearby include the Touchet Middle Tie Trail (#3240), Touchet Corral Trail (#3243), and Middle Point Ridge Trail (#3116).

    • Camping

      As you make your way along the ridge of Chase Mountain you will find several opportunities to make camp on both sides of the road. There is a larger group site on the right side of the road, and another at the end of a short spur road to the left. Further down the road, as you make your way to the top of the ridge, are more areas to select from.

  • How To Get There

    Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. From Walla Walla take HWY 12 east to Dayton, WA. Take a right on S 4th Street/N Touchet Road. After roughly 23 miles the road becomes gravel (NF-64) just past Ski Bluewood entrance. Drive another 1.5 miles and take a right onto NF-6437, which takes you up Chase Mountain. There is no exit, meaning the road does not loop around. In other words, it is an out and back.

  • When To Go

    The road closes at the end of November and opens beginning of April, so weather depending the area is open spring through fall. Since it is so close to town, consider this area as an escape from summer heat. Take advantage of the changing seasons; the wildflowers are worth the crisp spring air as is the fall foliage sprinkled among the evergreens.

  • What To Expect

    There are multiple opportunities to dispersed camp as you follow the road to the top of the mountain. Some are shaded by fir or pine trees while others sit atop bald ridgelines and offer views for as far as the eye can see. If a leisurely nature walk is your thing, then Chase Mountain is a great place to wander.

  • Fees

    None

  • Permits

    None required for dispersed camping.

  • Regulations

    Dispersed camping is allowed in the Umatilla National Forest. This means you can camp roughly 300 feet off whatever road (paved or primitive) where it appears others have camped in the past. Obviously, no facilities are available so pack in and pack everything out. These spots are common in the Blue Mountains, especially when there isn’t a campground near.

  • Amenities

    None available in the near vicinity. The closest vault toilet is the Touchet Corral Sno-Park. Pack it in and pack it all out.

  • Wildlife Awareness

    We are all so fortunate to recreate in the Blue Mountains. So many opportunities exist to play outside whether in a national forest, wilderness area, on a Wild and Scenic River, and more! With these opportunities comes great responsibility to appreciate that we are mere visitors and should all take pride in being good stewards of the wild. Many animals call these protected places home, including moose, elk, bear, cougar, bobcat, and snakes to name a few. Take precautions to respect their home and understand the appropriate response should an encounter occur. Additionally, many plant species thrive in the Blue Mountains, so staying on trail is always good practice. Carry First Aid supplies to better respond to accidents or encounters, and always let others know where the day's adventure is taking you.

  • Field Notes

    Navigation: Consider downloading the Avenza Map app. This app allows users to upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay GPS data from the phone onto the map. The vehicle use maps (for trails allowing motorized vehicles) are the easiest to use. Otherwise, Geo Tracker offers similar tracking capabilities and additional details about your adventure. If no service, Geo Tracker will at least show your location. The Blue Mountains and surrounding area offer a remote recreating experience, and knowing your location is paramount to staying safe. Always make sure to bring paper maps. Tell others where your adventure is taking you and when you expect to return.

    Difficulty Level: Here is what we are thinking when we assign a difficulty level: Day Tripper--You don't have much experience in the area but want to get outside! Great for families of all ages. Adventurer--You know your way around the Blue Mountains and love a leisurely day outdoors. Mountaineer--You are ready for a challenge. Wild places excite you and sweat is the goal. Small children beware. Keep in mind some activities may apply to multiple difficulty levels based on usage.

    Pets: In general, pets are allowed on a leash and under control throughout jurisdictions. The only restrictions we have encountered are around swimming areas. As a best practice, be mindful of riparian habitat in general. You never know where a precious spawning area might be located. Pack it in and pack it out applies to your furry friend as well.

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