- Your Public Lands
Umatilla National Forest (Pomeroy Ranger District), Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness
- What To Do
Trails nearby include the Kelly Camp Trailhead, which provides access to July Ridge Trail (#3120) and Mt. Misery Trail (#3113). Diamond Trailhead provides access to Mt. Misery Trail (#3113), Melton Creek Trail (#3124), and Bear Creek/Jelly Springs Trail (#3110).
A popular hunting destination, Mt. Misery and the surrounding area has several dispersed camping areas to choose from.
How To Get There
Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. There are a couple of options. The first is to take HWY 12 east out of Walla Walla to Pomeroy, WA. Take right on S 15th Street/ Peola Road (there is a Umatilla National Forest sign) for 7.5 miles then keep straight to continue south on Mountain Road which becomes NF-40 (once you cross into the Umatilla National Forest). Continue on NF-40 for 15.5 miles and take right onto Diamond Creek Road/ NF-4030.
The second, potentially more scenic route, assuming there is no snow, is to take a right onto Patit Road out of Dayton, WA and travel 14 miles. Then take a left on Hartsock Grade Road, drive three miles along a steep gravel road and turn right on Tucannon Road. Follow for two miles and turn left on Blind Grade Road just before The Last Resort, a supply store and campground with RV spots. In 2.5 miles take a sharp right onto Linville Ridge Road and follow for 5.5 miles and take right onto Mountain Road/ NF-40. Continue on NF-40 for 15.5 miles and take right onto Diamond Creek Road/ NF-4030. Map this route out before you go especially if not familiar with the area.
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. This is likely the first spot to get snow, so if traveling in the fall beware of narrowing roads and steep hillsides. The main roads are quite well maintained and offer opportunities to pass other vehicles or turn around. That is not the case as you travel on spur roads to trails or more remote dispersed camping.
What To Expect
There is a good spot just past Kelly Camp Trailhead on the right side of the road on a lookout (may have been a stock unloading area in past), and another spot is at the Diamond Trailhead at the end of road. Regarding the Diamond Trailhead option, use caution as the road is narrow and steep. The road to get there receives very little sunshine (north side of the mountain) and the road stays snow and ice covered longer than other areas.
None required for dispersed camping.
Wilderness regulations apply in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. Such restrictions include no motorized equipment, bicycles, or hang gliders to name a few. Groups larger than twelve are prohibited as well as caching or leaving equipment or supplies for longer than 72 hours. Most applicable to hikers is the fact that shortcutting a switchback on any trail is also a violation of wilderness regulations. For a complete list of wilderness regulations applicable to those within the forest, visit the Umatilla National Forest website.
Dispersed camping is allowed in the Umatilla National Forest. This means you can camp up to 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.
No facilities in the immediate area, so pack it in and pack it all out. Leave no trace!
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.
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.