- Your Public Lands
Umatilla National Forest (Pomeroy Ranger District), Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness
- What To Do
Panjab Trail (#3127) is a 5.6 miles one-way trail that ends at Indian Corral Area, which connects to multiple other trails within the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. The first three miles are a relatively easy, gentle slope. The remaining few miles are a more difficult ascent up the mountain. Note that the trailhead is actually three miles past Panjab Campground on NF-4713. The trailhead nearest the campground is actually Rattlesnake Trailhead (#3129) about ½ mile north (back down the road). To create a longer loop, utilizing a few trails, start at Panjab Campground; walk NF-4713 for three miles to the Panjab Trailhead; hike the 5.6 miles to Indian Corral; connect to Rattlesnake Trail; and hike back down that trail for five miles to the Rattlesnake Trailhead, which is a short walk from the Panjab Campground. Caution, Rattlesnake Trail is steep and dry so know your limits and bring plenty of water.
Panjab Campground is located along Panjab Creek. There are only three tent sites available. With many other campgrounds in the area, if this one is full there are other options such as Ladybug Campground (approximately two miles up the mountain on NF-4712 on the Tucannon River), Tucannon Campground (four miles back down the mountain on Tucannon Road), or there are several dispersed camping areas along Tucannon Road.
Consider downloading the Motor Vehicle Use Map. This part of the forest is reflected on Map 19. The Avenza Map app is also quite helpful as users can upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) within the app to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay your location on the map. Most of the intersections along the trail are not clearly marked, which is why this tool is so helpful.
- How To Get There
Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. There are two ways to access this part of the world. One involves gravel roads which are steep in places, although well-maintained. The other option is paved just about the entire way. If venturing out in the spring or late fall and aren’t sure of snow levels, consider the latter option.
For the mostly paved route, from Walla Walla take HWY 12 east to Dayton, WA. Continue on HWY 12 for another 13 miles and make a right turn on Tucannon Road (follow signs to Camp Wooten). Drive along Tucannon Road for 32 miles. The road will fork, so keep right on NF-4713 and the campground is on the left just after crossing the Tucannon River bridge.
If opting for the gravel option, from Walla Walla take HWY 12 east for 31 miles to Dayton, WA. Pass through town, and as the road makes a sharp left out of town, turn right onto Patit Road. Patit Road runs roughly 14 miles and ends at Hartsock Grade Road. Take a left at Hartsock Grade Road, which becomes a steep gravel road that is well maintained. Drive another three miles to meet Tucannon Road, and take a right. Drive 11 miles and the road will turn to a gravel forest road NF-47. Continue another four miles and the road forks, stay right to take NF-4713 and the campground is on the left just after crossing the Tucannon River bridge.
- When To Go
The campground is open year-round; however, it is not maintained in the winter and access is dependent on weather.
- What To Expect
Panjab campground is very small. Technically two fewer sites and it would be dispersed camping. Having the water nearby is quite nice, and the sun rarely has a chance to shine through with all the large, beautiful trees, so expect shade. Lots of trails in the area, and a number of stocked ponds for fishing are located back down Tucannon Road--overall a great part of the world to call home for a weekend.
To utilize the trail, it is $5 per vehicle per day or valid NW Forest Pass, which is available for purchase at our local Ranger District office (1415 West Rose Street), Bi-Mart on Plaza Way, Big 5 Sporting Goods off HWY 125, or online at the US Forest Service website. To utilize the campground, the fee is $8 per night and $5 per extra vehicle exceeding the maximum two vehicle per site allowance.
If outdoor enthusiasts have a Northwest Forest Pass, that satisfies the day use fee for the trail.
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.
At Panjab Trail there is a loading dock, hitching rails, water for stock, tables, fire rings, and two vault toilets. At the campsite there is one vault toilet.
- 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.