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A local gateway into the Umatilla National Forest, Tiger Creek Road (sometimes referred to as Tiger Ridge Road or Tiger Canyon Road) is not maintained in the winter making it an excellent candidate for snow sports. When the snow is low on the mountains, this road is often just high enough to escape the fog.

  • Distance:

    Within 1.5 Hours

  • Difficulty Level:

    Day Tripper, Adventurer, Mountaineer

  • Seasons:

    Winter

  • Elevation:

    2,400 - 4,800 feet

  • Pets:

    Yes

  • Status:

    Open

  • Reservations:

    N/A

  • ADA:

    No

  • Multi-Use:

    No

  • Motorized Vehicles :

    No

  • Your Public Lands

    Umatilla National Forest (Walla Walla Ranger District)

  • What To Do
    • Cross Country Skiing/ Snowshoeing

      Tiger Creek Road begins at the intersection with Mill Creek Road. You should make it to the forest boundary gate located roughly one mile up Tiger Creek Road (becomes NF-65) with a reliable, traction-tire equipped, 4x4 or AWD vehicle, or find a safe, off-road location to park and begin your winter adventure. The West Tiger Creek Trail is a viable option to explore, although there are currently no structured crossings over the creek, so this is likely a spot to wander around. The Forest Service gate is approximately ½ mile up the road from West Tiger Creek Trail, and snow enthusiasts are allowed to travel beyond the gate. The road does a series of switchbacks up Indian Ridge. If you have the stamina you can take it to the Deduct Trailhead/Campground (somewhere in the neighborhood of eight miles), which is the upper end of the South Fork Walla Walla Trail.

  • How To Get There

    Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. This road is located a mere 19.5 miles from downtown Walla Walla. Head east on Isaacs Avenue and continue onto Mill Creek Road. Travel on Mill Creek Road for 14 miles. After 14 miles you will come to a junction with Tiger Creek Road. Turn right onto Tiger Creek Road. If you miss your turn, you will come to a gate for the Mill Creek Watershed. Once you find Tiger Creek Road, go ½ mile and West Tiger Creek Trail starts at the turnout on your right (there is a small parking area/ the sign actually says Tiger Ridge Trail). Otherwise, the gate is another ½ mile or so up the road. As a heads up, Tiger Creek Road becomes Forest Service Road 65 (NF-65) at the gate.Make sure to drive the appropriate vehicle. The road is somewhat well traveled, but in order to park or turnaround you may need to be able to navigate deep snow. Pack a shovel and tow strap as a precaution. Remember, the reason folks are able to recreate on the road is because the road is not maintained.

  • When To Go

    At the mercy of the weather pretty much sums up when to go. Some years we are blanketed in snow for Halloween, and other years we threaten to spend spring break in our bibs. The snow has to come down fairly low to have an enjoyable snow pack. Even if it isn’t a great year for snow, this is still a nice option for winter hiking.

  • What To Expect

    If visiting the West Tiger Creek Trail, you really can’t hike all that far before meeting the creek. That being said, it is still worth the jaunt down the hill--the area looks entirely different covered in snow. After enjoying the sound of a trickling creek, head on up the road. The grade is totally manageable, so you’ll be able to chat with your fellow snow enthusiasts without hyperventilating. Enjoy views of the mountains, forest, and hopefully get a little sun.

  • Fees

    None

  • Permits

    None

  • Regulations

    None other than being good stewards of the land!

  • Amenities

    None

  • 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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