- Your Public Lands
Umatilla National Forest (Pomeroy District), Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness
- What To Do
This 4.5 mile trail connects with Elk Flat Trail (#3241) before ending at the junction of Jelly Springs Trail (#3110) and Bear Creek Trail (#3110). At the junction, though, both trails are numbered #3110. The trails are actually named differently. Several dispersed camping options are available along the trail if creating a longer loop or multi-day backpacking trip.
How To Get There
Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. Take HWY 12 east 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. Drive another three miles to meet Tucannon Road, and take a right. The pavement ends at the Tucannon Campground but continues as gravel forest road NF-46 for another four miles. At this point, the road splits. Veer left onto NF-4712 for five miles, climbing up the hillside past Ladybug Campground and ending at the Tucannon Trailhead.
If winter comes early or hangs around late, this route may be closed. There is a flashing sign at the Patit Road turn off that lets you know if the road is open or closed. In case this route is closed, continue on HWY 12 for 13 more miles and take a right onto Tucannon Road just after crossing the Tucannon River bridge. Follow for roughly 32 miles and veer left at the fork to take NF-4712 the remaining five miles to the road's end.
When To Go
Easier access to this part of the forest is best starting late spring. You might give the Forest Service time to clear any down trees from the road or at least check in with them if early in the season. There aren't many places to turn around, especially if you have a larger vehicle. Once you reach the trailhead, there is ample parking and a few dispersed camping spots.
What To Expect
This trail enjoys a mild incline along the Tucannon River skirting the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. Because the first quarter mile is in the wilderness, no mountain bikes or motorized vehicles are allowed. The trail is above the river and it is visible in places. This is definitely tick country. Make sure to check everyone, including your loyal pooch, for one or more hitchhikers. The trail isn't well suited for young families as there is still quite a bit of debris on the trail. Consider making the trek to the trailhead and exploring the area along Sheep Creek, the view, or maybe picnic at one of two dispersed camping sites that are located at the trailhead. Unless using this trail to connect into a longer backpacking trip, consider using other trails in the area. We will update on any changes of the status of this trail as it is not visibly maintained at this point.
A $5 day-use fee is collected at the trailhead if you don't have an annual permit, such as the NW Forest Pass.
If wanting a permit good for many more adventures throughout the Pacific Northwest, consider a Northwest Forest Pass, National Forest Recreation Day Pass, or America the Beautiful Pass.
The first quarter mile of the Tucannon Trail is in the wilderness area. 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.
There is one vault toilet at the trailhead.
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.