Let’s talk about trails for a moment. Many of the roads that follow a river (Tucannon, Mill Creek, South Fork Walla Walla, and Umatilla) are washed out in at least one location preventing access to lower trailheads. Typically, we start hiking the trails around the Umatilla Forks area, well, now. This year that is not possible.
To help expedite repairs, consider volunteering with the Blue Mountain Land Trust Blues Crew. Their charge is to help maintain trails in our area, a task that will require great effort by many for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned for an updated work plan.
Know that our governing entities are working hard to make repairs as well. This will take time. Please be patient, and look for opportunities to lend a helping hand. We will share that information when we see it.
In the meantime, stretch your legs and fill your lungs with fresh, almost spring air. Give these trails a try and let mother nature work her stress relieving magic.
After years of living in the area, it is easy to take the Columbia River for granted. In reality, this historic, geologically fascinating area deserves a visit from time to time. Though slightly outside of the Blue Mountain region, the Twin Sisters hike offers expansive views of the Gorge, so pull over next time you are en route to I-84 and enjoy.
North of town and thanks to a group of local, engaged elementary students, Palouse Falls is the official state waterfall of Washington. Dropping roughly 180 feet, Palouse Falls is a must see attraction. Yet another geologically interesting location, it is truly an impressive feature of the landscape. The park offers multiple views of the falls and many interpretive signs to enrich the experience.
Following the North Fork of the Touchet River and nestled between Chase Mountain and Middle Point Ridge, the Middle Point Ridge Trail is a mere 17 miles from Dayton, WA and 48 miles from Walla Walla. The views are fantastic. As the crow flies, the trailhead is almost the same latitude as Walla Walla. An excellent trail choice for folks interested in trekking a few miles as well as for those eager to spend a full day or more in the mountains.
Trail options increase greatly once the snow up top melts at hopefully a manageable rate. Until then, try a snow sport, which we will discuss below.