Photos from this trip can be found here.
Feeling uninspired by the weekend’s mountain forecast, once again we found ourselves east of the mountains. Yakima Skyline Ridge has been one of my favorite to-go places in Central Washington, with perhaps the best view into Yakima River Canyon. The scorching hot summer trips we’ve taken in the past simply couldn’t compare with the beauty of this place in the winter.
After passing through the gate, I managed to drive to near end of the 1.7-mile road and parked right before deeper snow in fear of getting high-centered. Semi slushy snow quality with a crusty layer on top made for a tiresome walk in boots from car to trailhead. Put on snowshoes at the trailhead and followed summer trail to the ridge. Only six to eight inches of snow on average, but snow quality made the going slow. Somehow walking on these hills today felt more exhausting than getting up a Cascade mountain.
From the ridge we followed canyon rim northward aiming for Gracie Point, which was still capped in clouds after we arrived. Views were minimal on top, so we spent just enough time to eat and take group photos before heading back down.