Photos from this trip can be found here.
In the past I’d drive on the rough road on south slopes to start hiking near the radio towers. Thanks to the last report, I finally found out about trails on the canyon side to get to our usual stopping spot at Point 2737 overlooking Roza Dam. Elevation gain + real exercise = hooray!
Parked at the unsigned pullout east of Canyon Road near milepost 4, approximately 24 miles south of the Ellensburg exit. Another option was to take I-84 south, approach from Pomona, WA, and park at the aforementioned pullout. Personally I much preferred scenic drive through Yakima River Canyon.
Trail headed northeastward and topped out near the towers. But on the west rib at 2,600′, just north of the flat area at 2,300′, we left the trail and traversed northward paralleling the ridge. Roughly maintained same elevation while aiming for the saddle east of Point 2737, followed by an easy walk-up to the top.
It had been sunny up until now, when clouds started rolling in from the west. A couple of hikers showed up with their dog a while later and launched their drone from the lookout right after we left.
On the way back, we hopped on the ridge and hiked southward toward the towers. Then descended the ridge westward past the fence and got on trail again at 2,600′. Sun came out again just as we were halfway down the butte. Briefly talked to three hikers with their two dogs as they were hiking up.