2018/1/28 – Monument Coulee VI / 豐碑深谷之六

Umatilla Rock
Umatilla Rock

Photos from this trip can be found here.

This weekend Puget Sound area had a lower precipitation rate, but the near 40-mph coastal wind gusts had us once again resort to the other side of the Cascades. The absent of snow this year gave the coulee a whole new look, different from our previous visit last January.

Ever since our first visit to the state park, I had been curious about the east rim but never got the chance to figure out a way up. So to curb my curiosity, this time we walked through Camp Delany to the east end of the coulee and came upon an inconspicuous hikers path leading to the top. It began to drizzle the minute we started hiking along the rim, which was around the time the fog slowly crept in.

Gateway to the other side
Gateway to the other side

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Views into the coulee were not bad despite lower visibility. We meandered north to above north end of Red Alkali Lake and took a break. Afterward, we hiked another few hundred feet west and found another inconspicuous path leading down into the basin. The descent through a large talus field made me wish I had brought my helmet.

Back at the coulee floor, we reconnected with one of the several trails and hiked west into Dry Falls Lake Basin. By the semi-frozen Dry Falls Lake, we picked up the end of the unpaved road and hiked south to the lower end of Umatilla Rock, then hiked back out to the car parked outside the gate.

Open arms
Open arms

Photos from this trip can be found here.

The constant smell of sagebrush brought back memories of summer, which reminded me that spring was now less than two months away!

Access: Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
Gear: none

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