What Is a Wahatis Peak? / 瓦哈提斯峯是啥峯?

Miles ahead
Miles ahead

See more trip photos here.

In anticipation of today’s high precipitation rate over the mountains, the pup and I headed out east. But even the typically dry part of the state couldn’t escape the 50% plus chance rainfall. We left at the crack of dawn in hopes to beat the post 11 AM showers with an early start.

I stumbled upon Wahatis Peak while looking at our original plan White Bluffs in the Hanford Reach National Monument. It never occurred to me that there was another named high point farther east on the Saddle Mountain Range. Even though in the past pups and I had visited Sentinel Mountain a few times along the same ridge.

The Lowdown on Wahatis Peak

Access: Saddle Mountain Lookout Road
Round Trip: 8.3 miles
Elevation Range: 1900′-2692′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available

The Drive to Saddle Crest

The last-minute find meant that we didn’t need to drive as far; I didn’t mind the long drive. I’ve long enjoyed scenic road trips out east and seeing the ever-changing terrain from the car. Driving across the mighty Columbia River has always reminded me of how fortunate we are to live in this state.

After a beautiful drive through Mattawa and the community of Beverly, we finally turned on to Saddle Mountain Lookout Road. A quick, four-mile drive on the gradually deteriorating pavement brought us onto the ridge crest. We headed west on a spur road for another half a mile to before arriving at the first open gate.

See more trip photos here.

Windy Ridge

The gate had come off the broken hinge for some time so that cars could drive almost to the top. We parked by the entrance and started hiking from there to get our exercise in for the day. As luck would have it, it began to drizzle as soon as we started walking. So much for trying to beat the rain!

Despite many bumps along the ridge, I had hoped to hike on the crest to take in the scenery. But the southeast wind made it difficult to enjoy the views, so we ended up walking mostly on the road. Occasionally, we’d get off the road and traverse on the gentle north slopes to rid the boredom.

Radio Facility on a Windy Summit

It had been drizzling up until the moment got to the second open gate past the first tall tower. Even with a high-clearance vehicle, the residual snow from there to the top probably wouldn’t have been possible. The true summit was not by the towers but on a slightly taller bump nearby to the east.

A sign cemented among summit rocks read: “Farmboy Racing”. Not sure what it meant but it made for a cool marker. A beer bottle half-planted into the cement sat next to the sign. This trip was perhaps my first time seeing many towers atop a peak. We spent the majority of our stay dodging the wind on the north side of the rocks.

Partly Sunny Outro

The weather stayed mostly hazy and drizzly during the late morning, but glad the rain never materialized! Summit views mainly consisted of parts of the Columbia River the White Bluffs area. By the time we were halfway back to the car, the sun finally made a cameo through thick clouds.

Thanks for a rain-free afternoon
Thanks for a rain-free afternoon

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Saddle Mt Ridge near Mattawa. Another fantastic Paragliding sight. Giant sandy landing zone by Crab Creek. Watch out for Rattlesnakes and low flying military aircraft barely clearing the ridge! Never heard of Wahatis Peak.

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