Wahatis Peak by Taunton Benchmark in Saddle Mountains / 瓦哈提斯峯

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Wahatis Peak is a summit between Taunton Benchmark and Sentinel Mountain in the Saddle Mountains. It’s also the third-highest point on the mountain range. The quickest way to the peak is via the dirt road from the south.

Wahatis Peak miles ahead
Wahatis Peak miles ahead

See more trip photos here.

Wahatis Peak at a Glance

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

Another Rainy Weekend

It was another rainy weekend in the mountains. I planned to start hiking early enough to avoid the shower forecast past 11 AM. So the pup and I left for Eastern Washington at the crack of dawn.

It started drizzling as we neared White Bluffs. So even the usually dry part of the state couldn’t escape the 50% chance of rain. Then at the last minute, I came across Wahatis Peak as I looked for a backup hike.

Through the open gate
Through the open gate

See more trip photos here.

Up to Saddle Crest

I enjoy seeing the ever-changing landscape as I drive. Going across the mighty Columbia River has always made me appreciate life in Washington State. Then it was a beautiful drive through Mattawa and Beverly.

Later, we took the Saddle Mountain Lookout Road. A four-mile drive on the worsening roadway took us up on the crest. Then we drove west on a spur road for another half a mile to the open gate.

Today's crew on Wahatis Peak
Today’s crew on Wahatis Peak

See more trip photos here.

Windy Ridge Traverse to Wahatis Peak

The gate had come off the broken hinge for some time. But we started walking from there to get our exercise for the day. Then as luck would have it, it drizzled again as we started hiking. So much for trying to beat the rain!

I wanted to cross the rolling ridge for the view. But the southeast gusts had made it less enjoyable, so we ended up staying on the road instead. Sometimes we would drop onto the mild north slopes for some variety.

Bumps on the ridge
Bumps on the ridge

See more trip photos here.

Wahatis Peak with a Radio Facility

A high-clearance car could go to the top from the second open gate past the first tower. But the leftover snow by the entrance would likely pose some issues. The actual summit was on a taller bump to the east.

A cemented sign amid the summit rocks read “Farmboy Racing,” unsure what it meant. A beer bottle half-planted in the cement sat next to the signage. It was perhaps my first time seeing that many towers on a peak.

Southern panoramic view from Wahatis Peak
Southern panoramic view from Wahatis Peak

See more trip photos here.

Partly Sunny Outro

It was mainly a drizzling morning, but the rain never formed. We stayed on the north slopes during our visit to avoid the wind. Summit views included Columbia River near White Bluffs.

The sun later made a cameo through heavy clouds as we walked back to the car. And now it’s time for the long drive back to the other side of the mountains.

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

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Norm Haynes

    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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