What Is a Wahatis Peak / 瓦哈提斯峯是啥峯

I came across Wahatis Peak while looking at White Bluffs in the Hanford Reach National Monument. I didn’t know about this high point farther east on the Saddle Mountains. But the pups and I have visited Sentinel Mountain along the same ridgeline a few times.

Wahatis Peak miles ahead
Wahatis Peak miles ahead

I wanted to avoid the high rain forecast over the mountains. So the pup and I went out east. But even the ordinarily dry part of the state couldn’t escape the 50%-plus chance rainfall. So we left at the crack of dawn. The goal was to beat the post 11 AM showers with an early start.

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

Driving up to Saddle Crest

The last-minute find meant we wouldn’t have to drive as far. But I didn’t mind the long drive. I enjoy road trips and see the ever-changing terrain from the car. Driving across the mighty Columbia River has always made me appreciate life in this state.

We enjoyed a beautiful drive through Mattawa and the community of Beverly. Then we turned on to the Saddle Mountain Lookout Road. A four-mile drive on the worsening pavement took us up on the ridge crest. Then we drove west on a spur road for another half a mile. Soon, we came up to the first open gate.

The open gate
The open gate

See more trip photos here.

Windy Ridge Traverse to Wahatis Peak

The gate had come off the broken hinge for some time. 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.

Bumps on the ridge
Bumps on the ridge

See more trip photos here.

Wahatis Peak with Radio Facility

It had been drizzling up until the moment we got to the second open gate past the first tall tower. A high-clearance vehicle could perhaps get one up to the summit. But the leftover snow from the entrance to the top would probably cause some issues. The real summit wasn’t next to the towers. Instead, it’s on a nearby taller bump to the east.

A cemented sign among the summit rocks read: “Farmboy Racing.”. Not sure what that meant, but it made for a neat marker. A beer bottle half-planted in the cement was next to the sign. This trip was perhaps my first time seeing that many towers on a peak. We dodged the wind on the north side of the rocks during our stay.

Southern panoramic view
Southern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Partly Sunny Outro

The summit views primarily comprised parts of the Columbia River in the White Bluffs area. It was mostly hazy and drizzly in the late morning. But glad the rain never materialized! The sun made a cameo later through thick clouds as we hiked back to the car.

And now, the long drive back home.

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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