Rattlesnake Hills Lookout by Yakima Ridge in Benson County / 響尾蛇山丘

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Rattlesnake Hills Lookout by Yakima Ridge is the highest point in Benson County. It spans east from Union Gap to one of the handfuls of Rattlesnake Mountains in the state. Meanwhile, it’s within arm’s reach of Hanford Reach National Monument.

Rattlesnake Hills Lookout is calling
Rattlesnake Hills Lookout is calling

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Rattlesnake Hills Lookout at a Glance

Access: State Route 241
Round Trip: 11 miles
Elevation Range: 2040′-3629′
Gear: none
GPS track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface on Rattlesnake Hills Lookout

The questionable weather had us seek out Eastern Washington after yesterday’s outing. The military training hindered the initial plan to explore Hog Ranch Buttes. But I’ll call before undergoing the lengthy background check.

I looked through a list of nearby places we hadn’t visited, the closest being Rattlesnake Hills Lookout. But a few reports mentioned going through private property. Gurr. What must a man and his dog do to have fun?!

Today's crew on Baldy
An uphill battle

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Hiking to Rattlesnake Hills Lookout

We parked west of the lookout off SR 241 and went through the first gate after crossing the quiet highway. The second gate came up in a few hundred yards, so we passed it and hiked south. From there, it’d be a long way to the top.

Views behind us expanded soon after. Then we were back to walking east at the next road bend for the rest of the trip. Not sure if we’d run into others out here this time of the year.

I walk these streets alone
I walk these streets alone

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Walking the Ridgeline

Sunshine sometimes seeped through the overcast sky at first as we hiked toward the ridgetop. But soon, the sun came out and brought the gloomy place back to life. Meanwhile, we savored the smell of sagebrush throughout.

It grew much windier on the ridgetop. While the bare ridge couldn’t guard us from the gusts, the sun offered the needed solace. Glad I brought a windbreaker for the trip. Then it was still a ways to go from the first radio towers.

Radio towers before Rattlesnake Hills Lookout
Radio towers before Rattlesnake Hills Lookout

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Rattlesnake Hills Lookout Sunshine

It howled at the high point with the wind going in all directions. So instead of ducking behind the buildings, we walked down the north slopes and enjoyed the views there. Meanwhile, the pup had a merry ol’ time rolling in the grass.

The hazy horizon made it tough to tell one hill from another. But I must’ve glanced at the Handford Reach area but didn’t know it. The White Bluffs south slope would’ve also been my backup plan had this trip not pan out.

White Bluffs in a haze
White Bluffs in a haze

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Outro

On the walk back, we made a few stops to see the southern landscape despite the wind gusts. The afternoon sun over the hazy horizon had added colors to the otherwise dull sight. Mount Rainier stood to the west under the thick clouds.

Clouds capping Mount Rainier
Clouds capping Mount Rainier

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