Ryegrass Mountain by Sentinel Mountain via Columbia River / 黑麥草山

  • Reading time:6 mins read

Ryegrass Mountain by Sentinel Mountain ranks #4 highest in Saddle Mountains after Wahatis Peak. To the east lies the vast geologic preserve of Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. Then at the eastern foothills flows the Columbia River.

Ryegrass Mountain in the mists
Ryegrass Mountain in the mists

See more trip photos here.

Ryegrass Mountain at a Glance

Access: Huntzinger Road
Round Trip: 5,2 miles
Elevation Range: 2500′-4224′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

Over the years, Cody and I have covered much of the desert, so finding someplace new has become more challenging. We visited Mount Finlayson of San Juan Island last week. Then today, we came to the east to Ryegrass Mountain.

This morning, snow and ice over Snoqualmie Pass called for traction tires. Clouds had moved into Kittitas Valley with low visibility as we drove through Ellensburg. But the weather still looked more promising east of the crest.

A cloudy start
A cloudy start

See more trip photos here.

Ryegrass Mountain by Vantage, Washington

The community of Vantage sits west of the Vantage Bridge, north of I-90. Not sure how its name became synonymous with the climbing area in Frenchman Coulee. But the two places are nowhere close to each other.

The top of Ryegrass Mountain sits inside the Yakima Training Center. But most of the hike occurs in Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. Before long, we exited the freeway and went south on Huntzinger Road.

Can't keep us out
Can’t keep us out

See more trip photos here.

The East Route

I thought we’d see the sun here, but the low clouds had suggested otherwise. At under a mile from the highway, I parked past the small gravel pit east of the road. Then we started walking in the mists through flat terrain.

Several unnamed dirt paths took us west on a gradual incline. We later came upon the main road above 1600′ and hiked awhile. An unlocked gate soon showed up, marking the Yakima Training Center boundary.

Columbia River, at last
Columbia River, at last

See more trip photos here.

Ryegrass Mountain Summit Plus Outro

There wasn’t much to see in the mists, so we only stayed long enough for our selfies. Clouds later shifted when we went down to the foothills. Then we got foggy glimpses of the Columbia River and Vantage Bridge.

Conditions over the mountains had improved since this morning. WSDOT had also cleared several spin-outs long before we drove back through the pass. Glad we avoided any traffic delays altogether.

Thanks for another cloudy day
Thanks for another cloudy day

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from One Hike A Week / 每週一行

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading