Yakima Skyline Ridge VIII / 雅基馬天際線脊之八

  • Reading time:3 mins read

The rainfall outlook in the mountains was high. So once again, we followed the sunshine east to Yakima Skyline Ridge. We spent New Year’s Eve here six years ago as well. And it continued to be my go-to place during the rainy season. I also consider the ridge to be the most scenic part of the river canyon.

Gracie Point on Yakima Skyline Ridge
Gracie Point on Yakima Skyline Ridge

See more trip photos here.

Yakima Skyline Ridge at a Glance

Access: Yakima Skyline/Rim Trailhead
Round Trip: 10.4 miles
Elevation Range: 1300′-3240′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

End of Drivable Road to the Trailhead

It was our second time going up the rim. Once again, I parked at the gated Buffalo Road. It’s just over two miles from the main turnoff. We first squeezed through the side gate. Then we hiked under one mile to the trailhead. I wondered if the locks stayed on all year round.

The sun came out before we reached the trailhead. Hurray! We then hiked east and went slightly uphill. Before long, we were at the base of the rim. There we had the first sighting of Selah Butte. The elevation was still low. But we were high enough to see the broad Yakima Valley to the south. Soon, clouds gathered near the horizon.

Blue sky over Yakima Skyline Ridge
Blue sky over Yakima Skyline Ridge

See more trip photos here.

Yakima Skyline South

Halfway up the rim, I saw a hiker and a pup below us. It looked like we’d have company later. We continued to hike the trail and climbed up steadily toward Yakima Skyline South. It grew windy as we neared the high point. So we dodged the southwest wind by dropping onto the east slopes.

Soon, clouds spread across the blue sky. Then it was sun no more. I couldn’t tell by the shape of the clouds if it was going to rain. So we took a break below the peak to prepare for the windy ridge walk. I looked ahead and saw clouds shrouding Gracie Point. So no views today!

East panoramic view before the rain
East panoramic view before the rain

See more trip photos here.

Gracie Point

My favorite stretch of the ridgeline went from Yakima Skyline South to Gracie Point. It displayed a dramatic landscape and the ever-changing canyon view at every turn. The wind persisted. So we dropped onto the east slopes when we could. It then drizzled at the halfway point.

In the past, we would go up to Gracie Point from the south. But with the wind and the rain, we went around to the east instead. The summit was gusty, and the views were weak. But I could still see the sunlit Yakima Valley through the slow-moving mist. We stayed for a short time before going back down the east side.

East panoramic view after the rain
East panoramic view after the rain

See more trip photos here.

Outro

The rain stopped an hour later. But the slow-moving clouds lingered in the valley. We enjoyed the views from Umtanum Ridge to Selah Butte. On the way back to the south rim, we stopped above Roza Dam. Right then, it began to drizzle. Then the sun broke out of the clouds and formed a semi rainbow above the canyon.

Leave a Reply

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