Sentinel Mountain on Saddle Mountains / 馬鞍山脈中的哨兵山

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Sentinel Mountain is one of the several identified high points on the Saddle Mountains. The range begins in Kittitas Valley. Then it extends east over the Columbia River and ends to the south of Othello.

Sentinel Mountain high point
Sentinel Mountain high point

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Sentinel Mountain at a Glance

Access: Road R Southwest
Round Trip: 4 miles
Elevation Range: 2160′-2405′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Another Rainy Weekend

It was another weekend full of heavy rain. The precipitation rate was equally high throughout the western state. So naturally, we went east in search of the sun.

In contrast to the misty weather on the previous trip, today, we had nothing but blue sky. In other news, only 20 more posts to add to keep the blog up-to-date.

See more trip photos here.

Driving to Sentinel Mountain

It drizzled when we left home in the early hours. But despite the snowy forecast over Snoqualmie Pass, it ended up cloudy. Only slush and ice covered the roadways. Later it turned full-on sunny as we drove past the wind turbines.

I had wanted to try a new way from near the dunes south of Beverly. But I forgot to research the western approach before the trip. So once again, we took the same route via Mattawa. It’s a seven-mile, gravel drive from the main road.

Looking back
Looking back

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Sentinel Mountain Ridgetop

Shortly after passing Mattawa, we left the pavement. Soon, we reached the fork in the road after going over the irrigation duct. Without the sign, it’s tempting to take the well-groomed path to the right. But as I found out the hard way the first time, it led to a farmhouse.

A gorgeous day like today meant that dirt bikes would inundate the area. We gained elevation gradually through the lower canyons. Then it steepened after we drove past groups of RVs. I took a wrong turn halfway up and went farther west. But the road would join the standard route right below the ridge. Whew!

Sentinel Mountain radio towers
Sentinel Mountain radio towers

See more trip photos here.

Road Walk to the High Point

Driving up to the ridge isn’t an issue when snow-free. But when snow is present, the roads become muddy. But so far, we’ve been able to go up to the top on all trips. We hiked east toward the radio towers on mild terrain. But we would sometimes sidestep on the grassy northern slopes to avoid the wind.

We took a break by the radio facility. Then a group of bikers came up to the top. So I chatted with them for a while. The pups also got their first photo op of the year with the guys. Afterward, we walked down the gentle east side. To this day, I continue to envy whoever lives in the lone house above the cliffs. What a life!

Rural life
Rural life

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Back to the West Side

Sadly, we couldn’t walk too far east before reaching the gate. The “no trespassing” signs meant private property on the other side. So we hiked south for a bit to one of the many dirt roads. From there, we then made our way back up to the radio towers.

Another group of bikers showed up shortly. So I chatted briefly with a couple of them. Then we went back down the northern slopes to be out of the wind. There we took our usual break as I photographed the dramatic landscape. Later we hiked back past the car to the other side of the ridge.

More radio towers
More radio towers

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Sentinel Mountain West View Plus Outro

This side of the ridgeline gave a different view of the area. Not only did we get a closer look at the Columbia River. But we were also nearer to the rest of the Saddle Mountains on the other side of the water. I looked down at the west ridge and saw several dirt roads. So I knew it’s doable to come up that way.

The day slowly came to an end. So the number of dirt bikers had dwindled. But a few of them were still out getting their riding fix. It was another 45 minutes until sunset.

West-northwest panoramic view
West-northwest panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

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