Moses Stool on Badger Mountain by Douglas Creek Canyon / 摩西凳

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Moses Stool on Badger Mountain sits west of Douglas Creek Canyon and Moses Coulee. To the direct east lies the second Badger Mountain high point. Meanwhile, this modest peak surrounds itself with canyons on all sides.

Moses Stool coming up
Moses Stool straight up

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Moses Stool at a Glance

Access: Rock Island Grade Road
Round Trip: 3.3 miles
Elevation Range: 3200′-3619′
Gear: none
Route Info: Robert Langdon
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

We tried visiting Moses Stool in December after Columbia Benchmark by Frenchman Coulee. But the closed gate on Rock Island Grade Road kept us from entering. After trying another way through fresh snow, we went home instead.

The forecast had called for snow over mountain passes in the late morning. But it came early as we went over the crest, and it flurried until after going past Easton. Then after a gas stop in Cle Elum, I decided to skip Blewett Pass.

Moses Stool straight up
Moses Stool straight up

See more trip photos here.

Rock Island Grade Road

So we took the long but scenic way over the Columbia River as the last time. Then from the open gate, we made our way up the steep, graded roadway over several bends. Views improved higher on the plateau.

The road’s name changed to N Road SW seven miles in as it veered north. Then it stayed straight until we reached the pass at mile 13 and parked. There the roadway went down the other side over several canyons to Waterville.

Moses Stool coming up
A dead-end start

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Moses Stool West Route

Unless we combined the hike with someplace nearby, it wasn’t worth the long drive. But beggars couldn’t be choosers when we needed a new place to visit. However, the sun and the solitude made it worthwhile.

From the gate, we walked the dirt road east toward the visible radio tower. Views of The Enchantments and canyons soon appeared as we strolled among sagebrush. Soon, we reached the broad basalt summit in under two miles.

The final stretch on Moses Stool
The final stretch on Moses Stool

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Moses Stool Summit Views

We walked over the old footing to enjoy the views in the east, away from the wind. The flat plain with Badger Mountain’s high point lay somewhere west. Behind it was Burch Mountain‘s long ridgeline above Swakane Canyon.

Farther west was the distinct sight of The Enchantments. But through the shrouding clouds, I only made out The Temple and Wedge Mountain. Then to the east was Douglas Creek Canyon plus the other Badger Mountain.

The Enchantments with The Temple in the center
The Enchantments with The Temple in the center

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Outro

We stopped by the tower on the way down before dawdling out of the area. It grew windier under an overcast sky right before we went back onto the pass. A few ravens came by and swirled above for a while during this.

I checked the weather over the passes, and it was snowing, to my dismay. So I decided to stop back in Cle Elum first and hang out over dinner. Then hopefully, the conditions would improve after hanging out for a bit.

Douglas Creek Canyon
Douglas Creek Canyon

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The Long Way Home

It never stopped snowing over Snoqualmie Pass, where spin-outs had closed the road for a while. During this, it also snowed in Cle Elum while we waited. When I decided to stay the night at a hotel, the closest vacancy was in Wenatchee.

The pass had worsened when I rechecked the forecast at 3 AM. So I decided to take the long way by going south and east over Vancouver, WA. I haven’t been through Hood River since a friend’s wedding in 1997.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

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