Union Gap West + East via Fullbright Park by Yakima River / 聯合缺口

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Union Gap West above Fullbright Park sits on the east end of Ahtanum Ridge by Yakima River. Likewise, Union Gap East marks Rattlesnake Hills‘ west edge by Ladybug Peak. Both hikes are short and close together to do in half a day.

Next stop, Union Gap East
Next stop, Union Gap East

See more trip photos here.

Union Gap West and Union Gap East at a Glance

Access: Fullbright Park & Thorp Road
Round Trip: 5 miles
Elevation Range: 940′-1848′
Gear: none
Route Info: B.J. Marraccini
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

As the name implies, the two places across each other overlook the namesake town. Both sit among several local radio station towers dispersing through the ridges. But neither one is the tallest spot on their ridgelines.

Union Gap West is accessible from Fullbright Park, so it looked like a busy place. To avoid the foot traffic, we started there first thing in the morning. The map indicated two beaten paths plus several side trails.

Union Gap West up above
Union Gap West up above

See more trip photos here.

En Route to Union Gap West

We took the main path behind the restroom past the army tank with the American flag. Soon, we weaved our way up the hill with Yakima River behind us. Meanwhile, we went through 200′ of a steep section lower down.

As we neared the ridgetop, Union Gap East slowly showed up. Then we headed west on the broad terrain and soon reached the high point with a couple of sheds. But we kept going toward the next radio tower for more exercise.

Looking over to Union Gap East
Looking over to Union Gap East

See more trip photos here.

Summit Views Plus Exit

Before the west saddle, a car was making its way up to the radio tower from the south. Then I decided to turn around at the pass. I couldn’t tell if the south route went through private land since there were orchards there.

Shortly, we walked over to the east rim to see the river below. En route, we met two people and their dog coming up the longer trail. After soaking in the views, we made a beeline north for the parking lot through the mobile homes.

Yakima and Union Gap to the north
Yakima and Union Gap to the north

See more trip photos here.

En Route to Union Gap East

After a short drive across the highway, we went past a few homes by the gravel pit. The company has since moved its quarry work due to safety concerns. Then we reached the Thorp Road closure due to cracks on Rattlesnake Ridge.

Like Union Gap West, views formed right after we walked up the rocky hillside. We went straight up the slope from the gate while steering clear of the fissures. Before long, we had reached the top with a big stone pile nearby.

Hillside view
Hillside view

See more trip photos here.

Union Gap East Summit Views Plus Outro

Views up here were just as grand as on the other side. I even saw Elephant Mountain poking out from behind the ridge miles away as I looked east. Although Ladybug Peak shared the same ridge, I couldn’t tell its exact location with its flat top.

I took a few photos of the wetland to the north, and then we went down the hillside. Again, we stayed close to the south and caught sight of the old gravel pit. Soon, we were back in the car for the 1.5-hour drive home.

Northern panoramic view
Northern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

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