Lookout Point via Harlan Landing + Cross Mountain by Yakima River / 瞭望高點

  • Reading time:10 mins read

Lookout Point by Harlan Landing, and Cross Mountain, are at the confluence of Yakima River and Naches River. The former sits atop Selah Ridge, while the latter marks Yakima Ridge‘s west end. Like Union Gap East and West, a river separates the two high points.

Lookout Point above Yakima River
Lookout Point above Yakima River

See more trip photos here.

Lookout Point and Cross Mountain at a Glance

Access: Harlan Landing & Yakima Ridge
Round Trip: 7.5 miles
Elevation Range: 1080′-2045
Gear: none
Route Info: Richard Hensley, B.J. Marraccini
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

Sunday’s rainy forecast kept us from going on an overnight trip. Instead, we found ourselves packing for Eastern Washington with the destination unknown. It’s long been our sanctuary for dodging the Cascade rain.

For years, the landscape around Yakima River Canyon and the great plains have long fascinated me. I enjoyed our recent Union Gap West and East trip and did a quick research. Then I settled on the next gap to the north.

Harlan Landing
Harlan Landing

See more trip photos here.

En Route to Lookout Point

Like Union Gap West, we started from inside a park. Soon, we walked south on Yakima Greenway and crossed the Yakima River over the twin bridge. Then an easy-to-miss trail on the other side took us through the flatland.

Before long, we went under the first train tracks by the raging Naches River. The stone way wound through the underside of the second railroad. But it wasn’t obvious, so we walked up and over the tracks to the other side.

Higher views
Higher views

See more trip photos here.

Lookout Point East Route

Lookout Point wasn’t yet visible at the eastern foothills. But the visible historical signage in the distance suggested a trail nearby. So we walked over and zigged our way up the defined, cairned path above the river.

By the time we reached the ridgetop, we had gained most of the altitude. Then we walked 1.5 miles over Point 1763 through the scenic terrain and made a slight dip. The high point sat behind a reservoir behind the residential area.

The final stretch to Lookout Point
The final stretch to Lookout Point

See more trip photos here.

Lookout Point Views Plus Exit

The nearest home was only 100 yards away, with the closest street below north of the water tower. But seeing the top floor of the house felt too close for comfort. Also, it looked like a happening place judging by the plethora of broken beer glass.

The west was mostly cloudy, but I could make out Mount Adams’ outline. Then everything northwest past Clemen Mountain was too hazy to see. So we enjoyed the expansive views in all other directions, including the cities.

Southern panoramic view from Lookout Point
Southern panoramic view from Lookout Point

See more trip photos here.

En Route to Cross Mountain

It looked like we could go up to Cross Mountain from the road on the south side. But the map was too vague to tell if any of that area was on private land. So we drove east and tried going up the ridge via Sage Trail Road.

Well. We didn’t go far before seeing a private sign by the one-lane bridge. So we turned around and went south via Terrace Heights that B.J. had noted. Then we drove through Hardy Road to Buds Place and parked one mile before the top.

Ridge run
Ridge run

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch

The south side was open to most uses other than the private homes. The decent dirt road ended at the fork with John Paul Road, leading to some estate. Then it grew bumpy until higher up before the saddle.

We passed two tents, a run-down mobile home, and some artifacts en route. Before the mapped high point, we stopped by Point 2073, which was higher by 28′ but wasn’t the summit. Then we walked to the west point to see Lookout Point.

High above Union Gap
High above Union Gap

See more trip photos here.

Cross Mountain Summit Views Plus Exit

Views atop the west rim were better, even though the homes a short way below were an eye sore. The shipping container sitting on the edge seemed out of place. I was too lazy to check it out but wondered how it got up here.

We checked out Yakima Skyline Ridge and Selah Butte to the north on the way back. Then I noticed one of the tents was now missing. It looked like someone had camped up in the warm weather and left during our visit.

Southern panoramic view from Cross Mountain
Southern panoramic view from Cross Mountain

See more trip photos here.

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