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Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area

Central Washington

Location

Central Washington -- Yakima
View map below

Length

8.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1750 ft.
Highest Point: 3850 ft.

Rating

3.00 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

Bask in a wide variety of wildflowers—including a rare species of cactus, Simpson’s hedgehog, with its hot pink blossoms—chunks of petrified wood, and panoramic views of the Columbia Basin, under usually sunny, blue skies. You’ll need a good map for this one.

Walk the old road about a mile (or 1.6 if you parked near the entrance), veering right at both forks, to its end (Point 2268 on your topo). There are nice views up and down Rocky Coulee and over to Whiskey Dick Ridge here. From the end of the road, drop down the nose of the ridge into Rocky Coulee and head downstream to a good game-boot trail on the left ascending Whiskey Dick Ridge. There’s a basalt outcrop here with a small pillar and lots of petrified wood. After 400 feet of fairly steep climbing, the trail levels out some and becomes faint, but just make your way across the bench and climb the last 100 feet or so to the ridgetop.

When you come to the road along the top of Whiskey Dick Ridge, turn left and follow it until it begins to traverse around the obvious high point (Point 2693) and climb to the top. Here you’ll find sweeping views north and east across the basin of Whiskey Dick Creek to the Columbia Basin, south to the Saddle Mountains and Sentinel Gap, and west to Whiskey Dick Mountain and the pylons of the Wild Horse Wind Farm. This is a great place for lunch and lounging in the sun. To return, drop down to the road and continue west a short ways past the shallow saddle below Point 2693 and then traverse to a southeast-trending spur of Whiskey Dick Ridge. Drop down the nose of this ridge into the coulee and then climb back up to Point 2268 and follow the road back to your car. As always in the shrub-steppe, be alert for ticks and rattlesnakes.

WTA Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for commonly seen wildflowers like bitterroot, Carey’s balsamroot, cushion daisy, Cusick’s sunflower, desert buckwheat, Hooker’s onion, lupine, narrowleaf goldenweed, rock penstemon, Simpson’s hedgehog, Thompson’s paintbrush, tidytips, and threadleaf phacelia.

 

Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.9607, -120.0944 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Washington -- Yakima

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, L.T. Murray Wildlife Area

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Desert Hikes: Washington (Bauer & Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Yakima

Getting There

From Kittitas on I-90, take exit 115 and drive north to the Vantage Hwy; turn right, heading east for 13.7 miles to the eastern access of the Quilomene Wildlife Area; turn onto the gravel road and park.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area

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