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Columbia Plateau - Amber Lake
The old railroad right-of-way slices through the heart of one of the richest wildlife areas in Washington. From the trailhead, amble to the south and enjoy the desert scenery on both sides of the trail. Because the route is smooth and level, you can cover many more miles than you might expect.
The trail angles past Amber Lake--stay on the trail, because moose are sometimes seen lumbering through the area near the lake--and cuts through the high desert sagelands to the southeast. Bald eagles can frequently be seen overhead as they soar aloft while searching area lakes for fish. Mule deer also frequent the area.
In 7 miles, you'll reach another trailhead at Martin Road. Turn around here or continue as far as you like, for a total mileage of up to 23 miles (one-way).
Note: This trail is open to bicycle traffic, so stay alert when walking here.
From Vantage, drive east on Interstate 90 to exit 257, signed "Tyler/Cheney." After exiting, turn right and drive 9 miles on State Route 904. Turn right onto Mullinix Road. Drive Mullinix Road 9.3 miles, and turn right onto Pine Springs Road. Drive 1.4 miles on Pine Springs Road and turn left on Houck Avenue. Head downhill, veer right after crossing the railroad grade, and follow the signs 1000 feet to the huge parking lot. This is the preferrred access, although the route also can be accessed from its southern end via the Martin Road trailhead. To reach this alternative, turn onto Pine Springs Road and continue south on Mullinix Road to the point where the road crosses the trail at the well-marked Martin Road trailhead.
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Columbia Plateau - Amber Lake — Jul 07, 2012 — Will
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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We went about 8 miles off to the west. Very few people and the hike was quite enjoyable. We saw man...
We went about 8 miles off to the west. Very few people and the hike was quite enjoyable. We saw many birds, deer, and marmots. Perfect weather, albeit a bit hot.