Apr 21, 2012
Apr 22, 2012 06:17 PM
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
Read More in our Hiking Guide
Manastash Ridge (#1388)
- Why You Should Go Now
- Wildflowers blooming
- Be Aware Of
- No water source
Sign at turn off from Umtanum Road (heading south) onto Old Durr Road (heading south also)
This was a warm and sunny day in desolate country. Sage and bitterbrush abound. Took Umtanum Road west from Ellensburg, following south and up into Manastash Ridge via Shushuskin Canyon. Turned left (east) onto the Old Durr Road (see photo). Durr is dirt but OK for my little Honda for a ways. About 1.25 mi. after the turn onto Durr is a parking lot (see sign) for which a Discover WA permit is "required." I went a quarter mile further south, parked by the side of the road and set off cross-country to the SW. Walking was relatively easy; rocky with plenty of sage brush, some scattered wildflowers (it's before peak season at this time). Eventually made it to the knoll marked 2801' on my old USGS 15 min. quadrangle map ("Ellensburg").
The view into the Yakima River Canyon and out over the Kittitas Valley (with many wind mills in the far distance) was super.
DRAWBACK on this day: Saturday, and there were many people out shooting guns, which I found a bit unnerving. They parked along the Durr Road north of Umtanum Creek, very near to where I parked. I heard (and later saw) handguns, rifles, shotguns, and a machine gun (!). Approaching my car I called out and waved at two shooters to be sure they saw me before I passed behind their target mound. They immediately gave an "all cleared" holler back, but at that point I couldn't wait to get outta there! A positive note-- the guns scared out a coyote which I watched warily remove itself from the area.
Recommendation for next time: Take the trail from the Yakima River that goes over the footbridge and head west from there up Umtanum Creek.
You'll see this sign about 1.25 mi. south of the turn off onto Old Durr Road. Park here with Discover WA parking permit.
View of Yak. River canyon from "2801" outlook on Manastash Ridge
The Stewart Range (and Mt. Rainier in the other direction) were out in full glory.