Jun 16, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Black Canyon
- Region: Eastern Washington -- Yakima
- Agency: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Avg Rating: 4.40
Set out at 10:30 am. Trail was in good condition, although rocky trails are always somewhat unstable. Tall grass/brush along some sections of trail made us glad we were wearing long pants despite the heat. While wildflowers were clearly past their peak at this time, there were still a few late bloomers. Far more charming was the profusion of butterflies in the canyon section (first couple miles). Scat along trail suggests that there is a lot of wildlife in this region, although we only saw a couple startled deer and chipmunks.
We DID encounter an angry rattlesnake approx 500 yds from Umtanum ridge, right next to us on trail (definitely startled me. He was coiled, ready to strike, and rattling angrily). Trail riders also mentioned they saw one in the canyon near the cabin. This is definitely rattlesnake territory/season, so I hesitate to recommend this hike to people with children or dogs unless they're wary of the potential dangers. Know your treatments for rattlesnake bites BEFORE you hike in.
Nevertheless, the view at the top of the ridge was lovely. We did not encounter ANYONE on the hike up. We saw some dirt bikers along Umtanum ridge. ATV'ers (and a pickup truck?) passed us on our way back, as did a pair of horseback riders. Another pair on foot passed us going in the opposite direction as we neared the trailhead (~3pm)
It was definitely warm (around 80 deg) on the hike back down. Hiking partner and I both consumed ~2L of water each during this hike. We did not see any viable water sources along trail, pack in sufficient water.
Quite a charming little day hike, and a great way to escape the Seattle June gloom. Sparsely populated and very nice views at the end.