Twin Sisters Rock
Feb 23, 2005
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Twin Sisters Rock
- Region: Eastern Washington -- Tri-Cities
- Agency: Walla Walla County Department of Public Works
- Avg Rating: 3.50
A late afternoon exploration of this beautiful place at the Wallula Gap of the Columbia R.- hike #57 in the great new ""Best Desert Hikes Washington"" by Alan L. Bauer and Dan A. Nelson. Located SE of Pasco on the way to Walla Walla, the Twin Sisters overlook a most stunning view of the Wallula Gap- where the Columbia flows thru a ""narrow"" cut in the basalt plateau, where tens of thousands of years ago the immense ice age ancient L. Missoula floods were forced to squeeze through this narrow gap and the subsequent gigantic backup of floodwaters created temporary huge lakes themselves behind it.
The Sisters are twin basalt pillars left behind when the floodwaters receded. A short trail system takes you up a crumbly steep path to the base of the pillars (off-limits to climbing!), with fantasic views up and down the Columbia, but also of the gorgeous immediate basalt cliffs and hills behind them. Unfortunately only a small portion of the land around the pillars is open to the public- because the enticingly-beautiful backdrops just beg for exploration. A private landowner has what's got to be one of the best views in creation from his farmhouse and spread next to and behind the park overlooking the Sisters, the river and the Gap in the distance! But with his location comes the inevitable and unfortunate problems with people who don't respect the fenced private property and the no-trespassing signs and want a closer look-see around. He means business and packs a sidearm to back it up as I witnessed (from public property and with no intent of trespassing anyway) during my visit. So short story enjoy your visit but stay behind the fences!
There are a few other trails that meander through the area, taking you into a small sand dune area and also up to some rocky highpoints on either side of the pillars, with flowers galore in the springtime I've heard. I saw many very tiny yellow flowers atop one highpoint, the first flowers I had seen on my trip to the Tri-Cities area. I also lucked out with calm air, as I've heard it can really blow through the Gap. I stayed thru sunset (the park closes at dusk) and enjoyed seeing this spot for the first time- magnificent!