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Robinson Canyon - Ainsley Canyon

Central Washington > Yakima
47.0142, -120.7054 Map & Directions
10.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1,200 feet
Highest Point
3,400 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty

This area is closed from 12/15/22 - 5/1/23 to protect wintering elk herds.

Lupine and the Robinson Canyon Trail. Photo by mytho-man. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Wildlife
  • Good for kids
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

This is a gem of a hike, providing you easy access to the best of the best of the rich L. T. Murray State Wildlife Recreation Area. Continue reading

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Hiking Robinson Canyon - Ainsley Canyon

This is a loop with wildflowers and aspen groves that wind through meadows above the canyons, past an old stone building and back into the canyons.

From the parking area, follow the road into Robinson Canyon. After about a quarter mile, watch for a trail going off to the left; if you reach a big washout, you’ve gone too far. The trail crosses the creek and shortly comes to a fork. The main trail goes to the right up Robinson Canyon, but for this hike take the trail to the left, traversing up the hillside to a large open flat and an intersection with a well-used double-track.

Turn right here, going straight ahead at the four-way intersection, and proceed to a low saddle with nice views of the surrounding countryside. Follow the road across the saddle, watching for a fainter double-track heading downhill to the right. This track leads down through a grove of aspen and across a creek to intersect another trail.

Turn left here and follow this trail past a beautiful grove of aspen and into a large meadow. Where the trail bends right, look across the meadow to spot the old stone building. After exploring the building, continue across the meadow and find another old double-track heading downhill into Ainsley Canyon, just above the confluence with Robinson Canyon; turning left takes you up Ainsley Canyon; to go up Robinson Canyon turn right, then left where the trail forks.

Whichever way you go, do not return along the bottom of Robinson Canyon because the road is completely washed out below Ainsley Canyon. Instead, follow the obvious trail that climbs above the canyon and then drops down to your original crossing of Robinson Creek.

WTA Pro Tip: This area can be subject to seasonal closures from December 10 to May 1 to protect wintering elk herds.

Hike Description Written by
David Hagen, WTA Correspondent

Robinson Canyon - Ainsley Canyon

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.0142, -120.7054 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

This area is closed from 12/15/22 - 5/1/23 to protect wintering elk herds.

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From I-90, take exit 101 and turn south on Thorp Highway. Veer right onto Killmoor Road and continue 2.5 miles to Robinson Canyon Road. Turn right and proceed to the gate at the road’s end.

More Hike Details


Central Washington > Yakima

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

Guidebooks & Maps

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

Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wenatchee

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Robinson Canyon - Ainsley Canyon

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