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Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area - Ridgeline Solar Trail

Central Washington

Location

Central Washington -- Yakima
View map below

Length

2.4 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 320 ft.
Highest Point: 3873 ft.

Rating

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 
Follow this trail at your own risk. High winds, exposed ridgelines, and a steep climb make this a difficult hike, but the same features that make it a challenge also provide its most noteworthy aspects.

The climb to the open ridgeline offers commanding views of the entire wind facility and miles beyond to the Cascades in the west and the Columbia Basin to the east. If you want to experience Wild Horse winds at their full potential, this ridgeline is the place to do it. Winds of 117 mph have been clocked on Whiskey Dick Mountain.

If getting blown off the mountain is not your idea of fun, try this on a calm day. In the spring you can find phlox, hedgehog cacti, and buckwheat blooming profusely on the mountainside. Check out the 2,406 sharp solar panels near the summit, which provide 500 kw of power. Feel free to look around but please do not touch the solar panels.

To begin, follow the gravel trail that winds its way between the solar panels and the blade behind the REC. From here follow the gravel trail until it makes a sharp left. Bear right, leaving the gravel and walk parallel to Beacon Ridge Road - there is little to no trail here. Once you reach the maintenance road, cross the behind the gate and take the abandoned jeep road along the fence line. Do not walk along the closed access roadways, as they pass too close to the turbines. From here the trail makes short work of the hill, heading straight up. Travel the rolling ridge to the solar array. If you continue on behind the solar you can follow a primitive road to the summit of Whiskey Dick Mountain in around one-half of a mile.
 

Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area - Ridgeline Solar Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.9607, -120.0944 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Washington -- Yakima

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

See weather forecast

Getting There

Drive east on Interstate 90 to exit 115 for Kittitas and head north over the freeway. Follow Parke Creek Road and Vantage Hwy to Beacon Ridge Road. Turn left onto Cleman Rd/Main Street and follow Main Street for just under a mile. Turn right onto Railroad Avenue and continue onto Clark St. Turn right onto Parke Creek Road, then turn right onto Vantage Highway. Turn left onto Beacon Ridge Road, and the trailhead is on the left.

Note: Lands within the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility are open to hunting, hiking, biking, bird watching, horseback riding and other recreational activities by written permission only. The entry gate off of the Vantage Highway is open April 1 to Nov. 30, from two hours before sunrise to two hours after sunset.

To get permission to walk the grounds, complete the free online application form then pick up your permit at the Renewable Energy Center from 9:00-5:30, seven days a week. You can also fill out the entire permit in person at the Renewable Energy Center. The free permit is valid from April through November of that year.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area - Ridgeline Solar Trail

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