Forum Index > Trip Reports > Selah Butte and Gracie Point (Yakima Canyon) March 5-6, 2017
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RichP
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RichP
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PostTue Mar 07, 2017 8:21 am 
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Continuing my exploration of this unique area I opted for an overnight camp and hike of these two bumps that lie across the canyon from one another. I found a well-used and good trail from the bottom of the canyon to hike up Selah Butte. I parked at a pulloff just north of MP 4 on Canyon Rd and located the trail that begins as an old roadbed. It immediately switchbacks on top of flat area giving you a view of your parked car. This is also a good spot to watch bighorn sheep across the canyon.

After tagging the top of Selah Butte I walked about 1/4 mile north along the rim of the canyon for more views.


I parked at this pullout just north of MP 4 on Canyon Rd. Look for an old roadbed which turns into a trail.
I parked at this pullout just north of MP 4 on Canyon Rd. Look for an old roadbed which turns into a trail.
Bighorn sheep across the canyon.
Bighorn sheep across the canyon.
Yakima Skyline Ridge leading to the first highpoint.
Yakima Skyline Ridge leading to the first highpoint.
Yep.
Yep.
A hanging valley below Selah Butte.
A hanging valley below Selah Butte.
A good trail goes all the way up.
A good trail goes all the way up.
I kept looking for guanacos and condors here.
I kept looking for guanacos and condors here.
The top of the ridge at 3000.'
The top of the ridge at 3000.'
Like many other hills around here, 3024' Selah Butte is topped by communication towers.
Like many other hills around here, 3024' Selah Butte is topped by communication towers.
Baldy, the next door neighbor.
Baldy, the next door neighbor.
The ridge walk on Selah Butte.
The ridge walk on Selah Butte.
Looking across the canyon near my turnaround point to Gracie Point, tomorrow's hike.
Looking across the canyon near my turnaround point to Gracie Point, tomorrow's hike.
On the way down I sat and watched this group across the canyon.
On the way down I sat and watched this group across the canyon.

A road also goes up to near the top of the mountain but this hike is quite enjoyable and the views are excellent.

6 miles and 2000' of gain.

I then drove over to the trailhead for the Yakima Skyline and carried my overnight gear up for a camp with a view of the valley below. The road is in pretty good shape and dry though there are some ruts.


The only flowers I saw, Buttercups.
The only flowers I saw, Buttercups.
Camping on Skyline Ridge.
Camping on Skyline Ridge.
Keeping it local..
Keeping it local..

It was a cold night but at least the wind was calm.

In the morning I walked back down and left my camping gear in the car and met with my bud Don who had come over to hike for the day.


The following morning Don braved the drive over a stormy Snoqualmie Pass to join me.
The following morning Don braved the drive over a stormy Snoqualmie Pass to join me.
Selah Butte across the canyon. The trail I took the day before starts on the lower right where a flat area of ground is at the bottom of a gully.
Selah Butte across the canyon. The trail I took the day before starts on the lower right where a flat area of ground is at the bottom of a gully.
At the first high point on the ridge. Gracie Point is another 2.5 miles from here.
At the first high point on the ridge. Gracie Point is another 2.5 miles from here.
Gracie Point.
Gracie Point.
Dropping off the first high point.
Dropping off the first high point.
Along Skyline Ridge.
Along Skyline Ridge.
Don admiring the panorama.
Don admiring the panorama.
Rugged Yakima Canyon.
Rugged Yakima Canyon.
Almost to Gracie Point.
Almost to Gracie Point.
The top 3208.'
The top 3208.'
Back down.
Back down.

It was quite windy throughout the hike but we managed to find a couple of sheltered spots to sit and relax during the day.
There is still about one foot of snow in sheltered and windblown spots which should be gone with a couple of warm days.

9 miles and 2550' gain.
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Distel32
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Distel32
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PostTue Mar 07, 2017 1:19 pm 
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up.gif
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KarlK
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PostWed Mar 08, 2017 9:20 am 
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Cool! a lot less snow than I would have guessed. That area really is a neat place to hike.

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Karl J Kaiyala
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RichP
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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RichP
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PostWed Mar 08, 2017 1:45 pm 
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KarlK wrote:
That area really is a neat place to hike.

There are some great spring hikes in the area and the drive over is not bad since it's mostly freeway. Here is a list of some of them.

http://www.yakimaherald.com/magazine/outdoors/doing-the-quick-shrub-steppe/article_11c0d70e-a4a2-11e6-9ca0-97f2abf5242c.html
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KarlK
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PostWed Mar 08, 2017 2:14 pm 
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RichP wrote:
There are some great spring hikes in the area and the drive over is not bad since it's mostly freeway. Here is a list of some of them.

Thanks RichP!

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Karl J Kaiyala
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Get Out and Go
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PostWed Mar 08, 2017 5:34 pm 
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Quote:
I kept looking for guanacos and condors here.

I adventured overland from Paraguay to Chile, way back when.  The region just west of Mendoza, as you enter the front range, is strikingly similar to the Naches area west of Yakima, as you well know.   agree.gif
Nice that you got out on an overnighter, beating the snakes and heat.   up.gif

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RichP
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RichP
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PostWed Mar 08, 2017 7:33 pm 
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Get Out and Go wrote:
The region just west of Mendoza, as you enter the front range, is strikingly similar to the Naches area west of Yakima

Yes, it's remarkable how similar these two regions look though the elevations are strikingly different. I don't think sagebrush exists down there but there is similar shrubby vegetation nonetheless.

A stock photo from southern Mendoza for comparison:


reserva-de-la-payunia
reserva-de-la-payunia
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wildernessed
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PostFri Mar 10, 2017 10:53 am 
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up.gif Looks good !

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Living in the Anthropocene
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DIYSteve
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DIYSteve
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PostFri Mar 10, 2017 2:27 pm 
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up.gif
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Naches Hiker
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Naches Hiker
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PostFri Mar 10, 2017 2:41 pm 
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Nice report!

Hoping for more upper 50 days like today so the snow melts faster. Been noticing more bare hillside appear by the hour on clemans today.

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Hike a trail a week.
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puzzlr
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puzzlr
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PostSat Mar 11, 2017 10:05 pm 
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Missed this one earlier. You're sure picking off those buttes this year!

RichP wrote:
Looking across the canyon near my turnaround point to Gracie Point, tomorrow's hike.
Looking across the canyon near my turnaround point to Gracie Point, tomorrow's hike.

This photo looks amazing in the lightbox.

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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PaleoCook
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PostSun Mar 12, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Thanks for the great report RichP! I'm thinking of going on one of your routes this coming weekend to mix things up. Any suggestions as to which one I should pick wink.gif?

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RichP
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RichP
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PostSun Mar 12, 2017 6:45 pm 
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PaleoCook wrote:
Any suggestions as to which one I should pick wink.gif?

You could do Baldy and Selah Butte for a twofer. Definitely take the trail from the bottom of the canyon described here instead of the drive up route on Selah B.

If you just want to do one longer one, Skyline Ridge out to Gracie Pt is good though if you wait a few more weeks the flower show is supposed to be pretty spectacular.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Selah Butte and Gracie Point (Yakima Canyon) March 5-6, 2017
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