Forum Index > Trip Reports > Green Gulch (Chief Joseph Wildlife Area, Asotin County) Jan 7, 2019
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RichP
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PostTue Jan 08, 2019 7:07 pm 
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You can't get much further southeast in the state than this place. In fact, in just a few miles either south or east you are in Oregon or Idaho respectively.
The drive along the snake river south of Asotin is almost as scenic as the hiking.

I stopped at the overlook before dropping down the grade to Lewiston some 2000' below. Moscow was cold and snowy but Lewiston was like entering the banana belt with temps 10-15 degrees warmer.

View before dropping down the Lewiston grade.
View before dropping down the Lewiston grade.

Once south of Clarkston, the road is right alongside the Snake.

The Snake River.
The Snake River.

In a while the road crosses The Grande Ronde River and one enters The Chief Joseph Wildlife Area.

This is very close to the confluence of the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers.
This is very close to the confluence of the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers.

At the trailhead for Green Gulch is an old one-room schoolhouse.

Old one-room schoolhouse at the trailhead of Green Gulch.
Old one-room schoolhouse at the trailhead of Green Gulch.
No more book learning going on here.
No more book learning going on here.
Joseph Creek.
Joseph Creek.
The trail starts..
The trail starts..
Walls along Green Gulch.
Walls along Green Gulch.
Green Gulch.
Green Gulch.

The canyon was dark and cold but the sun was out higher up. I tried to reach the highpoint in the area but slick, icy conditions on the steep slopes caused me to back down to the canyon floor.

Pleasant walking.
Pleasant walking.
Colorful little birdies.
Colorful little birdies.
Heading up the ridge to the highpoint in the area.
Heading up the ridge to the highpoint in the area.
The trail is visible below.
The trail is visible below.
Footing wasn't the best so I put on my micro spikes. I went to the second area of rocks above and it was too steep and icy for my liking. I discovered a better route later but will come back in spring when there is no ice and snow.
Footing wasn't the best so I put on my micro spikes. I went to the second area of rocks above and it was too steep and icy for my liking. I discovered a better route later but will come back in spring when there is no ice and snow.
I'll be heading to the 2814' point on the left when I get back down to the trail.
I'll be heading to the 2814' point on the left when I get back down to the trail.

I kept on the road/trail until I reached a pass and hiked up to a 2814' bump with good views of the area.

Point 2814, a gentle bump with good views.
Point 2814, a gentle bump with good views.
Along Green Gulch trail.
Along Green Gulch trail.
Headed to the pass above where I'll hike up the ridge to the left.
Headed to the pass above where I'll hike up the ridge to the left.
Looking down to the schoolhouse and my car across the road 1800' below from Point 2814.
Looking down to the schoolhouse and my car across the road 1800' below from Point 2814.
Good view from 2814. Even the trailhead is visible below.
Good view from 2814. Even the trailhead is visible below.
The Grande Ronde River below.
The Grande Ronde River below.
Puffer Butte (I think).
Puffer Butte (I think).
Mt Wilson, 4913.'
Mt Wilson, 4913.'
Green Gulch Trail.
Green Gulch Trail.

After heading back down to the trail I walked back to the empty trailhead. I plan to return in spring and check out the flower show and hike to a couple of high points.

https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/chief_joseph/Chief%20Joseph/

I hiked 6.7 miles with 2800' of gain.
I hiked 6.7 miles with 2800' of gain.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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flatsqwerl
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PostTue Jan 08, 2019 7:56 pm 
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awesome photos. Makes me want to hike those hills..!
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puzzlr
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostTue Jan 08, 2019 9:17 pm 
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Really beautiful country, at least in those conditions. It reminds me of the Umtanum / Manastash area a little.

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Mid Fork Rocks ē flickr
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Snuffy
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PostTue Jan 08, 2019 10:24 pm 
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I think I posted a comment on this trip on WTA but I love these pictures, Rich.  Makes me want to take a road trip to that side of the mountains!

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You don't find yourself standing at the top of a mountain without having started out in the valley.
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Anne Elk
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PostTue Jan 08, 2019 11:42 pm 
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That low winter light really makes for great pics, Rich.  You might even have found some solitude.  Looks like the little goldfinches were hangin' out at their lunch stop (notice the berries).  I don't know anything about eastern WA flora, so have no idea what the shrub might be.  Anybody know?

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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RichP
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PostWed Jan 09, 2019 6:31 am 
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It looks like it's some kind of rose.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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glenoid
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PostWed Jan 09, 2019 9:10 am 
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Thanks much for the report!! It actually looks about the same as in the spring. Maybe less snakes in the lower portions..... That is the Puffer Butte area in your photo. The pointy peak is Puffer (an ancient volcano) and up the snowy field to the right takes you to Puffer Butte itself. Fun skiing in winter, and great wildflower show in the spring.
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RichP
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PostWed Jan 09, 2019 9:30 am 
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Thanks Glenoid. Here's a better view of Puffer Butte.

Puffer Butte and Puffer.
Puffer Butte and Puffer.

I'll be heading over there for the MLK weekend and am looking forward to checking out Fields Spring State Park. It looks like very little snow for skiing though I may be trying my hand at it for only the second time in my life.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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Nancyann
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PostWed Jan 09, 2019 11:58 am 
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Beautiful pictures, Rich. Have fun skiing on your upcoming trip!
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glenoid
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PostWed Jan 09, 2019 5:08 pm 
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Enjoy your skiing. The conditions there can be quite variable. They do not groom for classic cross country skiing, just a corduroy surface up the road. Snowshoeing is an option up the hiking trail. You might check there website for info. (I believe you need a snopark pass or a discovery pass with a one day snow permit to park there) If I am up there next week I will give you a heads up.
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RichP
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PostWed Jan 09, 2019 5:25 pm 
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I rented one of their cabins for two nights. Very reasonable rates and I'll definitely have my snowshoes.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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glenoid
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PostWed Jan 09, 2019 7:10 pm 
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👍☃️
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Green Gulch (Chief Joseph Wildlife Area, Asotin County) Jan 7, 2019
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