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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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PostFri Apr 19, 2019 5:30 pm 
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Our original destination was French Cabin Peak via Silver Creek but the forecast got worse each day. We pulled off the road at Easton and looked at the the gloomy clouds and decided we didn't want to snowshoe in the rain. So we drove 1:20 further to the south end of Yakima Canyon to do our backup plan - Gracie Point. WTA has a good description under Yakima Skyline trail.

I didn't read those trip reports before going so we were surprised by the closure at the gate .7 miles from the usual trailhead. I think this is left over from a fire closure last summer. I saw evidence of a brush fire along the trail. There is another larger trailhead along the same road before the one at the end which is a more direct route to Gracie Point, but I think it is more old road and less trail than the route along the Skyline trail. It's really fun to walk right along the edge of the canyon for so long.

We started out in sun, but had some brief sprinkles crossing over the Yakima Skyline south high point. Then the sun came out and we had warm sunny skies the rest of the day. A bonus was spotting a herd of mountain goats and another of mule deer. Some beautiful flowers were out, but I think peak Balsam Root is yet to come.

Temporary closure at gate, .7 mile road walk from the actual trailhead
Temporary closure at gate, .7 mile road walk from the actual trailhead
Trailhead with beautiful flowers
Trailhead with beautiful flowers
Gray's biscuitroot flower
Gray's biscuitroot flower
Early in the hike with the Yakima River below
Early in the hike with the Yakima River below
Reaching the edge of the canyon. The trail continued along the canyon for a long time.
Reaching the edge of the canyon. The trail continued along the canyon for a long time.
Mountain goats by a rocky point far below the trail
Mountain goats by a rocky point far below the trail
Top of the Yakima Skyline south high point. We'd drop down about 250' before heading up to Gracie Point in the distance
Top of the Yakima Skyline south high point. We'd drop down about 250' before heading up to Gracie Point in the distance
Sagebrush violet
Sagebrush violet
Mule deer disappearing over the ridge
Mule deer disappearing over the ridge
Something raising a big cloud of smoke/vapor to the west in the Yakima Military Firing Range. Whatever it was, it dissapated quickly.
Something raising a big cloud of smoke/vapor to the west in the Yakima Military Firing Range. Whatever it was, it dissapated quickly.
Gracie Point with Cleman Mountain in the distance, and Rainier hiding in the clouds
Gracie Point with Cleman Mountain in the distance, and Rainier hiding in the clouds
Gracie Point summit cairn and sign
Gracie Point summit cairn and sign
Elle on the edge of Yakima Canyon. Our route came over the high point in the center.
Elle on the edge of Yakima Canyon. Our route came over the high point in the center.
View down to the Roza dam and the railroad bridge
View down to the Roza dam and the railroad bridge
While we were on the summit someone came through putting up signs and flagging for a 50K running event to be held over the weekend.
While we were on the summit someone came through putting up signs and flagging for a 50K running event to be held over the weekend.
Wide open walking, Gracie Point on the right.
Wide open walking, Gracie Point on the right.
Spectacularly open views and sunny weather
Spectacularly open views and sunny weather

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RichP
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PostFri Apr 19, 2019 5:43 pm 
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Good one. I'm pretty sure your mountain goats are actually bighorn sheep.

Cleman Mtn is looking good in your last photo.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6527 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostFri Apr 19, 2019 6:00 pm 
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You're probably right but I used that generic name because that's all the WDFW mentions (species oreamnos americanus) with no reference to bighorn sheep. Buy this map from wikipedia does show Bighorn Sheep in that area:

If this had been our primary destination we could have met you there -- it's probably less of a drive for you than it was for us.

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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RichP
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PostFri Apr 19, 2019 6:09 pm 
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puzzlr wrote:
If this had been our primary destination we could have met you there -- it's probably less of a drive for you than it was for us.

It's about 3.5 hours from here, so quite a bit further to there than from Seattle. I've hiked in the area quite bit and have never seen a goat. Interesting that their range extends over there.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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BarbE
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PostSat Apr 20, 2019 8:04 am 
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Our cars loaded with snowshoes, crampons, ice axes, puffies and rain gear.
This balmy ridgewalk was a pleasant change of plans.  smile.gif

Violet
Violet
Gracie Point with Mt Adams & Rainier hiding in the clouds
Gracie Point with Mt Adams & Rainier hiding in the clouds
Above the canyon
Above the canyon
Leaving
Leaving
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fourteen410
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PostSat Apr 20, 2019 8:32 am 
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Does anyone know the story behind Gracie? Was she a local landowner's dog?
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6527 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostSun Apr 21, 2019 9:14 pm 
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I wondered the same thing. There's got to be a story there. Someone took some time to make that sturdy metal summit marker.

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Snowdog
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PostMon Apr 22, 2019 11:40 am 
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She could be a human too!

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'we don't have time for a shortcut'
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