We ‘hiked’ the trail at Selah Cliffs Natural Area Preserves on Saturday.
Where: Seven miles north of Selah, just south of mile post 3 on SR 821, or as locals know it, the Yakima Canyon Road (slightly northeast of Selah)
Distance: RT about 2.5 miles, if you go all the way to the cattle guard and fence that signals the Military Firing Center boundaries
Discovery Pass Required: Yes, though many parked beyond the nature preserve lot on the old canyon road
Tips: No toilet facilities and not much shade; Bring binoculars, bug spray, water, and hat
This is a local, easy hike with the hardest parts being concern for ticks, rattlesnakes, and heat. The views of the Selah Cliffs are gorgeous. As per signed instructions, we didn’t traipse off the path, which means we also didn’t see the basalt daisies for which the area is known. Judging by the trails leading up to the basalt cliffs, I’m sure some disregard rules. OR they could be game trails. Yes, I’ll go with that.
The hike/walk leads along a gravelled path for most of the distance. Towards the far end (headed east), hikers must go through a barbed-wire gate. After that, the gravel disappears and more clambering is required. During the entire hike east, we watched the Fred G. Redmon bridge loom ever larger and closer. Soon enough, we stood beneath the massive structure and listened to vehicles boom overhead. It was fascinating to look, listen, and call aloud. If you stand in just the right spot, your voice will echo back. I tried recording the echo, but there was too much interference.
We saw and heard a waterfall, but couldn’t get through the underbrush to get close. Plentiful birds, spiders, insects, lizards, and evidence of other wildlife kept us searching and entertained. The scenery was gorgeous, the basalt columns beautiful, and amazingly, the traffic overhead was negligible.