Friday, April 1, 2011

Cowiche Canyon Spring Hike - WA Wine Country Style!

Take in the beauty of wildflowers blooming in spring!

Explore a scenic canyon!

Savor wine tasting at a 100 year old farmhouse!

The Cowiche Canyon Trail originally was an old railroad spur which features 9 railroad trestle bridges. The entire Cowiche Canyon trail is a easy 2.9 family walk on a gravel trail along the Cowiche Creek with side trails bringing the total to 14 miles of trails in two locations with four trailheads.

The main trail is obvious, but there are also some side trails. After Bridge 8, there is a signed junction for the Uplands Trail taking you up to 360 degree views of Yakima and on a clear day, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams. Blooming spring flowers make this a great hike with over 200 species of red, yellow and purple native plants, wildflowers and interesting rock formations.

Alternatively you may start at the Tasting Room Yakima at the 1900's era farmhouse with a deck for outside picnicking and relaxing, families welcome. Featuring over 25 wines for tasting from 4 wineries, Wilridge, Naches Heights wines are among those featured. If you are bringing a picnic lunch, stop, at the Tasting Room Yakima your lunch will be refrigerated while you explore the canyon, afterwards and you can savor wine tasting, relax and enjoy your meal. Wilridge Winery Trail is a half-mile long side trail connecting the winery on Naches Heights with the Cowiche Canyon Trail. You will walk past Winemaker Paul Beveridges’ organic vineyard, where he uses a biodynamic approach to growing a number of different grape varieties.

Wilridge Winery Trail is the small trail going up the hill.

Directions to the Tasting Room Yakima: From I-82 West or East. Exit Hwy 12 West (Naches/White Pass) Exit Fruitvale / N. 40th Ave. Right at W. Powerhouse Rd. (2nd light) Left at Naches Heights Rd. Travel 2.5 miles, Left at Ehler Rd
Directions to Trailheads: You may also start at either end of the Cowiche Canyon trail and take the side trail up to the winery. The Canyon Trail is accessible from the Scenic drive parking lot via the Uplands Trail, the Wiekel Road parking lot located west of the trail, or from the east via Cowiche Canyon Road (very limited parking). From Yakima travel west on Summitview Avenue about ten miles to Wiekel Road. Turn right on Wiekel Road; follow the signs to the Wiekel Road parking lot.

The Yakima Valley blog articles feature members of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau. If you would like to receive information regarding membership, Click here, or to request a membership application, please contact Michele Hopkins at (509) 575-3010.

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