Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Mountain Watching over the Yakima Valley: Mt. Adams

The first glimpse of Mt. Adams is seen in the distance coming over South Umptanum Ridge on I-82 E from Ellensburg. Often visitors to the Yakima Valley confuse the mountain they see, with Mt. Rainer to the north, as both mountains are shaped similar with a flattened dome.

As you travel over the Fred G Redmond Bridge, Selah is the first city you come to then traveling through a small gap between the hills you enter the cities of Yakima and then Union Gap. Continuing on through another gap between the hills, provides the most unobstructed view of Mt Adams.

This mountain, named for President Adams, is the second highest mountain in Washington State. Sacred to the Native Americans, there are legends involving Mt. Adams or Pahto (Paddo or Klickitat) in the native language. In one legend Mount Hood or Wy'east and Mount Adams (Pahto); were the sons of the Great Spirit. The brothers both competed for the love of the beautiful Mount St. Helens (La-wa-la-clough). Wy'east took La-wa-la-clough from Phato, losing La-wa-la-clough caused Pahto such grief that he dropped his head in shame (explaining Mt. Adams' flattened dome appearance).

Taking Exit 40 to the Yakima Valley highway, passing orchards and vineyards, and wineries, you will see Mt Adams in the distance. there are great places to stop and take in the view, such as Windy Point Winery, Knight Hill Winery and Hyatt Winery. Taking the Buena Road to Highland Drive affords views of Mt Adams. The mountain is behind you but there are wineries along this route in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA to stop and enjoy the scenery.

If you want to climb or hike on Mt Adams, then starting your hike at Bird Creek meadow you will need a Yakama Reservation Tract-D tribal-use permit. A few of the routes that are on the Reservation are Mazama Glacier, Klickitat Glacier, The Castle, or Rusk Glacier Headwall. If you are not an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation, your climbing season is restricted from July 1 to October 1. The permit is available at the Mt Adams Ranger District office. It is interesting to note that the Pacific Crest Trail traverses the western flank of Mt Adams.

The Yakima Valley Visitor and Convention Bureau has featured a graphic of Mt. Adams in their new branded image, in recognition of the prominence and beauty of this grand mountain to the Yakama Nation and the Yakima Valley. (Seen Above)

Sources: Legends, Hiking Info. Gifford Pinchott National Forest-U S Forest Service website

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Floating the Yakima River Canyon

What could be better than floating leisurely down the Yakima River when the temperatures are in the 90's. The Yakima River is a gentle class II river surrounded by volcanic basalt cliffs and arid sagebrush covered hills. You may see eagles soaring above the river, possibly elk and big horn sheep.

Rill Adventures, located 90 minutes for the 405/I-90 Interchange at Exit 101, offers raft rentals from 4 man to 10 man, tubes and inflatable kayaks. they will transport you to your drop off area and pick you up after your float.

If you are bringing your own tubes or rafts, two cars are needed, one to get to the area where you are starting, and one to leave where you plan on exiting the river.
There are a number of access point along the river. The Umtanum Recreation Area boat ramp is a great place to start and ending at the Roza boat ramp makes for an 8 mile float, which is 3 to 4 hours on the river. There are other areas where you can exit the river, such as the Lmuma Creek Recreation area if you are looking for a shorter river float.

Bring your cooler with your picnic and enjoy the ride. Relax, enjoy the scenery, visit with friends, take a break to swim or eat your picnic and have a fun afternoon float on the river.

In addition to camping options along the Yakima River, Canyon River Ranch features a
great room with massive stone fireplace, library, game room, outdoor terrace, outdoor pool and spa, making it the ideal place to stay.

If you would like to stay closer to Yakima and enjoy the evening wine tasting and nightlife , yet enjoy the lodge experience North Park Lodge in Selah
is the place to be. Offering spacious rooms, indoor pool and spa and tanning beds, making this a comfortable stay.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pond fishing close to city of Yakima

In the city of Yakima, there are four ponds located close in that are stocked regularly with catch-able rainbow and brown trout.

Myron Lake:

The lake is located by taking the 40th Ave. exit off of highway 12 and turning left (east) on Fruitvale Boulevard go .2 miles and turn left on a gravel driveway, cross railroad tracks to parking lot.
Latitude: 46.62222: Longitude: -120.55417 Fishing is expected to be good for planted, catch-able rainbow and brown trout. Selective fishery regulations are in effect. Year-around season.

Rotary Lake:
This 23 acre lake is located along the Greenway Trail in Yakima. Travel north on 1st St., turn right on “R” Street and drive .5 miles, turn left at Coke entrance. Follow gravel road under I-82 to parking lot. (Latitude: 46.6282 Longitude: -120.5090) This lake is stocked with catch-able rainbow and brown trout. Trout are between 8 and 12 inches. Largemouth bass up to 7 pounds have been caught. Rotary provides good fishing opportunity spring through fall. Year-around open season with disabled accessibility.

Sarge Hubbard Park Pond:
The lake is located off I-82. Take exit 33 travel east on Terrace Heights Drive. Exit right on 18th Street continue south to parking lot, and follow path to pond. This small 3.5 acre pond features disabled accessibility and is located near the Greenway Trail at Sarge Hubbard Park in Yakima, and open year-round only to juveniles and holders of disability licenses. It is regularly stocked with catch-able-size rainbow trout and fingerling channel catfish.

Freeway Lake:
The lake is located one mile north of Yakima on I-82. Take Exit 30 to Rest Haven Rd. parking lot or north on 1st St., turn right on “R” Street and drive .5 miles, turn left at Coke entrance. Follow gravel road under I-82 to parking lot. There is a short hike in to this lake which holds rainbow and brown trout,large mouth bass and pumpkinseed.

Wenas Lake:
The lake is located by taking Highway 823 from Yakima north through Selah to Wenas Road, turn left, and follow it northwest for 12 miles to the lake. (Latitude: 46.820, Longitude: -120.680)
This is a 61 acre lake created by the damming of Wenas Creek, it holds rainbow, brown trout and channel catfish. There is public access.
Excerpted from Yakima Greenway Foundation * and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Fishing in Yakima Valley Ponds

How do we get to those ponds along I-82 east between Union Gap and Zillah? This question is frequently asked and the answer is, not easily.
I-82 ponds have multiple points of access but several are complicated to find. In some cases, visitors must drive through private property to access state land. Some areas are reached by driving through culverts under the interstate, or hiking from parking areas and walking through culverts under the interstate. Detailed maps of these access points have not been developed. These seven gravel pit ponds located between Union Gap and Zillah along interstate 82 are open year around. Access to all ponds except Buena(Pond 6) is by Walk-in. A county ordinance prohibits boats with gasoline-powered motors. Open to fishing all year, but access to these ponds is subject to seasonal closure.

Pond 1&2
Ponds 1&2 support largemouth bass, yellow perch and pumpkinseed sunfish, Expect good fishing for small pan-sized perch and sunfish. Both Ponds 1 & 2 are closed to walleye fishing;
Latitude: 46.48773815 Longitude: 120.4212563
Driving Directions:I-82 (east of Yakima) take Parker Exit. Follow Yakima Valley Highway, Left on Mellis Road to stop sign, Left to parking lot, follow trail to tube under freeway. Walk through culvert to ponds #1 & #2 on north side of I-82.

Pond #3
Pond 3, has fair fishing for pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth and yellow perch.
Latitude: 46.46965063 Longitude: 120.3958997 Driving Directions:I-82 (east of Yakima) take Exit 44, Wapato-Donald Exit, Right then Left at first driveway (double-wide mobile home) Parking area is in southeast quadrant from freeway cloverleaf and Walk approx. 1/2 mile along freeway right of way. Walk through culvert to north side of freeway and Pond #3

Ponds #4 & 5
Moving east, Ponds 4&5 are stocked with rainbow and brown trout, with browns to 16 inches caught occasionally. Fishing is fair for crappie and bass.
Latitude: N/A Longitude: N/A Driving Directions:I-82 (east of Yakima) take Exit 44, Left .5 miles to Yakima Valley Highway, Right 3.4 miles to Flint Lane, Right on Flint Lane. to a large culvert under the freeway. Drive through, turn left, and drive to parking area for Ponds #4 & #5. Public restroom at this site.

Pond #6
Buena, or Pond 6, should have good early-season fishing for stocked rainbow trout.
Latitude: 46.4221488 Longitude: 120.3210483 Driving Directions:I-82 eastbound exit #50 turn left at stop sign. Drive .5 mi. to Buena Lp. Rd. Turn left go .3 mi. Access area and facilities left side of the road.

Pond #7
East of Buena, has a fair population of largemouth bass.
Latitude: N/A
Longitude: N/A Driving Directions: From I-82, take exit 52. Head south and take first right into parking lot. This site has a public toilet and crude boat launch. All sites are open daylight hours only

* excerpted from Washington Department of fish and wildlife

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