East of the Washington Cascades

searching for nowhere

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
Western Washington
The other week I traveled to the east side of the Washington Cascades for a short trip to escape the cold and rain. I was born in the Seattle area and have thought of the east side as "boring". I have driven through the area many times on the freeways, speeding off to "more interesting" places. I was wrong. I thought I would share a few places. This isn't a "trip report" per se, but this category seemed like the best place to put this info.

Manastash Ridge Observatory. 46.95099119227211, -120.7243812654929
Nice view from the ridge. I drove there from the south turning north from N Wenas Rd. Note that the observatory appears to be not used. There were weeds growing in the driveway.

Yakima Canyon.
Instead of driving I-82 between Yakima and Ellensburg, consider driving 821 through the Yakima Canyon. A scenic drive. The canyon is known for fly fishing and rafting. At the Umtanum Creek Recreation Site there is a pedestrian bridge over the Yakima River that gives you access to trails. A bit on the geology. Washington 100

Erosion during the Missoula floods created coulees. I had forgotten how interesting the coulees are. In the spring they are green and the flowers are blooming. And there are basalt columns. There is the Frenchman Coulee: Washington 100 and others. I visited the Ancient Lake Trail from the Quincy Lake area via road T NW. Note that the access to the Quincy Lakes from the south is closed. Access is from the White Trail Rd. Quincy Lakes area also has dispersed camping.

Blewett Pass Road, Hwy 97 between Leavenworth/Wenatchee and Ellensburg/Cle Elum. Want to slowly meander? Drive the Old Blewett Pass Road west of the new road. Although the road is paved, it is a slow drive and enjoyable. If you are interested in some of the geology watch:

Wenatchee/Leavenworth Geology. I'm still trying to get this area sorted out. There are a lot of Youtubes and scientific papers on the area. The one Youtube I found the most interesting is:
. For me, it was most interesting to watch this after I got home and had visited Saddle Rock. There was once a large gold mine next to the Saddle Rock trailhead and now there is no evidence that it existed.

Nick Zentner's youtube videos are a good recommendation. All your suggestions are interesting.

I had cause to tour the underground workings of the gold mine near Wenatchee in the 1990's when it was just about to start closing down. Very weird to zoom around the deep tunnels in those flattish mine cars. I am happy to hear the reclamation efforts left no evidence of the mine.

Thanks for posting your non-trip report.
AWG_Pics How interesting that you were inside that mine. As you saw, it was huge. FYI, for those that aren't interested in geology, the second half of the Youtube discusses the workings of the mine. I'm still a bit amazed that the mine was there since you see nothing today. I stopped there to see Saddle Rock. When I got home, I was looking for information on the area and stumbled onto this video of the gold mine.
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