Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 3
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Hikers, cyclists offer advice on local trails

As the spring season ushers itself gracefully into Walla Walla, the beauty of the city itself and the surrounding natural world become more readily available for seasonal recreational activities. The possibilities  for individual spring recreation, such as hiking and biking, abound.

For students interested in biking, cycling team members freshman Eli Robinson and senior David Hancock suggest the Mill Creek Road Trail, a 28-mile trip that follows Isaacs all the way out of town.

Robinson also suggests a trip to Harris Park, which is south through Milton-Freewater and then east out of town. The Harris Park trip is up to 50 miles roundtrip, but promises gorgeous views. For more adventurous bikers, Robinson recommends a 90-mile roundtrip trail, south from Walla Walla through Milton-Freewater, continuing south to Weston, turning onto highway 204, and climbing until you reach a tollgate. Although extremely long, the climbing aspect of this trail is both an amazing workout and well worth it to see the view.

“For a shorter ride, you can head out to lower Waitsfield from Clinton by crossing the highway and loop back on middle Waitsfield via a right turn on Valley Grove. That ride is about 16 miles, and is great around sunset! For quicker adventures, taking the Mill Creek trail up to Bennington Lake is always nice,” said Hancock.

For students who enjoy pounding the ground rather than biking, Walla Walla offers an abundance of hiking trails within the Umatilla National Forest. To find a complete list of trails in all four ranger districts of the Umatilla, you can visit the Walla Walla Ranger Station, located at 1415 W. Rose St. One of the four ranger districts of this area is called the Walla Walla, which consists of 19 different trails open to hiking and biking.

“I think hiking is an amazing way to spend time off campus,” said first-year Ali Danko. “Walla Walla is really pretty. I feel like a lot of people consider [this town] to be underestimated because it’s so flat. However, when you hike, you get to appreciate the scenery that is actually around us.”

An easier trail from this area is called the Jubilee Lake National Recreation Trail, which is 2.6 miles in length, but only tips in at a maximum of an 8 percent grade, lowering its overall difficulty. For Whitties seeking a more difficult trail head, the 9.8-mile North Fork Umatilla Trail offers a challenge. This climb consists of a 5.8-mile-long climb along the south slope of the Coyote Ridge. Finally, for the most challenging of hikes in the Umatilla, one can try the Umatilla Rim Trail.  Beginning at the Buck Creek Trail head and ending at the Blue Mountain trail, this trail takes one over 2,000 feet upwards in elevation over 7.5 miles. In the first 1.5 miles alone, the hiker gains 1,900 feet of elevation. Although difficult, this trail promises a panoramic view off of Buck Mountain that is well worth the climb.

 

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