Friday, June 17, 2022
My sister Deb and I headed to the Ellensburg, WA area for a four-day weekend of camping and hiking.
We found a dispersed campsite near Taneum Campground, then we decided to do the nearby hike up Joe Watt Canyon in the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area:
We parked at the signboard and let ourselves through the gate. This time of year drivers are allowed to open the gate and keep driving, but it was nicer to walk:
Around here green dots indicate open and drivable roads:
Two parts of a bridge were sitting in the grass here, maybe waiting to be placed over some water crossing in the area:
Looking up the canyon:
A tunnel of vegetation:
We started seeing some nice lupine in bloom, a preview of much more to come:
We saw other wildflowers as well:
We didn’t see any other people or cars on this hike:
We had a partial view looking east:
We started seeing LOTS more lupine. So much of it! Amazing!
Stretches of the road were in bad shape:
The terrain opened up a bit:
And we reached the ruins of old homesteader’s cabin:
These lilac bushes must have been planted by that long-ago homesteader and even though the cabin is in ruins these bushes live on, getting bigger and bigger:
We followed a trail up the hill behind the cabin to see what we could see, and came across some scarlet gilia:
Then we went off-trail up a hill to see if there were any views up there. Nope:
But we did see a deer and some golden-mantled ground squirrels:
Heading back down the trail to the cabin ruins:
Then we headed back down the road to the car:
Even though this was a road hike, it was very nice and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of wildflowers we saw.
Gaia stats: 5.6 miles, 1,090′ elevation gain.