20 Cowiche Canyon Conservancy USGS Tieton, Naches
Oct 18, 2009 by MaryC
A group of five from the Tri-Cities did this trail in the Cowiche Conservancy just west of Yakima. The Cowiche Mountain Loop Trail starts at the parking lot and climbs 1,140 feet to the summit of Cowiche Mountain (2,970 feet). The round trip distance is 6.1 miles. We started out on the loop going clockwise. While the trail is marked with cairns there were two places where one could take a wrong turn. We met a fellow with a dog about a quarter of the way who was able to steer us on the right path. Once one is out on the open slopes the cairns are easy to see and follow. Coming down from the top, the path is a little easier to follow. The fall colors are wonderful right now. The view from the top was clouded for us but on a clear day can be spectacular. We could spot Rainier and Adams through the clouds. There were very few people on this trail. t
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Most wilderness programs fall short of hav- ing a baseline work force, which is itself a yardstick element and one that is needed to help meet the other nine Wilderness Challenge elements. I fear that without a major infusion of funding support from Congress, our invaluable Wilderness Preservation System will not stay viable, remain accessible to the public, nor sur- vive intact in the face of climate change. Our beleaguered and diminished ranger districts will not be able to honor the language and intent of the Wilderness Act that states that “it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Congress to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.”
In 1962, President Kennedy said, “It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who came before, the natural wealth and beauty that is ours.” The advice is as good as ever. Good preservation tactics demand proactive management as well as periods of reflection that recognize how important wilderness is to the health and well0being of our nation. t
January + February 2010 » Washington Trails
A look into Umtanum Canyon from Umtanum Ridge. This is a great hike for winter wildlife. Photo by Alan Bauer.