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  1. #1

    Point 2299' (Tarpiscan Creek area)

    I enjoyed a day of hiking recently in an area that is lesser used. The Colockum State Wildlife Area is about a half hour from Wenatchee, following the Malaga Highway and Tarpiscan Road to the end of the pavement. One could walk on roads closed to motorized use for some pleasant scenery, but travel though shrub/steppe environment without constructed trails is required to access higher viewpoints. Flowers are best in March and April. Fields of prairie star were conspicuous on my hike. Open ridges include splendid vistas and offer many loop possibilities. Trekking poles are recommended for travel on steep slopes and may ease the mind a bit about a potential encounter with a rattlesnake.
    My loop was a circumnavigation of Davies Canyon which was about eight miles total, perhaps two-thirds of the route cross country. A large pullout provides parking at the end of the pavement. The first mile or so includes stream crossings of Whitson Canyon and Long Pine Canyon. The roadway along this section used to be drivable by autos. However, the big flood a few years ago that wrecked property along Colockum Creek also knocked out the culverts and road surface at these stream crossings. The fords include simple rock hopping. A quarter-mile beyond Long Pine Canyon the road system comes to a Y junction that used to be the trailhead.
    Either road is scenic, but I left the road system here and headed straight up the hillside towards a ridgetop and Point 1871’. This ridge separates Long Pine Canyon and Davies Canyon. I followed this ridge to its highest point (2840+) where a small rock knob provides a nice view down into Tarpiscan Creek. Here a ridge that separates Davies Canyon from Tarpiscan Creek descends to Point 2299’. Scenery includes views up towards Colockum Pass, up and down the Columbia River, Quincy and the Columbia Plateau, and views up Palisades Creek. You’ll hear and see trains on the Burlington Northern railroad way below and across the Columbia River.
    From Point 2299’ I elected to descend a ridge heading northeast. Only the last 200 feet of elevation loss to the road below were steep. My poles were handy to help with the awkward footing. Head north for a few miles of road walking to return to the starting point. Use this link to my DropBox account to download a map of the route

    Charlie Hickenbottom, Wenatchee, 4-9-2016

  2. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Wenatchee
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    1,122
    Cool hike Charlie. Thanks for posting. As you mention, the Colokum gets relatively little use, is close to town, and beautiful in spring. Area gets much more use in autumn (hunting season) so for hikers spring is the preferred time.

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