Cowiche Canyon sits six miles west of downtown Yakima. Cowiche Creek winds between the towering basalt and andesite cliffs of Cowiche Canyon. A 2.9 mile unpaved trail runs along the canyon floor and was once an old rail line that moved fruit between Yakima and Tieton and Cowiche. In addition to the Canyon Trail, there are trails that wind through the Uplands of Cowiche Canyon on the west and east ends and the 2.3 mile South Rim Trail connects the Uplands trail system from east to west. The Uplands and Lone Pine Trails originate in the Uplands of Cowiche Canyon along the lithosol and shrub-steppe zone and drop sharply into the riparian area of the Canyon along Cowiche Creek. CCC owns over 300 acres at Cowiche Canyon. The Bureau of Land Management also owns and manages property in Cowiche Canyon adjacent to CCC’s ownership.
There are four trailheads that connect into the Cowiche Canyon trail system – Cowiche Canyon East, Cowiche Canyon West (Weikel), Scenic (Uplands), and Summitview.
Mock orange shrubs along Cowiche Creek.
Fall colors in Cowiche Canyon.
Snow Mountain Ranch encompasses 2,000 acres, with an elevation gain of over 1,000 feet from the South Fork of Cowiche Creek to the summit of Cowiche Mountain. There are 10 miles of unpaved trails accessible from the parking lot on Cowiche Mill Road. A short trail leads down to a bridge crossing Cowiche Creek and from there the trail system provides a wide range of trails in varying length and elevation gain. Cowiche Mountain and Snow Mountain Ranch have a complex topography, including lithosol, shrub-steppe, and riparian zones. These zones have a high biodiversity of plants and wildflowers and a variety of mammals, birds, and butterflies.
NOTE: Due to deed restrictions at Snow Mountain Ranch, mountain biking is prohibited above the ditch bank. It is only allowed in the lowlands. Horseback riding is allowed at Snow Mountain Ranch, but riders must access the trails via Rocky Top due to a turnstile at the SMR trail system entry.
Rocky Top is a trail network located west of Summitview Ave, about 10 miles from downtown Yakima. There are close to 15 miles of single track trails designed by and for mountain biking. This trail system is also popular among hikers.
The trail system is maintained by Single Track Alliance of Yakima (STAY) and the property is made available by Ron Anderson, owner of Anderson Rock and Demolition.
CCC owns a 42 acre conservation easement located at the entry point to the Rocky Top Trail System.
Up on Rocky Top.
Single Track Alliance of Yakima (STAY) mountain bikers.
Cowiche Canyon and Snow Mountain Ranch trails are OPEN. NOTE: All trails within the William O. Douglas Natural Resource Conservation are now open EXCEPT Upper Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha and Upper Tooled-n-Schooled, which remain closed to repair winter erosion and rut damage. Please respect trail closures. Closures are for the long-term health of the trails.