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Backpacking Along the Yakima Skyline Trail

Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Although the quintessential image of backpacking is of alpine lakes, thick forests and craggy peaks, deserts offer the well-prepared backpacker breathtaking scenery and an opportunity for longer hikes months before most mountains have melted out. Desert backpacking is typically associated with the iconic landscapes of the Southwest and destinations such as Canyonlands National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Grand Canyon National Park, and numerous other national parks, forests, and monuments – particularly in Arizona and Utah. Somewhat surprisingly, some excellent springtime backpacking in desert landscapes can also be found in the Northwest. Idaho, Oregon, and Washington all have extensive arid landscapes that offer backpackers a chance to hike and camp in places that offer remarkable contrast to stereotypes of soggy Northwest woods or Rocky Mountain majesty. The Oregon Desert Trail provides hikers with a lengthy route through that state’s high desert and the Owyhee River area and Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho are opportunities to experience the beauty of arid environments. The expansive desert east of the Cascade Mountains in Washington, especially in the area around the Yakima River, is a unique and incredibly scenic area for backpacking and is ideal when the crests of the Cascades are still covered in feet of snow...

In Issue  34, @Mark reports on a scenic and wildflower packed trip in Washington's high desert along the Yakima Skyline Trail. Read the full article in Issue 34:

Wildflowers in the High Desert: Early Season Backpacking in Eastern Washington

Backpacking the High Desert of Oregon - L.T. Murray Wildlife Area near Yakima

Issue 34 Page 1

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