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Rattlesnake Slope Wildlife Area

Central Washington

Location

Central Washington -- Tri-Cities
View map below

Length

5.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1600 ft.
Highest Point: 2000 ft.

Rating

3.43 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

Upland birds love this sprawling desert prairie. The ground-hugging birds sprint among the tufts of plants. They take refuge, and find dinner, in such glorious wildflowers as balsamroot, large-headed clover, wild onion, and canyon-bottom communities of beautiful orange globe mallow.

Of course, where upland birds (pheasants, quail, and partridge) are found, coyotes are sure to be present. Hike a short distance in any direction and you'll find coyote signs. Tracks and scat can be found all over the place, as well as holes freshly dug by rodents as "safe houses," some of which have been enlarged by coyotes breaking into those sanctuaries. You might also find badger burrows in the hillsides of the small side canyons. This region has vast areas of native bunchgrass, and local land managers have seeded more than 1000 acres of the wildlife area with sagebrush to try to reestablish the native ground cover, which had suffered from many successive years of uncontrolled fires.

The top of this mountain is closed to the public, but it may be possible to follow a trail up the canyon for a short ways for a quick out-and-back hike. 

 

Rattlesnake Slope Wildlife Area

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.3479, -119.4708 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Washington -- Tri-Cities

Rattlesnake Slope (#)

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Sunnyside-Snake River Wildlife Area

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Guidebooks & Maps

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods (Bruce Bjornstad - Keokee Books)

Best Desert Hikes: Washington (Bauer & Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Richland

Getting There

From Yakima, drive east on Interstate 82 to exit 96 for Benton City. After exiting, turn left and drive through Benton City. Continue north on State Route 225. At 7.3 miles from I-82, find a fenced parking area on the left (west) side of the highway. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife permit required.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Rattlesnake Slope Wildlife Area

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