Leidl Ridge (Klickitat Wildlife Area) 5-7-20

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
bobcat
Posts: 2044
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Leidl Ridge (Klickitat Wildlife Area) 5-7-20

Post by bobcat » May 15th, 2020, 9:57 am

The Klickitat State Wildlife Area was one of the Washington public lands that opened up last week. I fashioned a cross-country route here from near the gated Grayback Mountain Road (which goes on to private timberland – though you can hike/bike the road). I didn’t notice any turkey hunters, and a Fish & Wildlife vehicle was patrolling (they left me a warning for not hanging a Discover Pass – I had forgotten it in my glove compartment). A group of botanizers, all arriving in separate cars and socially spaced, wandered off in a different direction. A couple of bikers took to the roads.

I parked under an oak and headed out across a grassy expanse blooming with desert parsley to get views down the Klickitat Canyon. Stinson Flats was just upstream, and Leidl Ridge, my destination, jutted into a big horseshoe bend on the Klckitat, with the Glenwood Highway curling around its base. Out on these grassy breaks, there are death-camas meadows and a few specimens of Hooker’s balsamroot, now past their prime bloom. There were great views of Adams and Hood. Heading north, I passed through one oak wood and contoured in above a couple of deep gullies. After skirting another oak forest, I encountered an abandoned vehicle track.

Canyon Creek Trailhead, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
View to Stimpson Flats, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Mt. Hood above the Klickitat, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Hooker's balsamroot (Balsamorhiza hookeri), Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Pungent desert parsley (Lomatium grayi), Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
View to Stinson Flats, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Mt. Adams from Canyon Creek, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
View to Grayback Mountain, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Lomatium and oaks, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Ponderosa cones, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Bi-colored cluster lily (Triteleia grandiflora), Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
View down Leidl Ridge to Mt. Hood, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg

This track took me down into Sheep Canyon, where the oaks eat barbed wire fences and camas blooms by the trickling creek. The road ascended to Leidl Ridge and merged with another abandoned track that came up from the river. I followed the road down to where it drops below the crest, and then took to the crest, heading out to Leidl Point. It was smooth going, with a couple of deer brush thickets to consider, and I soon popped out on the grassy plateau at the summit of Leidl.

Under the oaks, connector track to Leidl Ridge, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Oak eating barbed wire, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Yakima milk-vetch (Astragalus reventiformis), Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Sheep Canyon Creek, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Camas, Sheep Canyon, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Old pot, Leidl Ridge, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Mt. Adams and old mill, Leidl Ridge, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg

A marmot scuttled off at my arrival, and I paused by an small cromlech no doubt carefully placed by an ancient civilization. At the end of the point, there were great views up Dead Canyon, the old mill down along the Glenwood Highway, and the highway bridge at the horseshoe bend. Mount Adams dominated the northern horizon, but I could also spot the very top of Rainier, and Grayback Mountain stood at the western edge of the Simcoe Hills.

Cromlech and Grayback Mountain, Leidl Point, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
View up the Klickitat from Leidl Point, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Lupine and Mt. Adams, Leidl Point, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Grayback Mountain from Leidl Point, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Broad-leaf lupine, Leidl Point, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
View to the horseshoe bend, Leidl Point, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg

On the return, I followed the vehicle tracks back and then took a slightly different and somewhat higher route across the brassy benches. I passed on old cattle pond and pile of cobbles that may have been cleared from fields at one point. There were a few colonies of Nevius’ onion down in the grass. About nine miles of wandering solitude. No snakes or ticks to report!

Death-camas field, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
View to Mt. Adams from the pond, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Pile of cobbles, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
White water buttercup (Ranunculus aquatilis), Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Pond and Mt. Adams, Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Nevius' onion (Allium nevii), Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg
Meadow death-camas (Toxicoscordion venenosum), Klickitat Wildlife Area.jpg

User avatar
adamschneider
Posts: 3125
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: SE Portland
Contact:

Re: Leidl Ridge (Klickitat Wildlife Area) 5-7-20

Post by adamschneider » May 15th, 2020, 1:49 pm

I should get up to that area before my Discover Pass runs out at the end of the month.

Post Reply