Walk beneath the andesite cliffs and the stunning basalt along a gorgeous creek with unique wildflowers in the spring and beautiful colors in the fall, with the option for a side trip for snacks and a glass of wine. Or walk a loop on the great uplands through lithosol and sagebrush with panoramic views of the countryside that surrounds the area bursting with wildflowers in springtime.

The Cowiche Canyon Preserve is a unique pocket of wildlands near Yakima. It includes the canyon itself and the southerly uplands of it—around 20 miles of interconnected trails open for equestrians, hikers, runners, and mountain bikers. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular when there’s enough snow. During warmer months, you’ll need plenty of water and good sun protection, as there is no water or shade along the trails.

The centerpiece of this preserve is the Cowiche Canyon and the stunning Cowhiche Canyon Trail, which winds through the Cowiche Canyon on an old railroad bed beneath cliffs of basalt splotched with lichens, crossing Cowiche Creek 9 times along the way. Just west of bridge 8, the Cowiche Canyon connects to the Winery Trail that climbs up the north side of Cowiche to the tasting room at Wilridge Winery.