Friday, October 16, 2015

Yakima River Canyon Boondocking

      We arrived in Central Washington planning on relaxing a day or two and do some fruit/vegetable shopping at the myriad of local stands. We checked out a new boondocking location up the Yakima River Canyon, about 8 miles north of Yakima.  We first watered up at Exit 22 where Washington State has one of many rest areas with RV dumps and water fill.  Afterwards we exited at Washington Highway 821, just north of Selah, heading up the canyon.  The road is tight, high, and winds throughout the mountain ledges for about 5 miles to the first area. 

      There are 4 areas to camp during the length of this canyon.  These are all on BLM land.  We chose the first, Roza Recreation Area due to it's closeness to town.  This is a simple, but spacious setup with the entire parking area freshly paved with lines to delineate camping or parking areas.  There are 6 sites, each with a fire pit and picnic table and there are two very nice vault toilets.  There is no water, electricity, or cost. The sites do require some leveling on your part. 
      The next day we took a short drive further up the canyon to check out the other sites.  About 2 miles further up was the Big Pines Recreation Area.  This is the same type of area, but with 38 sites, many of which sit back into the large Ponderosa Pines with shade and proximity to the river.  There are also tent sites and walk in sites for those more adventurous.  Still no electricity or water, but no cost as well.  I do say that we would probably stay here next time and by the amount of campers already there I believe they share the same sentiment.  There is no cell signal within the entire length of the canyon.  One of the other recreation areas was smaller such as ours and the last was the most upriver and accessible only by river.  All the areas have access to plenty of sun which made our solar setup just the ticket. 

      The entire canyon is very scenic with plenty of wildlife, including a herd of Bighorn Sheep which reside on the western walls.  There are many opportunities for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking.  We had plenty of fun visiting markets, picking up some fresh corn, peaches, apples, and Barb even found some of her favorite Choke Cherry Honey.  This place stays on our list for each time we pass through. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rich...With my lowly Tracfone there is cell service @ Big Pines.....Within about 15' of the Northern Toilets.....I think some notice is given about that on the info board.
    The sites cost $ during the summer months and you are correct it is a popular place.
    I have always been able to snag a spot and it's fun watching the river-rafters on the river..Especially those drinking too many whatevers on the way downriver..