Black Canyon Loop

APRIL 13, 2008 - A Mountaineers CHS hike.   It was a warm, mostly sunny day when we hiked the Black Canyon Loop trail south of Ellensburg.  At the beginning of our hike, we saw a herd of mule deer charging down a ridge.  They stopped to look at us, and you could almost hear the big deer at the front say "And on our right is a herd of wild humans...."  About 1 1/2 miles from the trail head we stopped to see an old log cabin nestled in a grove of aspen trees.  Wildflowers were just beginning to bloom, and we saw grass widows, sagebrush violets, and sagebrush buttercups en masse as we neared the high point of our hike.  The views opened up as we gained elevation, and we were able to see Mt. Rainier and the snow-capped Stuart Mountains from our lunch spot.  We encountered lingering snow patches and mud holes on the downhill leg of our loop.  We heard birds and frogs on this hike, but we also heard absolute silence.

Approximately 10 miles roundtrip

1600' elevation gain