Dogs No Dogs
Birding · Geological Significance · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers
This trail is perhaps the most stunning route in Hanford Reach National Monument: one of Washington's most hidden secrets. Hike along the basalt cliffs-called the White Bluffs-to the iconic dunes of Hanford Reach, which are some of the largest in Washington State.
Need to Know
Amenities in Hanford Reach are minimal; there are no restrooms in the monument, and trailheads are unsigned.
Start at the unsigned trailhead near the boat ramp, heading north. Continue along the White Bluffs for two miles before you reach the first dune. The trail ends here, and this is a great place to stop and take in the views. Those looking to further explore can continue to the second dune, off-trail. Additionally, more experienced hikers are free to explore the White Bluffs along the river.
Be aware that some of the soil off-trail in this area is cryptobiotic, and very sensitive! Avoid stepping on this soil; it can be identified by its airy, porous texture.
Flora & Fauna
Many species of birds are common along the trail, including bald and golden eagles, osprey, raven, heron and red winged blackbirds. In the more arid parts of the trail, lizards and small mammals are common as well. Wildflowers are also common here in spring
History & Background
The trail travels along a stretch of the Columbia River which was preserved by the buffer zone of the Hanford nuclear site; though the reactors are no longer active, now a remnant of WWII, the area around the site remains a pristine section of wilderness, now protected in the Hanford Reach National Monument.
Shared By: Ryan W