Kendall Skyline Road

Dayton, Washington

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
Mile-high Kendall Skyline Road, built in 1928, is named for the U.S. Forest Service employee (William H. Kendall) who conceived, promoted and surveyed what remains one of Washington’s most spectacular backcountry byways. It zigzags for many miles along the crest of a narrow ridge that provides inspiring views of the rugged Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, Walla Walla Valley, canyons of Snake River country and Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains. Don’t pass up the spur to Table Rock Lookout (6,250 feet). Built in 1949, it provides an unsurpassed vista from southeastern Washington into Oregon and Idaho. On a native-surface road. But it’s rocky and dusty much of the way. This trip is not for all-wheel-drive passenger cars. Snow can block the road well into July. From Dayton, follow North Fork Touchet River Road (county road 9115; No. 64 in the national forest) south, more or less, along its namesake into the steep, terraced and forested Blue Mountains. The pavement ends 13.8 miles from town, and 7.8 miles farther you’ll pass the turnoff for Bluewood Ski Area. From that point the graded road diminishes to a more rudimentary single-lane mountain road. A couple of miles past the ski-area turnoff, the views down the region’s many long, deep canyons become increasingly impressive.
Washington Byways

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Washington Byways

by Tony Huegel (Wilderness Press)

Mile-high Kendall Skyline Road, built in 1928, is named for the U.S. Forest Service employee (William H. Kendall) who conceived, promoted and surveyed what remains one of Washington’s most spectacular backcountry byways. It zigzags for many miles along the crest of a narrow ridge that provides inspiring views of the rugged Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, Walla Walla Valley, canyons of Snake River country and Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains. Don’t pass up the spur to Table Rock Lookout (6,250 feet). Built in 1949, it provides an unsurpassed vista from southeastern Washington into Oregon and Idaho. On a native-surface road. But it’s rocky and dusty much of the way. This trip is not for all-wheel-drive passenger cars. Snow can block the road well into July.

From Dayton, follow North Fork Touchet River Road (county road 9115; No. 64 in the national forest) south, more or less, along its namesake into the steep, terraced and forested Blue Mountains. The pavement ends 13.8 miles from town, and 7.8 miles farther you’ll pass the turnoff for Bluewood Ski Area. From that point the graded road diminishes to a more rudimentary single-lane mountain road. A couple of miles past the ski-area turnoff, the views down the region’s many long, deep canyons become increasingly impressive.

©  Tony Huegel/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Dayton
Distance: 65
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 3.5 hours
Local Contacts: Umatilla National Forest, Walla Walla Ranger District
Local Maps: Washington Road & Recreation Atlas; Umatilla National Forest, North Half
Driving Directions: Directions to Kendall Skyline Road

Recent Trail Reviews

9/1/2010
0

This is a nice drive with some amazing views of the surrounding country. Keep your eyes open for the Mule deer and elk. More than once I've seen some really nice bull elk standing in the middle of the road, they tend to disappear around hunting season and the majority of the property along Skyline is private. Watch out for the logging trucks, those guys usually drive kind of crazy and thy won't move over for you. Overall this is a nice drive.


10/22/2007
0

Beautiful road through woods; well graded in most areas. Saddlebacks are stunning. Snow & mud at elevation. Watch for logging crews, hunters on horseback, and road closures. Drive to the ranger station for amazing views.



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Apr 2018