Black Canyon

Ellensburg, Washington 98926

Black Canyon

Black Canyon Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"If you’re a bird nerd, you’ll go crazy over this canyon. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: where there is water, there is life! Wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, and the feathered ones, depend on this canyon to survive, and they raise young in the tall protected groves of quaking aspen and cottonwood.

The roadbed-turned-trail also leads hikers to an old log homestead set among the deciduous trees and an opportunity to let the imagination run wild about days of yesteryear."

More Black Canyon Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Wildflower Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Art Kruckeberg with Karen Sykes & Craig Romano
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"Even in late summer Black Canyon is a lovely hike, despite the lack of blooming flowers, with tall grasses and black outcroppings of rock set against a deep blue sky. Find a breeze and watch the tall grasses ripple like waves across the tawny hills. From the gate, the terrain on the right side of the road consists of grassy slopes with black basalt talus slopes and outcroppings. On the left are aspens, a few ponderosa pines, numerous shrubs, and grasses, indicating a hint of a stream in mid-August." Read more
Best Desert Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Alan L. Bauer & Dan A. Nelson
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"This canyon is stunning! It offers black basalt talus slopes below steep cliffs, hillsides of brilliant wildflowers, and an array of birds. That’s right: Bird lovers, take note. This is an avian paradise. In addition to the everpresent raptors that soar above virtually all desert country, Black Canyon boasts stunning populations of mourning doves and western kingbirds. You’ll also find grouse, Hungarian partridge, and chukar. The road continues from the parking area, though the huge berm of dirt prevents further vehicle access. Follow the road as it climbs the canyon." Read more

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Trail Information

Nearby City
1,475 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Best March through November
Best Times
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oak Creek Wildlife Area
Local Contacts
WDFW trail map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018