White Bluffs–South Slope

Richland, Washington

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The White Buffs area offers an incredible desert landscape to explore. The amazing clay/sand bluffs boast amazing patterns woven into their faces—patterns created by the network of sand and clay layers as well as the hundreds of holes that serve as nesting sites for cliff swallows and many species of raptors that come to this area in spring. Heading south, you have numerous roaming options, and going in this direction would take many visits to fully explore. Heading south from the trailhead along the old paved roadway, you can enjoy the amazing bluffs and the wonderful river views. You’ll be walking along the Hanford Reach, the last free-flowing section of the Columbia. One mile down the road, look carefully for an unsigned trail that leaves the roadway on your left (a trail leads right also for more roaming out to sandstone pillar formations overlooking the river) where the roadway passes through a flat area before it goes through a deep road cut.

White Bluffs–South Slope Professional Review and Guide

"The White Buffs area offers an incredible desert landscape to explore. The amazing clay/sand bluffs boast amazing patterns woven into their faces—patterns created by the network of sand and clay layers as well as the hundreds of holes that serve as nesting sites for cliff swallows and many species of raptors that come to this area in spring. Heading south, you have numerous roaming options, and going in this direction would take many visits to fully explore.

Heading south from the trailhead along the old paved roadway, you can enjoy the amazing bluffs and the wonderful river views. You’ll be walking along the Hanford Reach, the last free-flowing section of the Columbia. One mile down the road, look carefully for an unsigned trail that leaves the roadway on your left (a trail leads right also for more roaming out to sandstone pillar formations overlooking the river) where the roadway passes through a flat area before it goes through a deep road cut."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Richland
Distance: 10
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 6 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 900 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Local Maps: Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Priest Rapids
Driving Directions: Directions to White Bluffs–South Slope

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May 2018