Cowiche Canyon winery hike

Cowiche Canyon winery hike! What’s not to love about a short, sunny hike to a winery? The front window of our house has looked like it’s going through a car wash for weeks on end, and in case you’re wondering it HAS been wetter than normal this spring.

Three hikers walking into a canyon under blue skies, inset image of two wine glasses

If you’re tired of waiting for it to stop raining in Seattle, this is a great time of year to head over to Eastern Washington and take in a bit more sun and warmer temperatures (make sure to check the weather forecast because even though Yakima has a sign that says it’s the Palm Springs of Washington, it is not actually Palm Springs, and it is possible that it could be raining there too). We’ve previously discussed places to go in Eastern Washington in the spring and last year posted an April trip report covering camping, biking and wine tasting near the Tri-Cities.

This year’s April camping trip took us to Yakima Sportsman State Park in Yakima, which despite being in the middle of town, had tons of trees, birds and protection from the wind. There were other people there but it certainly was not crowded (we assume this changes in the summer). We did one of our favorite hikes, Cowiche Canyon, which is beautiful and accessible year round. I am a particular fan of it during the spring and fall months, when it’s sunny and warmer (during the day) than Seattle, and it has stunning wildflowers in the spring and golden, orange and red foliage in the fall. You can also take a side trail up the side of the canyon and end your hike at a winery!

Cowiche Canyon winery hike trail
Hiking on the Cowiche Canyon Trail.

The arnica were blooming at the top of the canyon!

Yellow wildflowers on the Cowiche Canyon winery hike
Spring wildflowers are abundant on the Cowiche Canyon Trail

You can start this hike at either the west or east trailhead, hike through the canyon as far as you like, and return. To hike to the winery, you can start at either end of the cowiche canyon trail and follow the winery trail up to the vineyard and tasting room. Normally there is a sign at the turn to the winery trail, but the sign wasn’t there this time. The trail is easy to find. From the main trail, approximately a mile from the east trailhead, just west of a small bridge over the creek, there’s a trail that angles up hill. The trails are all clearly marked on this map.

While Seattle was enjoying it’s rainiest April 14th in history, we enjoyed partly cloudy skies and temperatures around 60 degrees (with quite a bit of wind)!

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Jennie Flaming
Jennie Thwing Flaming, Chief Adventure Officer: Jennie's life has been a continual quest for adventure (of the non-adrenalin inducing kind) from birth till now. Professionally, she pursues adventures in teaching, counseling and working to obliterate institutional racism for students in our region's public schools and also works as a tour and hiking guide. Previous professional adventures include working in schools in Seattle and Alaska, leading tours and managing tour guides and presenting traveling science shows and lessons with Pacific Science Center. She believes in sharing her beloved Pacific Northwest home with visitors. She likes to be outdoors and spend time with the people she loves. Jennie is born and raised in Seattle and has also lived in Alaska and the Netherlands.