The Big Idea

When people are asked about trails in Tri-Cities, usually they can only come up with one: Badger Mountain. Don't get me wrong, Badger Mountain is a wonderful, well-preserved hiking area that displays all the beauty of the Tri-Cities--but there are so many other trails in the area and a lot of people have no idea. So, with this blog, I plan to help people see that our area has so much to offer in the way of places to go for a run or go for a walk, and I hope to encourage people to get out and get moving and explore new frontiers in the area we all call home. Look to the right under my Trail List to see the entire list!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Badger Mountain Trails

Badger Mountain Trails
White: Badger Flats Trail
Yellow: Canyon Trail
Blue: Sagebrush Trail
Red: Skyline Trail

You're probably thinking, "Oh, I know all about Badger Mountain," but there's always more to learn! That's what I thought to myself before I hiked them all, and it turns out, I only knew about the Canyon Trail! Badger Mountain is so fun to hike. I usually walk up it, but there are plenty of people who run, and some who even bike. At the top, you are guaranteed to have the best view of the Tri-Cities; you will see the Columbia River, the city, the surrounding hills, and best of all...the amazing sunsets we are known to have! And sunrises too, if you can get up that early. Props to you if you can!
View from Badger Mountain
Location: There are two places you can start depending on where you want to hike:

  • You can start at the Trailhead Park, 525 Queensgate Dr, Richland, WA, which is on the corner of Queensgate Drive and White Bluffs street in Richland. This is the green marker on the map and gives you immediate access to the Canyon Trail, Sagebrush Trail and Badger Flats Trail. You can click the location link at the bottom of this post to pull it up on Google Maps for a visual and for directions. But here are some general directions:
    • From Pasco or Richland, coming across the Yakima River, you get on Interstate 182 and take exit 3A Queensgate South. From there, you merge right onto Queensgate Drive, take a left on Keene Rd, then take a right on Shockley Rd, by Bethel Church. You continue on Shockley until the road takes a left and becomes Queensgate Drive. Continue on Queensgate until you come to White Bluffs St, where you will take a right and then a quick left into the parking lot!
    • From Kennewick: take Gage Blvd west and take a right onto Keene Rd. Continue on Keene and take a left onto Shockley Rd. At that point, the directions are the same as above.
  •  You can also start at the Badger Mountain Centennial Preseve Westgate entrance off of Dallas Rd, also in Richland. This gives you immediate access to the Skyline Trail, which is my personal favorite Badger Mountain trail. The address is 5305 East 210 PR NE, Richland, WA
    • To get there, take Keene Rd west, turn left onto Kennedy Rd, and then take another left onto Dallas Rd. Continue on this road until you go under the overpass. The gravel road to the trailhead will be on the left. From Kennewick, you can also go all the way west on Clearwater Avenue and hop onto I-82 toward Yakima. From there, you take the Dallas Rd exit, turn right onto Dallas Rd, and continue until you see the trailhead sign. The gravel road to the trailhead will be on your right.
Parking: Either the Trailhead Park, or the Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve Westgate entrance.
Pet Friendly?: Yes, but please keep them leashed! They even have leashes there for you to borrow in case you forget one.
Maintenance: City of Richland, Friends of Badger Mountain, Benton County

The Different Trails
Badger Flats Trail:
The Badger Flats Trail starts at Trailhead park, and there's an entrance right off of the parking lot, and it loops around and comes out right next to the steps where you get on the Canyon Trail.
Distance: 0.4 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy--it's completely flat! Hence the name.

Canyon Trail and Sagebrush Trail
Beginning of Canyon Trail
The Canyon Trail is probably the most well-known Badger Mountain Trail. It runs along the front side of the mountain, and what a lot of people do is, once they get to the top, they go back down along the backside on Skyline Trial and onto Sagebrush Trail. That's a way to switch things up!
Difficulty: Hard. You're climbing up a mountain for goodness sake!
Distance: Canyon Trail: 1.3 miles  Sagebrush Trail: 0.6 miles. 
The Canyon-Skyline-Sagebrush Loop: 3.25 miles

The Canyon-Skyline-Sagebrush Loop

They have these nifty markers every quarter-mile! And if you ever get lost, the markers also tell you what trail you're on.

Skyline Trail:
Skyline Trail
Skyline Trail starts on the west end of Badger Mountain and goes along the backside. I love this one because your view is that of an agricultural landscape rather than a view of buildings and houses. But both are beautiful in their own way!
Distance: 3 miles
Difficulty: Hard. The ascent is difficult, but it levels out after about a mile. And then on the way back down, it's easy!

Badger Mountain may be a challenge, but hiking it is excellent exercise and plus--you get a breathtaking view to go with it! It's a wonderful place to hike with your family and friends, or even just your dog. Those trails are out there waiting for you to hike them! Adventure is out there!

For more information about Badger Mountain, visit the Friends of Badger Mountain Website,

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