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Peshastin Pinnacles
posted by John : May 24, 2014

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Ooh, pointy

This trip was not supposed to be about hiking. But really, what trip isn't about hiking? Even work trips to San Francisco and San Diego have had hikes worked into them at fair personal expense so why should a fishing trip to the east side of the state be any different?

Peshastin Pinnacles is a state park just off Highway 2 near the town of Dryden. We pulled in just before noon and found only a couple of cars in the parking lot.

It's primarily a climber's park with rock just begging to be climbed. The trails are well maintained and you can follow them around the park, but there's some backtracking involved since a few dead end at bolted walls.

We don't climb so we were just there to hike. What was really unusual was that we had Grandpa Jack with us. This is the same Grandpa Jack that believes that if a trail doesn't lead to a stream or lake full of trout it's not worth hiking. Henry took his hand and led him through the gate.

In an hour, we hiked about a mile of the one and a half miles of the park. From the gate we went left and then up at the first trail junction. There were a few climbers high above us, but we pretty much had the park to ourselves.

Being on the east side of the Cascades, it's a hot, dry park. Exactly what we needed on Memorial Day Weekend when it was forecast to pour rain on the west side. From 400 feet above the parking lot we could see what irrigation has done for the Wenatchee River valley. Green orchards covered the floor of the valley and crept up the sides, but the ridge-tops were dry and brown. Far to the west the Cascades were still covered in snow, but in late May even that was starting to melt off.

My favorite part of the park was a tree growing out of a crack high on a pinnacle. It was twisted and gnarled and probably older than all of us put together. I expended a ton of digital film trying to capture what made that tree special, but it still eluded me. (You'll have to go see it for yourself.)

As we dropped back to the parking lot the kids clowned on the steep switchbacks, spotted a lizard (sorry, all I got was a bum shot), and scrambled up a sandstone slope. It was a great diversion smack in the middle of the four hour drive across the state, but would be a worth destination in itself for anyone into climbing.

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