Columbia River Basin Outdoor Adventures in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and Beyond

Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve Hiking
Badger Mountain offers adventurer hikes with incredible views. Photo credit: John Smart

With under eight inches of rainfall annually, the Columbia River Basin is the perfect place for outdoor adventures, and there are plenty to choose from. It doesn’t matter if you are new to a sport or an expert, you’ll find opportunities for everyone from the master athlete to those looking for fun family activities in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and beyond. Year-round outdoor adventures in the Columba River Basin await you, so grab your gear (or rent it!) and get outside.

Ride the Vineyards with Red Mountain Trails

With over 150 wineries in the Tri-Cities area, it only makes sense to have an outdoor adventure that allows you a look at some of the beautiful vineyards and participate in wine tasting. Red Mountain Trails is a horse riding and wagon tour company in Benton City, west of Richland. They offer trail rides through the vineyards of Red Mountain. Children six-years-old and over are welcome to attend. These rides have no wine tasting and are an hour long.

For those 21 and older, they offer a three-and-a-half-hour wine tasting trail ride. On this ride, you will see the vineyards, stop for a tasting and then again for a picnic lunch.

Red Mountain Trails also has several wagon rides, including wine tasting wagon rides and dinner rides. On the wine tasting wagon ride, you will stop at four or five wineries and you must be 21 or older.

They also offer bike tours if a trusty steed is not your style. Reservations are required for all tours. Visit the Red Mountain Trail website for ride dates and times. If they don’t have a time that works for you, call 888-414-1619 to set something up.

27314 Ambassador PR NE, Benton City

Hiking, Biking and Riding Badger Mountain

Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve prairie dog
There are plenty of animals to look for at the Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve, including adorable prairie dogs. Photo credit: Rick Zimmerman

Badger Mountain in Richland is a unique place to go for outdoor adventures due to its elevation, topography and lack of motorized vehicles, which really lets you get back to nature. Hiking, biking and horseback riding at Badger Mountain is allowed, just nothing with a motor. The 574-acre preserve has no trees, just shrubs, so as you climb elevation gains of up to 1,500 feet, you get unparalleled views of the Columbia River Basin.

There are five trails on Badger Mountain, all allow dogs on leash. For family-friendly outdoor adventures, try the Langdon Trail, which has the easiest grade. For those looking for more of a challenge, try the Canyon Trail. It’s the steepest and includes more than 60 stairs, but it’s also the most popular. At the summit of the Canyon Trail, the views are spectacular as you look out over the Tri-Cities, Rattlesnake Mountain, the Blue Mountains and on clear days, you can even see Mount Stuart. No parking pass or entry fee. For more information visit the Friends of Badger Mountain website or Facebook page.

Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga with Northwest Paddleboarding

You have heard of goat yoga and even beer yoga, but what about stand-up paddleboard yoga? Northwest Paddleboarding has a new adventure for you to try in the Columbia Basin, and it’s going to take some great balance. There will be a short introduction to paddling at the beginning of the class, so you don’t need experience to dive in and try this fun activity on the water. Anyone over the age of 12 is welcome to the class and all equipment is provided.

If you are not ready for yoga on a board, Northwest Paddleboarding can hook you up with other ways to enjoy paddleboarding on the Columbia, Yakima and Snake Rivers. They have classes for those wanting to learn how to stand-up paddleboard (also called SUP), including a special kids class for children 10 to 15.

For a beautiful and romantic outdoor activity, try their Moonlight Paddle, where you can see the river after dark using LED light paddles.

Finally, they also have plenty of sightseeing tours as well. The most popular tour meets at Lu Lu’s Craft Bar & Kitchen, where you will paddle the Columbia River, ending at Columbia Point Marina. A post paddle drink at Lu Lu’s is included in the price. Other tours are available as well, including some seasonal tours. More can be found on the Northwest Paddleboarding website, under class descriptions.

They have 20 different launch locations throughout the Tri-Cities areas, so there is sure to be one close to you. You can book your reservations on the Northwest Paddleboard website or call them at 509-378-1469.

710 George Washington Way Suite E, Richland

Boating at Sacajawea Historical State Park

Columbia River Basin Outdoor Adventures Sacajawea Historical State Park fishing
Boating and fishing are main attractions at Sacajawea Historical State Park, which also has plenty of history to explore, as well as hiking and family activities. Photo courtesy: Washington State Parks

Sacajawea Historical State Park offers great outdoor adventures in Pasco. It’s also an incredibly historical spot as on October 16, 1805, Lewis and Clark’s group camped there for two nights. The Sacajawea Historical State Park is full of incredible history, including interactive exhibits. Those looking for outdoor adventure in Pasco will not be disappointed at this park. The Columbia and Snake Rivers converge here, making it a wonderful place for boating, swimming, waterskiing, fishing as well as hiking.

The 267-acre park boasts a 200-foot dock and 70 feet of moorage. You will need a launch permit as well as a Discover Pass to put your boat in. If you want to stay where Lewis and Clark did, there is one overnight campsite along the Northwest Discovery Water Trail. It is first-come, first-served and is reserved for those arriving by boat, making it a great destination for those touring the area via the water ways.

Fishing requires fishing licenses. Along with fishing at the Sacajawea Historical State Park, check out Fishhook Park. South of the state park, it’s a great place for both boat fisherman and anglers. There are 41-day use family sites at this location, as well as 11 walk-in tent sites.

2503 Sacajawea Park Road, Pasco

Wildlife Watching

Chamna Natural Preserve
The Chamna Natural Preserve has all kinds of wildlife for you to watch. Photo credit: Karen Sowers

Not all outdoor adventures have to be strenuous. Spending time watching wildlife can be a great outdoor adventure. Nature lovers flock to see wildlife in the Tri-Cities area due to the numerous places for viewing and the large assortment of species that inhabit the area. The year-round good weather in the Columbia River Basin means you can enjoy nature 12 months of the year here. Top places to view wildlife in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and beyond include the 276+ acre Chamna Natural Preserve, which has everything from several species of birds to river otters, porcupines and deer; Bateman Island in the Columbia River south of Richland has urban wildlife; Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve is a great place for small mammal watching; Audubon Nature Trail is great for bird, insect and fish lovers; Amon Creek Natural Preserve has beavers, river otters, deer, rabbits and many species of birds; and McNary National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place to spot birds, particularly migratory waterfowl and endangered species, more than 200 species in all have been spot at McNary, as well as many mammals.

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