Winter is finally over, and spring has officially sprung in the Tri-Cities area. We all survived the hustle and bustle of the winter holiday season and endured being held captive by the cold inside our homes for the past few months. After so much time spent inactive and indoors, enduring the chaos of life with very few outlets, many are more than excited to get out of the house and clear their minds. And what better way to clear the mind than breathing in the fresh air while taking a hike at some of these local scenic hiking trails in the Tri-Cities!

scenic hiking trails Tri-Cities
The beautiful view from the Sacagawea Heritage Trail. Photo credit: Daffodila

Sacagawea Heritage Trail

The 23-mile paved trail known as Sacagawea Heritage Trail runs through the cities of Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to the woman who helped Lewis and Clark complete their expedition and begins at Sacajawea Historical State Park. It then loops along the mighty Columbia River through all three cities creating a beautiful scenic walk alongside the water’s waves. Along the way, there are signs scattered about regarding natural history, culture, and historical events in the area, making the walk not only fun but also educational.

Audubon Trail

scenic hiking trails Tri-Cities
Russian Olive Trees are scattered along the path of the Audubon Trail. Photo courtesy:

Nestled in Columbia Park is a much shorter trail than the Sacagawea Heritage Trail, but just as fantastic, known as the Audubon Trail. This trail is approximately one mile in distance and is great for walking with not much elevation, making it perfect for those who just want a nice, easy stroll. The paved trail winds through a series of Russian Olive trees and other foliage with a pond in the middle perfect for bird watching. There are also several side trails in the area that are ideal for exploring off the beaten path for a moment.

Tri-Cities Riverfront Trail

A walk with beautiful views of the river, wildlife, and other breathtaking elements highlighting key features of the Tri-Cities landscape is what’s in store for those taking a walk on the Tri-Cities Riverfront Trail. The seven-mile trail even has plenty of benches scattered around to stop and enjoy the view. Just remember to take a hat for this one, as there are not a lot of shaded spots along the way.

Badger Mountain – Skyline Trail

scenic hiking trails Tri-Cities
Badger Mountain can be quite the climb but is perfect for those who are up to the challenge. Photo credit: Jim Langdon

Rising at 1,579 feet at its highest point, Badger Mountain has five unique trails, each presenting a different challenge whether you’re on foot, bike, or horse. The Skyline Trail follows the ridge-line up the summit of Badger Mountain, then back down to meet the Sagebrush Trail and the Langdon Trail at the Triple Junction. The smooth top, paved gravel path is a popular favorite of hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians as the seven-mile loop provides quite the adventure, being completed in an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes. Reach the top and be rewarded with some beautiful views of the local landscape and some of the area’s vineyards in the distance.

Rattlesnake Slope

The open prairie hilly area on the northeast side of Rattlesnake Mountain and west of the Yakima River makes up Rattlesnake Slope in the Tri-Cities. The trail is popular among local equestrians and perfect for bird lovers as many upland birds, such as pheasants, quail, and partridge, call the area home. Those looking to stop for a spell and catch them sprinting among the tufts of plants can enjoy a lovely picnic in the many fields of various wildflowers among the mountain, such as wild onion, balsamroot, and large-headed clover. As you make your way up the slope, the beautiful Columbia Basin comes into view, showcasing its various hills and local vineyards just beyond the eastern horizon.

With so many hiking trails in our community, what are you waiting for? The remarkable views are waiting, and all it takes is a new adventure on the trails! Get outdoors, take a breath of fresh air, and clear your mind at these amazing hiking trails in our Columbia Basin area.

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