Round Trip mileage: ~7.2 miles by route above
Difficulty: Easy to Difficult depending on route
Elevation: Along River: 328 feet, Highest Bluff on hike: 907 feet, Ascent of above hike: 2337 feet
Warning: Rattlesnakes have been spotted on this trail during warm, summer months.
View White Bluffs Trailhead in a larger map
Directions to trailhead: From the Tri-Cities, take the Road 68 exit off I-182 in Pasco. Head north 2.4 miles on Road 68 which then veers slightly to the right at Douglas Fruit and turns into Taylor Flats Road. From that point, go 14 miles to the dead-end at Ringold Road. Turn left on Ringold Road and go 3 miles turn left on a road labeled Ringold, it quickly descends down to the Columbia River to a stop sign in .8 miles at Ringold River Road. Turn right (north), go 9 miles on Ringold River Road and park at the gate across the road.
This is a beautiful hike in a pristine area of the Hanford Reach National Monument. At the trailhead, you’ll find a sign by the opening in the gate indicating this is appropriate for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians.The reason I list this hike as “Easy to Difficult” is you can follow a number of different routes and get a great experience. The hike starts right near the famous “Wooden Power Lines” which cross the river at the old Hanford townsite which was forcefully evacuated in the 1940’s to make way for the Manhattan Project and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation construction to create nuclear materials for the first nuclear explosion (Trinity) and the atomic bomb which was dropped on Nagasaki to help end World War II.
The only visible relic of the old Hanford townsite is the burned out shell of the old Hanford High School. You can clearly see it across the river from the White Bluffs hike trailhead.
it is easy to make this a more difficult hike and you will be rewarded with beautiful vistas and a likely view of some wildlife.
The more difficult routes can start by a cross-country trek to the river bank. Here you’ll find a smooth stone beach and interesting sights like this tree that has gathered debris in the river flow as the Columbia River level fluctuates.For an even more difficult adventure, the bluffs rise sharply on the east of the road. They rise over 600 feet from the river level and make for a steep climb.
Beautiful spring wildflowers bloom in the Hanford Reach National Monument.
This is a wonderful hike with lots of potential wildlife sightings, minimal traffic and a wonderful glance at history.
Plenty of desert wildflowers will great you in the spring but be careful in the warmer seasons when rattlesnakes can be a hazard, especially since this area is fairly remote. Only a half hour or so drive from the Tri-Cities, the remote nature of this hike makes it quite appealing and you get a close-up view of the “White Bluffs” which you can see on a clear day from the top of Badger Mountain.