White Bluffs North Slope Trail is a 5.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Othello, Washington that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Just past milepost 63 on SR 24 turn right onto the gated gravel road. After 4 miles turn right at the 4-way intersection onto the paved road (continuing straight leads to the South Slope trail after 4 more miles) Drive 1.4 miles to the trail-head which is located on the right side of the road just before a creek crossing and a few trees. There is no parking lot, just an arched turn off
This was an amazingly beautiful trail. In the first half mile or so there was a steady incline. But, once on top it all leveled out and you walk along the ridge. You can see all along the Hanford site and view many of the cocooned reactors. The trail ends at sand dunes where we sat, staring at the river and a number of elk feeding on its grass. Once we were finished, we walked down to the boat dock and put our feet in the river to cool off. Perfect.
This hike is definitely different than a typical winter mountain trail. Instead of snowshoeing in a winter wonderland this trail is "sandshoeing" through the desert and no trees. I got to White Bluffs at sunrise and opted for the North Slope trail which was very moderate and suitable for any age. The trail can be a tad difficult to follow once you get up near the dunes but you can see for miles and you are hiking along a river bluff so it is impossible to get lost. The barren landscape was interesting and I had a lot of fun running around on the gorgeous white sand dunes - who wouldn't? The colors along the Columbia River bluff combined with the ripples in the sand provides a great backdrop for taking photos of nature. I'm guessing that because it was in the middle of winter that there was no one else out there. I drove down to the South Slope trailhead on the way out and I saw one car parked there. Overall I liked the trail and enjoyed the contrast in scenery.