Juniper Dunes Wilderness Area

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Juniper Dunes Wilderness

Juniper Dunes Wilderness Area is a 14.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Pasco, Washington that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 14.8 miles Elevation Gain: 892 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

views

Please note: the best months to visit are March-May. The remaining months can experience extreme weather. Wilderness area comprised of ancient sand dunes in eastern Washington near the Columbia river. Deep in the heart of the dry, desert country of the lower Columbia Basin sits the Juniper Dunes Wilderness Area, the only Bureau of Land Management wilderness in the entire state. Covering just 7,140 acres, it is also the only wilderness area in the state to be completely enclosed by barbed wire--put there not to keep the animals in but to keep the motorcycles and ORVs out. Fortunately, the wire works and the deer and coyotes can leap over or under the wire as they please. The Juniper Dunes Wilderness exists as an oasis of natural wonder just a few minutes drive from the urban sprawl of Pasco. The only trail in this wilderness is an old jeep track that slices across the southern end of the small desert preserve, but no trails are needed here. To experience the wonders of this place, simply disappear into the sand dunes and juniper groves.

hiking
4 months ago

The Juniper Dunes are a combination of an off-road RV Recreation Area (with roads and trails everywhere) and a smaller Wilderness Area (major tree area), fenced off and tucked in the heart of the area. This was a beautiful mid week winter hike. We only heard two ORV during our hike. Agree with other reviews that a high clearance rig is recommended, as well as packing ample water and using a GPS to keep track of your location. Accessed the West Entrance off the Kahlotus Highway, its well-marked! You no longer have to take the left by the airstrip and yellow mailbox/Peterson Rd (as the “getting there” directions suggest). Keep going a little further on the Kahlotus Hwy and you’ll see new signage that takes you down an oiled road to the main parking area that is explained in the original directions.

hiking
9 months ago

This is the Northernmost extent of the range for natural junipers, so interesting to observe that type of ecosystem. A little shade if you can stop to sit under a bigger juniper, but that's it. Recommend not going too far without navigation, remember where the fence into the wilderness is to get back to it. Secluded, interesting, very sandy. Bring drinking water, sun protection.

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

Only open March April and May. Rest of the year it’s either too cold or too hot. Don’t be stupid and wander this wilderness alone when closed you will need rescued. A Garmin GPS is recommended. And yes there are mountain lions here. Maybe even tigers and lions and bears

Sun May 05 2019

DO NOT take Elm street (east) off of the 395 freeway to get there. Do not click the directions arrow and use the route that maps opens. Rather, follow the directions under the tab titled “getting there.” The Kahlotus highway 12 must be used to get there. Also: these lands are used primarily by ATV’s (four-wheelers, four-tracks, etc). A large area of the terrain is intentionally sculpted for their purpose. It’s often NOT hiker friendly. Blessings...

Sat May 27 2017

This is BLM LAND. you have to cross private property to access it so be polite. 4x4 a must. AWD might be ok. This is a desert landscape super hot in the summer and really cold at night. Bring extra water a hat for shade and make sure you don't get lost. You can go for miles and get turned around. The wilderness area is best. But if hiking the near side the power lines can be used for navigation.

hiking
Wed Apr 29 2015

Not a bad place. Very, very tough to find. Recommend a GPS and a 4WD high clearance vehicle is pretty much a must unless you want to dredge 2.5 miles through the sand. The vegetation and scenery are definitely awesome but the noise of the off roaders is also pretty much constant. Will I go back? Probably. Not quite the same as the Cascades though.

hiking
Wed May 22 2013

This wilderness of sand dunes is an unusual find amidst the agricultural properties all around. Once you're in it, you are really away from it all. Bring lots of water as there is none to be found out here. The road in to the parking area can be rough in a low clearance vehicle.

ohv/off road driving
Sun Feb 03 2013

Just west, accessible from Peterson Rd, is a huge off-roading area with great sand dunes and sage brush all along the trails. No shade or water, but great views.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

horseback riding
4 months ago