June in Washington - or as we locals call it Junuary. That devilish month before summer truly starts when the occasional snow storm in the mountains can ruin all your weekend plans and rain can batter the western side of the state without warning. You had planned to get away this weekend, towing an Outbound Rigs trailer behind you, but now you’re looking at the forecast and you’re seeing 100% chance of precip. You guess that weekend of trail running and mountain biking from your badass basecamp is quickly becoming a cozy two days of cuddling under your Pendelton and reading the Jack Kerouac novel you just picked up. While that does sound wonderful no need to abandon your adventurous weekend plans so quickly, we have got you covered.
While the Pacific Northwest is famed for its unrelenting rain and oppressively grey skies (from October through Junuary) Washington has a secret weapon: the eastside. Drive over the Cascades and just hours away from misting clouds and high-speed windshield wipers are amber fields of grain and blue skies for days. The eastside lives in the rainshadow of the jagged peaks and ridges that slice the state in half and offers dry, hot summers and bitterly cold winters. The perfect escape for a Junuary weekend.
But where to go? The eastside is a huge place! While there are many fabulous options Tieton is a particularly appealing one for the last minute change in plans or a traveler struck by whimsy. The Tieton/Naches area is located approximately two and a half hours from Seattle and boasts seemingly endless dispersed camping along the Tieton river. If complete spontaneity isn’t your thing there are also establish campgrounds like Windy Point Campground and Willows Campground where you can reserve a site for your stay. If the weather on the westside isn’t looking completely miserable you can also inch your way west along Hwy 12 and park your trailer alongside Rimrock Lake!
Once you are settled into camp, the trailer leveled and the campfire going, it’s time to plan the next days activities. The options are endless. What about some crack climbing at the Royal Columns, a popular climbing spot for sport and trad climbers alike, overlooking the Tieton River? Or a jaught up the Pacific Crest Trail out of White Pass - only a short drive away. Perhaps you are looking for something with epic views - make your way up to Chinook Pass overlooking the mighty Mount Rainier. Then again, you could start your morning with a quick trail run on Cowiche Mountain, jogging through the dry steppe with the sun on your back. And of course there is always the option to raft or kayak the Tieton River! Oh hey, you didn’t bring that mountain bike for nothing! Tieton is the perfect place to set up your Outbound Rigs’ trailer as a basecamp and take in a whole host of options.
And when you’re done for the day you can stop on the way back to camp for a cold one at Cowiche Creek Brewing Company or Bron Yr Aur Brewing Company, both popular local attractions. It is guaranteed that you will end the day with a smile on your lips and the sound of the river in your ears. And the refreshing, rugged goodness of Tieton will stay with you after you leave, buoying your spirits as the first raindrops hit your windshield on the other side of Snoqualmie Pass. The PNW may try to get you down but after a weekend in Tieton you know: it’s June somewhere.
Possible weekend itinerary:
3:00pm- Skip out of work a bit early and go pick up your Outbound Rigs adventure trailer. Don’t worry, we will have you out of the lot in no time.
6:30pm- Pull into one of the many dispersed campsites along Hwy 12 outside of Naches (make sure you get firewood as you go through town). Find the place all to yourself and a fire ring already assembled.
7:00pm - Since the rigs are a breeze to set up you are already sitting in front of a crackling fire, cold beer in hand, planning the next day’s activities.
9:30pm - Catch some Zs in your cozy trailer under a pile of down quilts, the white noise of the river lulling you to sleep.
8:00pm- Wake up to start breakfast! Your trailer came fully equipped with a stove, fuel and all the kitchen gadgets you could possible need. Before long the smell of bacon is wafting through the ponderosa pines.
9:00pm - Dishes done and trailer secured your headed off to your first adventure for the day - a six mile trail run on Cowiche Mountain!
12:00pm - Trail run done and you managed to snap some awesome pictures from the top.
12:30pm - You’re parked in the Oak Creek Wildlife area and throwing your climbing gear into your backpack.
1:00pm - Tying into the rope you stare up at the incredible basalt columns above you and slide your hand into an enticing crack. This is going to be some fun climbing!
7:00pm - The sun is setting but you still have plenty of daylight ahead of you. Time to get back to camp and relax.
8:00pm - After a quick splash in the river and a festive taco dinner you’re back where you belong, next to the campfire roasting mallows and staring at the stars far above.
7:00pm - After a hurried breakfast you are up and at ‘em, today you’re headed out on the Ironstone Mountain Trail!
8:30pm - After an exciting drive up a Forest Service Road you reach the Cash Prairie Trailhead and strike out on the Ironstone Trail. Make sure you have your Gia GPS on for this, the confusing maze of trails in the Okanogan National Forest are remote and beautiful but also numerous and poorly marked.
1:00pm - By 1pm you are back in camp and packing up, which is fast and simple since our rigs make life easy. You hit the road in no time.
3:00pm - You are driving into a thunderstorm on the west side of the mountains, wishing you were back next to the melodic splashing of the Tieton river. Until next time - Washington’s best kept secret.