This is a moderate out and back trail near Ellensburg takes you to the top of Manastash Ridge (commonly mispronounced as ManaSHtash). One of the most popular hikes in town, the locals often refer to it as simply “the ridge”. After the gentle approach at the beginning you will begin climbing through bitter brush with only a few small sections of relief until you reach the top. You will see a few lone ponderosas and reach a small bench around mile one. From there it’s another uphill push until you reach the intersection with the gentler Boyscout trail. As the trails join they veer west and follow the ridge up to the typical turn around point; signified by a pile of rocks and an old post. Sign the book in the ammo can, the Ellensburg public library is said to keep all old hiker logs! From the top you can see in all directions and access miles of old roads for further exploration. In the spring you can see countless shrub steppe wildflowers like lupine and balsam root, but watch out for ticks. In the summer the dry steep sections are somewhat slippery and the sun is unforgiving, consider going in the morning or evening. In the colder months it’s known for mud and ice, bring microspikes or simply avoid the trail. Please don’t hike here when it’s muddy, efforts to rehab the trail are underway!
Park along the fence at the end of Cove Road. Begin up the paved road toward the yellow gate. Pass through the gate and up to the irrigation canal. From here you can continue straight across the canal to access the Westberg trail or miles of mountain bike trails. If you turn right and follow the canal road to the next bridge you will reach the Boyscout and Cheeky Bugger trails.
All ages enjoy this hike.
This is an alternate route for Observatory Road Loop.
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