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Hike the White Bluffs in Hanford Reach

White Bluffs Dock Road, Washington



7 miles

Elevation Gain

500 ft

Route Type



Added by Katherine Haveman

Watch the landscape transform as you follow the Columbia River across the plateau before abruptly finding yourself climbing two large sand dunes. You may find your only company to be the wildlife as you hike this hidden gem in Eastern Washington.

Turn off of SR 24 on the gravel road that marks the beginning of the Hanford Reach National Monument.  Follow this road for 4 miles and turn right for an additional 1.3 miles where you will see a cluster of locust trees and the unmarked trailhead on your right.  Park in the small dirt shoulder and head directly up the hill to begin your hike.

The hike starts out on packed dirt as you snake along the bluffs with the river to your left.  It isn’t long before cresting a small hill gives way to the view of your destination: the two sand dunes stretched out into the distance.  Keep your eye on the larger of the two, the dune with the prominent point, as that is roughly where you should end your hike.

The path turns quickly to sand, and small amounts of rise and fall in elevation will bring you to the first dune.  Here the sand is less fine, and you should be able to spot deer and coyote tracks easily.  From here on the path may disappear occasionally, so be mindful of the brush (those plants are quite prickly) and wildflowers as you make your way to the second dune.

With a final burst of effort reach the high point of the dune and enjoy the sand, hopefully warmed by the sun.  Turn around and you’ll be able to see the whole distance of your travels along the bluffs etched into the horizon.  Drink lots of water, and head back when you are ready.

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