This wildflower-rich hike is in the hills southwest of Ellensburg and has become popular for locals as well as visitors. This hike provides enough elevation gain to qualify as a workout, but wildflower enthusiasts will want to dawdle. Hike is considered difficult, however some trails are less steep than others. Manastash Ridge has several side trails. Stay to the right throughout your hike. Weather can fluctuate quickly, with much warmer and drier temperatures at the trailhead. It is a six-mile roundtrip hike from the trail head to the top and back.
This beautiful ridge borders Ellensburg to the south. It offers scenery and several opportunities for varied interests and skill levels. Enjoy a gorgeous view surrounded by forest, Manastash Creek and wildflowers in the spring.
There are two main trails to the top, the Westburg Trail, named after a popular Ellensburg coach and the Boy Scout Trail, accessed further to the west after hiking along an irrigation ditch. There is a logbook at the top. The Manastash Observatory is located high on the south ridge and Buck Meadows is approximately 15 miles further up on Manastash Road where there are horse trails available for horseback riding. In winter, trails for cross-country skiing are available at the end of Cove Road.
From eastbound Interstate 90, exit 101 (Thorp Highway). Right off the exit, two miles, right on Cove Road, past two stop signs, parking is on the right just after the second stop sign.