The Wallula Historic Site is surrounded by open lands, offering many opportunities for hiking. The parking area and large interpretive sign are located at the mouth of two draws leading to the bluffs overlooking the river to the west and the maze of basalt cliffs and channeled scablands to the east. Just to the north, the site also provides access to a trail leading along the river.
Trail to the North Bluffs: This trail begins just to the right of the interpretive sign at the site, and leads directly up the left-hand draw to the head of the draw from which trails to the left lead to the top of the north bluff. The hike up the draw is strenuous but worth it, since it leads to spectacular views of the river and the channeled scablands to the east, as well as views and further hikes to the north toward the current mouth of the Walla Walla River and the present town of Wallula. While hiking north, it’s possible to loop down a draw to the Columbia River and to return to the parking area along the river trail.
Trail to the South Bluffs: This trail also begins to the right of the interpretive sign at the site, and leads down into the right-hand draw, and then up a trail on the right side of the draw providing easy access to the lowest bluff to the south. From there this trail also provides access to the taller bluff overlooking it, views from which include the wind turbines erected on Whitman College’s Braden farm to the east and intervening scablands, as well as an easy path along the bluffs overlooking the river and the Two Sisters monument.
Trail to the Columbia River: This short trail begins to the left of the interpretive sign at the site and goes to a point roughly across from a trail on the other side of the highway and railroad track leading along the river, allowing you to access the water’s edge. Walking north along the river to the end of the open shelf, it’s possible to cross the tracks and the highway there at the base of another draw leading up to spectacular views from the cliffs overlooking the river. From there you can return south along the top of the bluffs and hike down the next draw to the parking area at the Historic Site.
- Use caution on all hikes and any crossing of the highway and tracks.
- Be careful of loose rocks on trails. All trails are unimproved, and use and crossings are at your own risk.
- Fires and littering are not permitted.
- Please keep our open lands green and clean.