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Head out on the Blossom Trail

Head out on the Blossom Trail

Visiting the Yakima Valley in the spring when the orchards are blossoming will ensure you have a beautiful and breath=taking experience.  Enjoy seeing acres of apricots, apples, cherries, peaches, pears, and hops as you travel along scenic country roads. We have also thrown in a couple of great stops on the way, so whether you’re driving or riding a bike, you’ll have a wonderful time!

Head east on I-82. Take exit 34, and take a left.  Turn left at the second light, followed by an immediate left at the concrete barrier. Follow the road down to the Arboretum.

 Stop at the Arboretum.

Make the Yakima Area Arboretum your first stop. Take time to tour the beautifully manicured grounds adjacent to the Yakima Greenway Path, as well as the breathtaking rose garden and authentic Japanese garden. The Yakima Arboretum also houses a gift shop with unique gifts that every gardener will appreciate.      

Bicyclists, leave your vehicles at the Greenway parking lot at Sherman Park, next to the Humane Society. The subsequent ride is approximately 27 miles. As you leave the Arboretum, turn left at the light heading, east on Highway 24 toward Moxee. After 2.3 miles, turn left at the light at Birchfield Road.

Visit a brewery.    

After all the walking you did at the Arboretum, you might need a refresher!  Bale Breaker Brewing Company brews handcrafted ales that showcase the world-class hops grown in the heart the Yakima Valley. The family first planted hops in the Yakima Valley in 1932. Now, 84 years later the family runs a production brewery surrounded by their family’s hop fields. Bale Breaker Brewing Company opened the doors to their 30-barrel production brewery in April 2013.  The 27,000 square foot facility features an onsite taproom (no food preparation, but outside food is welcome) with a beautiful outdoor patio and lawn area, perfect for enjoying the Yakima sunshine.  The famous Hop Field 41 sits next to the brewery and is the namesake of their popular Pale Ale.                                                                                                            

Drive back to Highway 24.  Turn left and continue 3.7 miles. Turn right on Faucher Road.

Hops, hops and more hops.

As you drive towards the City of Moxee, you’ll see hundreds of acres of hops, recognizable by the tall poles used to support the vines that reach the tops of the poles in summer. In March, tractors cultivate the hop yards, and in early April the trellises are set with twine, and then the vines are trained in May. Hops typically bloom in mid-June.  Harvest starts in mid-August and lasts a little over a month. Currently the Yakima Valley supplies over 75% of the United States’ hop crop.

As you turn onto Faucher Road, you’ll see an antique Hop Kiln that is used for drying the hops after harvest. This kiln is actually still in operation during the harvest, although visitors are not allowed.

Continue onto Konnowac Pass Rd., and follow the pass through the Rattlesnake Ridge.

Take the road less traveled

This pass was an old Native American trail that connected both ends of the Yakima Valley. Reaching the top of the small pass, you will see the a huge variety of the agriculture the Yakima Valley is known for, stretched out below in a patchwork of white and pink as the cherry and apple trees blossom in spring. As you ride along this road surrounded by orchards, Mt Adams hovers in the distance.

After 6.6 miles, turn right on the Yakima Valley Highway. Turn left at the Donald-Wapato Road

Time for a snack

After all that work, it’s time for some food! Visit Hop Town Wood Fired Pizza in the 1911 Mercantile Building. Serving delicious wood fired pizzas, “hoppetizers,” salads and desserts, they also house Waterin’ Hole 44, the place for local wine, beer and cider. They are working toward having 44 selections of beverages soon! Their pizza is made with a very special ingredient, a little sprinkling of Cascade hops! Hang out in the hop yard, the place to while away the hours, soak up the sunshine and make some memories!

Head back to the Yakima Valley Highway and turn left. Turn right over the small irrigation canal bridge and continue on the road which parallels the Yakima Valley Highway along the canal. Take the driveway going up the hill to Windy Point Winery.

 Wineries with a view

Windy Point Winery is a boutique tasting room that reflects the Frank Lloyd Wright style, showcasing Windy Point’s breathtaking views of the Yakima Valley, especially the blossoming fruit orchards. When you leave, turn right at the end of the driveway and continue along the road under the freeway. Proceed up the hill to Treveri Cellars, the only sparkling wine house in the Yakima Valley. Sit on the patio and enjoy the views of Mt. Adams and the valley below, then follow the road past the entrance gate to Owen Roe Winery, known for their fine red wines with views of the vineyards.

Head back past Treveri Cellars and hop on I-82 West. Take exit 33 (Yakima Avenue) back to Downtown Yakima. Bicyclists-If you left your car at the Greenway take Thorp Road to Birchfield Road, turn left onto Highway 24, and the Greenway is on the right side of the road at the light after the bridge over the Yakima River.

 

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