30 January, 2013
Travelogue: Tieton, Naches, and the Chinook PassPosted in : Travel, Travel Guide for Tieton, WA, Travel Guide for Yakima, WA on by : The Gourmez
This is the last of my travelogues from my October visit with my mom and stepfather in Central Washington. The first was on a day in Yakima and the second was on a day in Ellensburg. This entry covers the beautiful scenery to be found in the tiny towns of Tieton and Naches nestled in the Cascades and driving along State Route 410 West toward the edge of the Snoqualmie National Forest, also known as the Chinook Pass. There is no food in this post—shocker, I know!—but we did stop for pictures at a few restaurants and wineries along the way that are known for good eats or tastings.
The Naches Valley is gorgeous all on its own, as you can see in both of these panoramas taken off the side of Summitview Rd. that runs between Naches and Tieton.
The town of Naches has a number of pretty nooks and crannies, including their welcome building.
Make sure you visit the fruit stands in season on the side of road leading toward Yakima.
Many of them also offer local goods like hot sauces and jams. There was a restored soda counter in one stand that now serves as a display for old-fashioned candies.
My parents live in Tieton, and during my two weeks there, I made many circuits of the streets while walking their tiny dog Ferocious.
The prettiest parts were making my way through several country roads that led into apple, cherry, pear, and hops orchards. A great walk takes you from Rosencranz up N. Tieton Rd. toward the mountains, down Diller Road, and through Franklin to reach Rosencranz again.
Of course, watching the family cat explore her backyard is always a good way to enjoy myself after taking a long walk.
Most of the Yakima Valley wineries can be found to the south of Tieton, but there are a few near my parents’ house. I had fun tasting at Wilridge Winery (250 Ehler Road, Yakima), although I’m the only one who drinks in my family. They offer wines from four different labels, and the Red Mountain Melange was my favorite.
It’s impossible to complain about the views from either the back or the front of the tasting room.
The second winery we hit, just down the road, was Naches Heights Vineyards (2410 Naches Heights Rd, Yakima).
None of their wines agreed with my palate, but they have a beautiful yard with a stream worth visiting, and of course, not all palates are the same.
Taking Route 410, the Chinook Pass, out of Tieton leads you deeper into the Cascades and provides gorgeous views.
Again, I was struck by how much the mountain terrain made me think of Mordor.
We took two pit stops along the way, the first at Gold Creek Station (18431 State Route 410, Naches). It was packed for lunch on a Friday. In addition to what’s likely a delicious menu, they had stage flats for an old mining town up in back, making for a fun backdrop while eating lunch on a warmer day.
Drive a little bit farther and you can find Whistlin’ Jack Lodge and Restaurant (20800 State Route 410, Naches), a favorite of locals for a fancy night out. I can vouch for how inviting their bar is on a chill day.
We wandered around the property, and it is full of great spots to watch the Naches River and enjoy the carved wooden animals.
If you have a car, driving the Chinook Pass is a great way to spend the day, making sure you stop for food in Naches or at any of those restaurants along the way. Don’t forget a winery in Tieton for the afternoon, and revel in the gorgeous vistas to be found throughout Central Washington. For more pictures from Naches, Tieton, and the Chinook Pass, click here and here.
My next series of travelogues will be on my December trip to New Orleans. First up will be spending a day north of the city in Abita Springs and Covington. Brewery tours and crazy mystery houses, oh my!