Explore from ridgelines to river in a remote corner of the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness.
From Twin Buttes trailhead, take the Grizzly Bear Ridge Trail along an old road bed for 1.9 miles to meadows overlooking the Wenaha River canyon. The road bed transitions to lightly used trail and meanders along the ridge through open ponderosa pine forests and dry parklands.
At 6.7 miles, switchback down a steep hillside on rocky but well-graded trail with striking views and reach the Wenaha River Trail at a sign for Grizzly Bear Ridge 9 miles from the trailhead. Campsites with easy water access are immediately available by continuing straight past the sign and walking a few hundred yards downsteam along the Wenaha River. If you’re not camping here, take a right at the sign, ford Rock Creek and follow the Wenaha River Trail for 3.9 miles to a crossing of Slick Ear Creek and the junction with Slick Ear Trail at 4 miles.
A handful of forested camps are available in the flats within the last half mile before reaching Slick Ear Creek. If you have time, explore another mile upriver at this junction toward Timothy, to Wenaha Forks where the north and south forks of the Wenaha meet in braided river flats.
Back on route, take a right at the Slick Ear Trail junction toward Twin Buttes and head uphill on the overgrown Slick Ear Trail through shady dry-side forest. The trail crosses Slick Ear Creek five times in the first two miles past the junction, passing a few campsites.
At the fifth crossing, fill your water bottle because the way steepens as you climb out of the drainage and switchback to a sharp ridge with views 3.7 miles from the Wenaha trail junction. Continue along the ridge to the Slick Ear trailhead and walk the road 1.5 miles back to the fork to return to the Twin Buttes trailhead.
WTA Pro Tip: The remote upper Wenaha watershed is a natural haven for wildlife. Absolutely bring binoculars to scan the hillsides and ridge tops for black bear (both black or brown in color), cougar, deer, elk, moose, and the Wenaha wolf pack (the largest pack in Washington and Oregon).