The Maane Event Reflecting
Selah Butte, located on the southeastern side of Yakima Canyon or about 4 miles north of the town of Selah, is a towering peak on the southern entrance to Yakima Canyon It towers nearly 2000 feet above the canyon floor. Selah Butte is also a decently prominent peak in the region containing a prominence of 760 feet. The summit itself is nothing more than a rounded summit with radio and celltowers on the summit. The summit does though contain excellent views of nearby summits in the region as well as the distant Stewart Range to the north and the volcanoes of Mount Rainier and Mount Adams to the west. It should be noted the trail/route from the west also contains excellent views from the very base all of the way to the top.
There is a rough road called Saleh Creek Rd located to the south towards the town of Saleh in which provide you have sturdy vehicle you can drive to the top provided the gate is open close to the top. From the little bit that I walked up, the road seemed rough and though some can put there regular vehicles on it I would advise going with a truck myself.
Heading down the steep trail
From the parking area you can either take the gradual left trail or the steep right trail up. They will both merge roughly a hundred feet up. From there it is a well beaten trail for 1500 feet of elevation gain all the way to a large poll that mark the top of the ledge and what looks to be the end of the trail. I assume many stop here but this is clearly not the summit. From there walk to your left roughly 200 feet where you pick up a faint jeep path. Take the Jeep Road as it goes over the crest of the hill and drops 75 feet to a jeep path. On the crest of the hill you will be right at the summit of Selah Butte with all of its cell phone towers. You make a left at the Jeep Path and take it all of the way to the summit towers where a great view of Yakima awaits.
View north from the summit
There is no red tape for this hike.
When to Climb
You can do this hike at anytime. However in winter be prepared for icy conditions. Springtime is the preferred time to do this hike because the slopes of Yakima Canyon are at their greenest and the balsam root along with other flowers were out. I went during this time and as handsomely rewarded with great weather, great flowers and excellent views.
Summer time can be very hot and dry in this region. Weather can be over 100 degrees for days at a time because this area is semiarid. I would avoid hiking in this area unless other areas are going to through an unusual rainy summer storm.
Selah Butte from Big Pines Campground in fall
Fall can be very scenic as well. Some of the trees below in the canyon change a very beautiful fall color and make for a good foreground for shots of nearby mountains.
Looking at Selah Butte from ridge heading up to Gracie Point
I did not see any rules stopping you if you wanted bivy on the way up. I would strongly advise not to bivy by the cell towers on top because they might have workers working the towers. I would not do it though because I saw two rattlesnakes while I was up there.
There are also a number of developed camping areas off of 812 such as Big Pines Camping Area, and Untanum Creek Recreation Areas. Many of these campsite do have fees when they are open.