Teanaway Community Forest: Geology Tour
Shoes suitable for hiking, water, snacks, and your Discover Pass for parking.
Millions of years ago, the 50,000 acres that make up the Teanaway Community Forest were part of a jungle. Now the landscape of the Teanaway tells a unique geological history of the times between tropics, ice lakes and today. It also makes up an important watershed area for the Yakima Basin. Join us for a guided geology tour with Tom Ring which begins with a hike to Cheese Rock.
Tom Ring recently retired as a hydrogeologist with the Water Resources Program of the Yakama Nation. He has held this position since 1990 and, in that role, has worked on a variety of projects involving groundwater and surface water quantity and quality, water rights, irrigation and fisheries issues and planning for future water needs. Previously he worked for the Water Resources Program at the Washington Department of Ecology.
For the hike, meet at the West Fork turnaround, which requires a Discover Pass for parking. There, you’ll check in with your vaccine card, then the group will make its way to the landmark formation Cheese Rock. The group will cross the West Fork of the Teanaway river on a bridge, then ford Carlson Creek before ascending about 280 feet. After scrambling across the long stretch of exposed rock and reaching Cheese Rock, the group will head along the ridge to a forest road that will take them back down the hill. This hike is short (2.5 miles round trip), but it does involve a creek crossing and some rapid elevation gain, so be prepared!
The loop takes about two hours round trip, so bring water and snacks. Afterward there will be an optional second location to talk about moraines. Registration is free, but limited to 20 people, and those of all ages are encouraged to join us, as long as they feel comfortable with the demands of the hike. Proof of vaccination is required for participation. And don’t forget to bring your Discover Pass for parking! DNR has a permanent no flush toilet at the West Fork turnaround.