New trails take hikers from Yakima to Mount Rainier

New trails take hikers from Yakima to Mount Rainier »Play Video
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
YAKIMA, Wash. -- On a clear day you can see the majestic Mount Rainier in the distance. It looks a world away. However a new series of trails takes you from Yakima straight to the mountain.

"This is an all-friendly, all-purpose, fun thing for Yakima," said Betsy Bloomfield, Douglas Trail Organizer.

The William O. Douglas trails starts at Davis High in Yakima. And if you go far enough it will eventually lead to Rainier. Hundreds of neighbors showed up today to celebrate the first official day of hikes.
Organizers and officials spoke to the crowd about what it means for the city.

"We're glad to have this as something we can give to folks and say when you come to Yakima there's some fun stuff to do and this is really going to take off with development, with getting us to kind of be the center of tourism for central Washington," Yakima Mayor, Micah Cawley, told the crowd.

After the ceremony, the hikers were off. They walked through town, to the Greenway, and made their way into the wilderness. We caught up with Sarah Wixson and her family along the way.

"You can see Rainier from here, most days, it's just a nice way to bridge that gap," Sarah said.

The Douglas trail connects downtown Yakima to Mount Rainier and part of that path is at the Cowiche Canyon trail way where hikers get a first hand view of Yakima's beautiful scenery.

The entire path from Yakima to Rainier isn't totally complete. Organizers say it will take 3 to 5 years until it's finished. However they say the official dedication means the ball is rolling to get it done quickly.

"It's an amazing opportunity for us to take an 80-mile long hike from an urban center all the way to middle of the wilderness, and as we travel along that trail we go through some of the most beautiful countryside we have," Betsy said.

Connecting urban Yakima to one of Washington's biggest attractions, one step at at time.