Grey Rock Trail – Ahtanum State Forest

We recently visited our favorite outdoor destination in Yakima County, the Ahtanum State Forest.  This time the destination was the first of the Grey Rock Trail, starting at Treephones Campground.  The trail heads over Whites Ridge, down to the North Fork (8 miles) then onto Louei Way Gap for a total of 23 miles.  Our journey took us 4 hours and was just to the top of the ridge and back.  Along the way we found many flowering plants, great vistas and voracious mosquitoes.

This trail is a multi use trail, used by motorcycles, ATVs, horses, Mt Bikes and hikers.  We were the only ones on the trail but tracks from all the other users were visable.  Some recent trail work had been performed on the trail, probably by an ATV group.  The ruts have been removed or lessened in many areas as well as encroaching brush and trees removed.

We were one day early to see the 4th Annual Grey Rock Trail Run, a 50k cross country race the full length of the trail.  We spoke with a few participants who traveled from Idaho to participate in the 16 mile class (Treephones to North Fork trail head).

To see the full photo gallery click HERE


Off-road Camping Trailer

Well, it is about time to rebuild/resurrect my camp trailer design. I first built it about 5 years ago on the back of my M416A1 military trailer. It has a hot water heater, 20 gallon water tank, electric water pump and double sink.

I started by building a frame out of 1×1 thin wall tubing. This was placed on the M416 and attached to the stock mounting points (the trailer frame was never altered). After the frame was built, I skinned it with (heavy) 14 gauge steel. I think this was over kill. I the rebuild we will be removing this an using a little lighter gauge metal or aluminum.

The water heater is a standard RV type made by Atwood. It runs on propane. There are other models that are 3 way (120v, 12v, propane) but I thought this was too much for an off road trailer. We won’t be using camp grounds with hookups and the 12 volt draws too much current for regular use. It doesn’t really take long for it to heat up with the propane. I just start the water heater first and there is hot enough water by the time camp is all set up. If I were to do it again I would consider a hot camp water heater like the ones sold by Decker’s Hot Camp (also where I will get a heater for the tent space if I decide I need one).

The sink is also a standard RV type I found at a local RV wrecking yard. I currently have a double sink installed but will be changing that to a single sink and make room for a 2 burner camp stove to it’s left. I also carry a Camp Chef 3 burner stove. The sink drains into a small holding tank that can be rolled to the nearest safe spot to drain (it is just rinse water).

Last feature that we would like to have on this trailer when it is complete is a tent mounted to the top for quick and convenient sleeping arrangements. I have looked at several designs and really like the Australian and South African types that have a large ground floor area as well as an annex off one end for covered cooking area. This is not just an off-road trailer, this is going to be a family camper.

Next is to start rebuilding including a new trailer base so I don’t have to reuse the M416A1.