What to See at Gifford Pinchot National Forest

What to See at Gifford Pinchot National Forest

National Parks, Washington Select Registry – September 18, 2014

Washington state is a wondrous place full of diverse landscapes and environments to explore.  Depending on what you want to experience and which part of the state you wish to visit, there are a variety of destinations you should consider.  Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southern Washington that is home to wilderness areas, a national monument, mountains, meadows, lakes, streams, old growth forests, glaciers, and several volcanic peaks.  If you’re looking for a destination for wildlife viewing, hiking, climbing, or other outdoor endeavors, then head to the Pacific Northwest to enjoy all that Gifford Pinchot National Forest has to offer.


Gifford Pinchot National Forest History & Geography

Gifford Pinchot National Forest is among the oldest in the country.  It was once included in Mount Rainier Forest Reserve, it was later made into a separate park called the Columbia River Forest.  Later, in 1949 it was renamed in honor of Gifford Pinchot, a prominent American politician and forester during the first part of the 1900s. The forest is immense, covering 1.32 million acres.  It includes portions of the Cascade Mountain Range and stretches from Mount Rainier National Park to the Columbia River. Due to the large amount of land that the forest covers, different parts have been given area names.  These sections are referred to as the Cowlitz Valley Vicinity, the Mount Adams Vicinity, Mount St. Helens National Monument, and Mount St. Helens Surrounding Area.


Points of Interest at Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Gifford Pinchot National Forest is home to many of Washington State’s notable landmarks.  Dozens of rivers and lakes can be found in the forest, making fishing a popular pastime. There are also wilderness areas established in the forest: Glacier View Wilderness, Goat Rocks, Indian Heaven, Mount Adams, Tatoosh, Trapper Creek, William O. Douglas, and Shark Rock Wilderness. Other points of interest include the Lava Tubes, Caves and Casts, Berry Fields, Lone Butte, Ape Caves, and others.  Most notable is probably the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, which was established after the 1980 eruption of the volcano.


Activities at Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Recreation opportunities at Gifford Pinchot are as vast as the forest’s acreage.  Miles of trails through forests, meadows, and mountainside areas make for an almost endless supply of adventures. Mountain biking, climbing, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, wildlife observation, ATV riding, water activities and winter sports number among the many pastimes visitors to the forest can enjoy. There are also several outdoor learning opportunities and centers for visitor education.


Lodging Near Gifford Pinchot National Forest

If you want to enjoy the outdoors at Gifford Pinchot National Forest but still stay in supremely comfortable accommodations, then you’re in luck because there is a wonderful Select Registry member property nearby.  Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins in Carson, Washington offer luxurious private cabins where you can relax and refresh after a day in the forest.  Each of the property’s ten cabins are individually an uniquely decorated and include great amenities like hydrotherapy spa tubs, toiletries, plush robes and towels, and amazing views of the Columbia River Gorge.  Additional services like in-cabin massages are also available for those who want to indulge in some extra pampering.  With many accolades including places on lists of romantic hotels and Best Places Northwest, you know that you’ll experience fantastic Washington Inns and get just what you’d expect from a Select Registry experience.


Photo credit: Adorable Fluttershy via Wikimedia Commons