Washington Map Tourist Attractions
GIFFORD PINCHOT NATIONAL FOREST
1,251,160 acres. Gifford Pinchot National Forest is located in the Cascades of southwest Washington. It’s now famous for 8,365-foot Mount Saint Helens, which was previously 9,677 feet high before erupting in 1980. Also here is 12,307-foot Mount Adams, second highest mountain in the state.
Mount Saint Helens is part of the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument, which protects a sizable area around the crater and dome. There are still major signs of devastation, and access to the area remains restricted.
Elsewhere in the region are other volcanoes and old lava flows, high peaks and ridges, snowfields, lakes, creeks with waterfalls, and forests of conifers including old-growth Douglas fir and hemlock, along with cedar. Among the wildlife are elk, deer, bear, mountain goat, mountain lion, bobcat, and fox.
The National Forest has seven designated wilderness areas: parts of the 168,000-acre William O. Douglas Wilderness and the 105,600-acre Goat Rocks Wilderness, along with the 46,800-acre Mount Adams Wilderness, the 21,000-acre Indian Heaven Wilderness, the 15,800-acre Tatoosh Wilderness, the 6,000-acre Trapper Creek Wilderness, and the 3,000-acre Glacier View Wilderness.
Activities: There are about 1,165 miles of trails for hiking and backpacking, including a section of the Pacific Crest Trail (see entry page 294), and the 32-mile Boundary National Recreation Trail. Difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous. High trails are likely to be snow-free only from late July through mid-September.
Horseback riding is allowed on many trails, and cross-country skiing is possible during the winter.
Mountain biking is permitted on trails outside of wilderness areas. Canoeing and kayaking are available on some of the rivers.
Climbing is another option, with a permit required to climb above 4,800 feet. There are also opportunities for spelunking (caving). Fishing is available, as is hunting in season.
1 Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires ire allowed throughout most of the National Forest, except where otherwise prohibited. Permits are now required to enter and camp in the designated wilderness areas here. Some designated campsites are available. Elsewhere sites must be at least 100 feet from lakes, and 200 feet from the Pacific Crest Trail.
For Further Information: Gifford Pinchot National Forest, 6926 East 4th Plain Boulevard, P.O. Box 8944, Vancouver, WA 98668; (206)696-7500. i