it is interesting in that one of the places most isolated in the USA has so much packed into its borders. We entered the Gifford Pinchot Nat'l Forest at Trout Lake via White Salmon going north from the Columbia River Gorge. Truly spectacular on its own, the Gorge attracts many people looking to do winery or fruit-stand tours each summer. But once you head north into the forest, civilization falls far behind and when the bars disappear on your cell phone, the quiet forest comes alive with colorful foliage and sweet berries. Travelling overland on Forest Road 23 we drove past the majestic peak of Mt Adams, caught glimpses of Mt Rainier to the north and could almost feel the power of Mt St Helens to the west. On the border of the forest we stopped at several shops selling tart huckleberry pastries and strong coffee. We fished for trout in both lakes and streams, and picked wild mountain blueberries on sun-warmed slopes for our morning pancakes. The natural beauty of the area is its most attractive feature, but for a change of pace, bring your lunch to the Gular ice caves and follow the easy trail to the natural bridges.
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