After a few months job hunting after my summer in the San Juans, I got another position with Washington State Parks. For this particular job I have landed in the SE corner of Washington at Fields Spring State Park. It is a seasonal position that ends at the end of March.
In the summer the park has camping and hiking, and in the winter it becomes a snow park with lodge rentals, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding and tubing. It is a small park but actually has quite a bit to offer. The scenery actually reminds me of Colorado quite a bit, and it has snowed a lot since I have gotten here. There are some amazing views at the top of Puffer Butte and there is a really nice warming hut with a wood stove and a supply of firewood awaiting your arrival. There are also a couple of other warming huts scattered around the park that are supplied with firewood. Some of the trails have to be groomed and we do that with snowmobiles and a small groomer. This is my first experience riding a snowmobile and I have discovered why people like to snowmobile – to me it’s like an interesting cross between riding a motorcycle and off-roading in the forest. There are several miles of trails of varying degrees of difficulty that are groomed and some that are not groomed. Snowshoers can hike on trails they have all to themselves. For more info check out the State Park website for the park.
If you plan to visit you have to have passes/permits displayed on your vehicle or you can get cited. Both the Discover Pass and Sno-park passes are available at the park office. It can be a bit confusing so it is best to ask which you need if you are in doubt. You can call the park office or stop by and purchase the appropriate passes/permits before you enjoy the park. Please remember that the money collected helps maintain the park!
This is an area with interesting physical features that are quite diverse. I understand it gets hot here in the summer, and that’s hard to imagine seeing all the snow on the ground (to be clear, anything over 75 is getting warm for me and I have been told it was in the 90s and 100s last year…whew!). It is about a 40 minute drive from the Lewiston/Clarkston area. The park sits on top of a plateau at about 4,000 ft. above sea level. You can see part of Hell’s Canyon from the top as well as see into Oregon.
If you are wanting someplace different to visit I think this area is well worth a trip and seems to have plenty of recreation opportunities to offer with the river running through Lewiston/Clarkston, Forest Service land, and the State Parks (which there are several in the area). Parts of the area look like the Badlands in South Dakota, parts look like Colorado, and there is farmlands amidst all of this. I had no idea what it was like here beforehand (other than a few pictures on the internet) but I have been pleasantly surprised buy what I have seen and experienced so far!
That’s about all I have for now.