Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Camping in the great Pacific Northwest

Karner Flat campground
When you live in the Pacific Northwest, with mountains covered with tall trees, the outdoors plays a major part in your life: hiking, canoeing, camping, wildlife watching.
I grew up camping in central Oregon and along the beautiful Oregon coast. Over the years I've camped in many states, including Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, as well as British Columbia.

For the last 10 years or so, a majority of my camping has been in Washington's central Cascades, namely the scenic Little Naches area, so named because this is where the Little Naches River bisects the Wenatchee National Forest.

The area has several developed campgrounds, but it's not unusual to come across campers in isolated spots.

We used to camp at Lost Meadow, which only had a vault toilet, but was just a two-minute mosquito-ridden walk away from elk-grazing pastures. Alas, the trees became diseased and died, leaving the site with no shade, but still lots of dirt kicked up by dirt-bike riders heading to or from the trails. The Little Naches district is one of the few areas in the state where trail riding is allowed.

This year, however, we switched to a developed campground at Kaner Flat. The tall firs and pines are still vibrant, with paved roads throughout the campground. It's within walking distance of the Little Naches River, which you can hear gurgling by when there's no traffic. Kaner Flat is historic, as it was used as an overnight rest stop for immigrants crossing the Cascades to Western Washington.

One of the delightful parts of the trip is always passing through the small town of Naches, where fruit stands line the highway. The Yakima Valley is the state's fruit basket. We always buy whatever is in season, from just-picked cherries to peaches and apricots.

No comments:

Post a Comment