Discover the Beauty of Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Welcome to Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This natural wonderland spans over 1.3 million acres in Washington State. As one of the largest national forests in the country, Gifford Pinchot offers an incredible variety of landscapes and ecosystems to explore. Experience old-growth forests and alpine meadows. Filled with wildlife, the forest is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including elk, black bears, and mountain goats. Visitors can explore by hiking trails and taking scenic drives. Plus it’s a great starting point for a trip to Mount Rainier National Park. Located about 2 hours from the forest, Mount Rainier is a stunning destination with glaciers, wildflowers, and stunning vistas. Take a day trip from Gifford Pinchot or plan a longer journey to experience both of these natural wonders.
Escape the Summer Crowds
While Mount Rainier is undoubtedly a must-see destination, the park can get crowded during peak season, making it hard to find parking and enjoy some of the popular trails. By visiting Gifford Pinchot National Forest, you can still experience the beauty of the region without the crowds. Plus as an added bonus for those with adventure pups, the national forest has dog-friendly trails.
About Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Named after Gifford Pinchot, a renowned conservationist and founder of the US Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot National Forest is steeped in history and natural beauty. This area encompasses several watersheds, providing drinking water to local communities, and is home to numerous mountain peaks, including the majestic Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens.
Hiking is the most popular way to explore the forest, with trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging multi-day treks. The forest also offers excellent camping opportunities, with sites located throughout the park. In addition, visitors can enjoy fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, and more.
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
One of the most popular features is the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. This unique area offers visitors a glimpse into the devastating eruption of 1980, which forever changed the landscape of the region. Visitors can explore the area’s trails and viewpoints, learn about the eruption in the Johnston Ridge Observatory, or take a helicopter tour for a bird’s eye view of the volcano.
Plan Your Visit
There are a variety of resources available to help you plan your visit. The official national forest website is the best place to start for information on fees, permits and conditions. The forest is easily accessible from several major cities in Washington State. There are a number of campgrounds and accommodations available for visitors in nearby Packwood. Click here for area accommodations.