Gifford Pinchot National Forest/Mt. Adams Ranger District
The Mt. Adams Ranger District covers the southern portion of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and includes the Mt. Adams, Indian Heaven and Trapper Creek Wildernesses. It also includes the Big Lava Bed, an unusual lava field which originated from a crater now 500-feet deep, and the Wind River Experimental Forest.
Big Lava Bed
Big Lava Bed, covering 12,500 acres, ranks among the major landmarks of southwest Washington. Located just south of Goose Lake you’ll find a 20-square-mile flow of basalt. The flow came from a source vent found in the north-central part of the lava bed.
Just a few miles west of Trout Lake on Hwy 141, deep in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, is a series of lava tubes with local roof collapses that capture and keep the winter snows and ice all summer long. Many of the ice formations are just inside the cave entrance, so it’s not necessary to explore deep inside. For more information stop at the Trout Lake Ranger Station on your way out of town.
Conboy Lake Wildlife Refuge
Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge, one of the hidden jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System, is located on the east slope of the Cascade Mountains at the base of 12,276-foot Mt. Adams. Refuge visitors enjoy the scenery, hike the Willard Springs trail and observe wildlife from the county roads that surround and cross the refuge.
White Salmon River
The White Salmon River is a 44-mile tributary of the Columbia River, originating on the slopes of Mt. Adams. Listed as a “Wild and Scenic River” by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, it is world-renowned for its whitewater rafting and kayaking.
When most Pacific Northwest white water rivers are reduced to a late summer trickle, the spring-fed White Salmon River maintains a healthy base flow for year-round rafting. The White Salmon is more than a whitewater rafting and kayaking river, it’s an experience of nature’s beauty.