Three Suggestions for Summer Get-aways
John Kruse, January 10, 2020
Believe it or not, now is the time to plan for your summer getaway and an outdoors vacation east of the Cascade Crest can be relaxing and fun. Here are a few destinations you may not have considered:
TWIN LAKES – FERRY COUNTY/COLVILLE TRIBAL RESERVATION
Want to experience a Canadian resort fishing experience without crossing the border? Head to the Twin Lakes in the Colville Tribal Reservation for a rustic resort vacation featuring great fishing and wildlife watching. Rainbow Beach Resort, operated by the Colville Tribe, sits on North Twin Lake and offers tent and RV camping along with cabins for rent. There is also a store here with a small restaurant. https://www.colvillefuels.com/rainbow-beach-resort-1
At South Twin Lake you’ll find Hartman’s Log Cabin Resort, operated by the Canody family. Like it’s neighbor, this resort offers cabin rentals as well as tent and RV camping. And like the other resort, this one also offers boat rentals along with a store and a restaurant. https://www.hartmanslogcabin.com/
The nice thing about the Twin Lakes is the undeveloped nature of the area. Outside of the resorts the land around the lakes is undeveloped and pristine. Wildlife is abundant and you may end up seeing anything from a moose or a bear to a beaver or otter in and around the two lakes, which also have a nesting area for loons. Bring a rod and reel, the fishing is good for sizeable rainbow trout and largemouth bass.
LAKE WENATCHEE – CHELAN COUNTY
Dirty Face Peak overlooks the waters of Lake Wenatchee, an easily accessible destination between Stevens Pass and Leavenworth off of US Highway 2. If you have an RV or tent you can camp at Lake Wenatchee State Park which has a small store, a boat launch and a great swimming beach. https://parks.state.wa.us/535/Lake-Wenatchee
Right next to the State Park is Nason Creek Campground, operated by the U.S. Forest Service. This is a popular place and the clear creek running through the camp is a magnet for visitors. One more place to camp at Lake Wenatchee is at the U.S. Forest Service Glacier View Campground, a smaller, more intimate getaway with campsites just steps away from the lake.
As for things to do…boating, kayaking and swimming are all popular here in the summer. The fishing is not very good at Lake Wenatchee except for those years that sockeye salmon come back in enough numbers a fishery opens up for them. Then, this lake becomes very crowded for a couple of weeks in August. There are lots of hiking trails and destinations within a short drive, and a great one that is easy for the whole family is a nearly flat ½-mile walk among towering pines and cedars to Hidden Lake. Want more? Icicle Outfitters offers trail rides from the State Park during the summer months and if you simply must eat out try the Headwaters Pub by the State Park. Locals swear by their signature pizza, the Dirty Face.
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE – KLICKITAT COUNTY
The Columbia River Gorge offers all sorts of opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating and exploring in a beautiful setting dominated by the Columbia River, basalt rock cliffs and Mt. Hood.
If you are looking for places to camp Maryhill State Park, just off of US Highway 97 on the Columbia River, is a clean place with a nice boat launch. Right next to it is the Peach Beach RV Park, privately owned but popular with RV owners in the know.
Another good place to stay is found at Columbia Hills State Park northeast of The Dalles. The campground is located on Horsethief Reservoir, which connects to the Columbia River. The reservoir is a decent place to fish for trout and bass or to enjoy time on the water in a kayak or canoe. As an added bonus, there are petroglyphs here too.
There are three more parts of this park, all separated by a short distance and accessible off of State Highway 14. The first is Horsethief Butte, east from the campground and reservoir. This basalt rock formation is popular with both hikers and rock climbers who soak in views of the gorge and nearby mountains. Crawford Oaks Trailhead and the Dalles Mountain Ranch both offer hiking and wonderful opportunities to take in wildflowers in the spring and early summer with the vibrant yellows of arrowleaf balsamroot and purples of growing lupine carpeting the hills here. https://parks.state.wa.us/489/Columbia-Hills
Looking for something else to occupy your time? Go fishing! This section of the Columbia River offers a variety of species during the summer to include salmon, shad, walleye, sturgeon and smallmouth bass. The nearby Klickitat River also offers fishing in the summer and fall for steelhead, salmon and rainbow trout.
John Kruse – www.northwesternoutdoors.com and www.americaoutdoorsradio.com
Success fishing off the dock at the Rainbow Beach Resort! – Photo by John Kruse
Louis McMinds battles a trophy sturgeon in the Columbia River Gorge – Photo by John Kruse