Unrivaled Wild Beauty of US National Forest Pacific Northwest Region [48 PICS]

November 16th, 2013 Permalink

Let’s take a majestic, if not also magical, trip to Oregon and Washington to an area called “Region 6.” That might not sound overly impressive, but “the Pacific Northwest region is host to a number of outstanding National Forests,” said the US Forest Service. Outstanding is an underestimate, since that area within the USA is sometimes called God’s Country. “The Pacific Northwest Region (Region 6) of the US Forest Service contains 17 National Forests, two National Scenic Areas, a National Grassland, and two National Volcanic Monuments, all within the states of Oregon and Washington.” Each one is stunning with so many varied landscapes that you might not see all, even if each was a post on its own. From wonderful waterfalls, wilderness areas, lakes, mountains, volcanic monuments and national recreation areas, here’s a broad overview of the unrivaled beauty of Pacific Northwest Region 6. [48 Photos]

Lower Proxy Falls

Lower Proxy Falls, a glimpse into the Willamette National Forest. Willamette and Deschutes National Forests in Oregon make up Three Sisters Wilderness. Photo #1 by stokes rx

Cave near Mt Jefferson, Pacific Northwest National Forests

Cave near Mt Jefferson, which is located in Willamette National Forest, Oregon. Photo #2 by US Pacific Northwest Region Forest Service / USDA


Lake Quinault, Pacific Northwest National Forests

Lake Quinault is located within the Quinault Rain Forest. Olympic National Forest is on the south side of the lake, and to the north is Olympic National Park, which we likened as one of the wildest places left in the USA. Photo #3 by USFS / USDA

Perfection Lake, Olympic National Forest, Pacific Northwest National Forests

Perfection Lake, Olympic National Forest in Washington. Photo #4 by USFS / USDA

Toketee Falls at Umpqua National Forest, Pacific Northwest National Forests

Toketee Falls at Umpqua National Forest, Oregon. Photo #5 by life is good (pete)

Thundering waters at Whitehorse Falls, Umpqua National Forest

Thundering waters at Whitehorse Falls, Umpqua National Forest. The photographer said of the scenery along Umpqua National Forest “is typical Pacific Northwest – very green and moist.” Photo #6 by Frank Kovalchek

Colville National Forest, Sanpoil River Canyon, Pacific Northwest National Forests

Colville National Forest, Sanpoil River Canyon with a steep rocky mountain side and large trees. The Forest Service noted, “The Colville National Forest disproves the widely held notion that Washington state lies flat east of the Cascade Mountains.” Photo #7 by US Pacific Northwest Region Forest Service / USDA

Undergrowth in Colville National Forest, Pacific Northwest National Forest

Undergrowth in Colville National Forest, Washington. Photo #8 by Ed Suominen

Columbia River Scenic Gorge Area, National Forest Region 6 Pacific Northwest

Columbia River Scenic Gorge Area is part of Pacific Northwest National Forest Region 6 in Oregon. Photo #9 by US Pacific Northwest National Forest Service / USDA

Columbia River Gorge, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Vista House on right

Columbia River Gorge with Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area with Vista House on the cliff. Photo #10 by Bala Sivakumar

Visit Your Pacific Northwest National Forest. “Features scenes from eight National Forests in the Pacific Northwest which contains 17 National Forests, a National Scenic Area, a National Grassland, and two National Volcanic Monuments, all within the States of Oregon and Washington.” Video #1 by USDA Forest Service

Nooksack Falls in Snoqualmie National Forest

Blue green pool spilling over a rocky mountainside into a waterfall, Nooksack Falls, in Snoqualmie National Forest. Photo #11 by USDA / National Forest Service

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, snowy Snoqualmie Pass, Washington, US

Snowy Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. USFS noted, “The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is located on the western slopes of the Cascade mountain range extending over 140 miles between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. It is one of the most visited forests in the country, located east of Seattle, Washington on the west side of the Cascades between the Canadian border and Mt. Rainier National Park.” Photo #12 by Jono Hey

Ochoco - Crooked River Grassland in Fall

Crooked River National Grassland, part of the Pacific Northwest National Forest Region 6. Crooked River contains two National Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Deschutes and Crooked rivers, as well as being located in Descutes and Ochoco National Forests. Photo #13 by USFS / USDA

Creek at Crooked River National Grassland

The size of Crooked River National Grassland is 112,357 acres in Oregon. It is the only National Grassland in the Pacific Northwest National Forest Region 6. Photo #14 by krupp

Umatilla National Forest

Umatilla National Forest: According to USFS, “The landscape also includes heavily timbered slopes, grassland ridges and benches, and bold basalt outcroppings. Elevations range from 1,600 to 8,000 feet above sea level.” Photo #15 by USFS / USDA

North Fork John Day River, Umatilla National Forest

Umatilla National Forest is located in Northeast Oregon and Southeast Washington. North Fork John Day River is one of two designated wild and scenic rivers, and one many special places within the national forest. Photo #16 by Oregon Bureau of Land Management

Hells Canyon Wilderness Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

Horse and riders at Hells Canyon Wilderness at Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Wallowa-Whitman has “2.3 million acres of varied landscape, extends from the Blue Mountains and rugged Wallowa Mountains down to the spectacular canyon country of the Snake River on the Idaho border. The forest ranges in elevation from 875 feet in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area to 9,845 feet in the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area.” Photo #17 by U.S. Forest Service

Mirror Lake at night, Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

Starry night at Mirror Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa Mountains, Oregon. Eagle Cap Wilderness is the largest Wilderness in Oregon and lies within Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Photo #18 by U.S. Forest Service

Lava Butte is part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which contains cinder cones, lava flows, and lava tubes, is one of two volcanic monuments within the boundaries of the Deschutes National Forest, part of the US Pacific Northwest. “Lava Butte is part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.” The photographer added, “It is part of a system of small cinder cones on the northwest flank of Newberry Volcano, a massive shield volcano which rises to the southeast. The cinder cone is capped by a crater which extends about 60 feet (20 m) deep beneath its south rim, and 160 feet (50 m) deep from the 5,020 feet (1,530 m) summit on its north side.” Photo #19 by Craig Elliott

Frozen Paulina Creek Falls, on the way to Pauline Lake, Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Frozen Paulina Creek Falls. The photographer added, “Snowshoeing up to Pauline Lake, Newberry NVM, Oregon.” Photo #20 by Karl S Johnson

Falls Creek Falls is on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, Gifford Pinchot Forest

Falls Creek Falls is on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, Gifford Pinchot Forest. “The awesome and quite hidden Dry Creek Falls.” The photographer wrote, “A very ambitious tour of the backroads of the Gorge. Four days, 265mi and 25,000′ of climbing through the Lewis and Wind river watersheds, Forlorn Lakes area, Trout Lake, Hood River, and finally Lolo Pass to home.” Photo #21 by Gabriel Amadeus

Panther Creek Falls, Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Panther Creek Falls located within Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. Photo #22 by Bret Vogel

Lost Lake in the Mount Hood National Forest, night view of Mt. Hood

Lost Lake in the Mount Hood National Forest, night view of Mt. Hood. “The 1,067,000-acre Mt. Hood National Forest extends south from the Columbia River Gorge across more than sixty miles of forested mountains, lakes and streams to Olallie Scenic Area.” Photo #23 by US National Forest Service

Tom Dick and Harry Mountain, Mt Hood National Forest

Tom Dick and Harry Mountain is located 7.2 miles southwest of Mount Hood, Mt Hood National Forest, Oregon. Photo #24 by Bret Vogel

Eel Creek at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Eel Creek at Oregon Dunes, a National Recreation Areas in the US Pacific Northwest. Photo #25 by US National Forest Service

Frozen pools in the sculpted sands of Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

“Wind sculpts the sand at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and water fills the depressions in the winter,” wrote the photographer. “The pools have the color of glacial snowmelt,” a magical scene seen on Christmas Eve. Photo #26 by Alex Derr

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument - Mt St Helens steam plume

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in Washington, is within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and the second volcanic monument in the US Pacific Northwest. Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. Photo #27 by USFS / USDA

Ape Cave lava tube, a special place within Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument area

Ape Cave lava tube, the third longest lava tube (13,042’ long) in North America, lie within Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The photographer wrote, “The stairs at the mouth of Ape Cave, lava tubes. In streams of lava, understandably the outer surface cools faster and forms a crust while the lave inside the tube continues to drain, creating amazing lava tunnels. This one close to Mt. St. Helens was formed 2000 years back and is the longest in United States (~4 k.m.). It’s absolutely pitch dark inside, and the darkest place I’ve ever been to….” Photo #28 by Abhinaba Basu

View from Maple Pass in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

View from Maple Pass in Okanogan National Forest. Together with the Wenatchee National Forest, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is a large, diverse area, consisting of over 4-million acres along the east slopes of the Cascade Range in Washington. Photo #29 by Miguel Vieira

Okawen Winter at Louis Lake, Okanogan National Forests

Okawen Winter at Louis Lake, Okanogan National Forest. Photo #30 by USFS / USDA

Nason Ridge, Wenatchee National Forest

Nason Ridge, Wenatchee National Forest. The photographer noted, “Blessed are we who live in this awe inspiring area …. frequently called ‘God’s Country’ by born North Central Washingtonians.” There are six officially designated wilderness areas within Wenatchee National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. All of them lie partially in neighboring National Forests: Alpine Lakes Wilderness (partly in Snoqualmie NF); Glacier Peak Wilderness (partly in Mount Baker NF); Goat Rocks Wilderness (mostly in Gifford Pinchot NF); Henry M. Jackson Wilderness (partly in Snoqualmie NF (46.2%); Mount Baker NF (27.2%)); Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness (mostly in Okanogan NF); William O. Douglas Wilderness (partly in Gifford Pinchot NF). Photo #31 by Pictoscribe

Chinook Pass, Wenatchee National Forest

Chinook Pass had 86 inches of snow at the summit in 2012. The sign on the bridge says “Wenatchee National Forest.” Chinook reopened in the spring. Photo #32 by Washington State Dept of Transportation

Rainbow over Mount Thielsen, Mount Thielsen Wilderness, part of the Fremont–Winema National Forest

Similar to the massive joined and hyphenated Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, the 2.3 million acre forests of Fremont–Winema National Forest formed from the merger of the Fremont and Winema National Forests. It has ecosystems ranging “from towering snow-capped peaks to wide-open sage basins.” Mount Thielsen lies within the Mount Thielsen Wilderness, part of the Fremont–Winema National Forest. Photo #33 by USFS / USDA

Thielson Creek in Fremont Winema National Forest

Thielson Creek in Fremont-Winema National Forest, Oregon. Photo #34 by USFS / USDA

Deschutes National Forest, Mt Bachelor and Todd Lake

Deschutes National Forest, Oregon, Mt Bachelor and Todd Lake. Photo #35 by USFS / USDA

Deschutes National Forest, South Sister and Sparks Lake

Snow capped mountain reflecting off of a glassy lake. Deschutes National Forest, South Sister and Sparks Lake. Photo #36 by USFS / USDA

Ochoco National Forest

Ochoco National Forest. The photographer added, “View from our Christmas Tree Camp.” Photo #37 by Rachel Wente-Chaney

Steins Pillar, Ochoco National Forest, Oregon

Steins Pillar, Ochoco National Forest, Oregon. Photo #38 by Bureau of Land Management

Strawberry Lake, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness Area located within the Malheur National Forest, Oregon

Strawberry Lake, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness Area located within the Malheur National Forest, Oregon. Photo #39 by Celeste Ramsay

Malheur National Forest, Strawberry Peak

Malheur National Forest, Strawberry Peak. Photo #40 by USFS / USDA

Unnamed Lake, Snow Lakes Trail - Sky Lakes Wilderness, Oregon

Unnamed Lake, Snow Lakes Trail – Sky Lakes Wilderness. The Sky Lakes Wilderness is a wilderness area located in the Rogue River-Siskiyou and Winema National Forests in the southern Cascade Range of Oregon, U.S. Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest contains all or part of eight separate designated wilderness areas, which together add up to 565,900 acres. Photo #41 by Michael (a.k.a. moik) McCullough

Rogue River and Kalmiopsis Wilderness located within the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Kalmiopsis Wilderness “is a wilderness area in the Klamath Mountains of southwestern Oregon, within the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.” Photo #42 by Hamad Darwish

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area a special area within Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area a special area within Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon. Photo #43 by Paula Padilla del Valle

Drift Creek Falls, Drift Creek Wilderness, in the Siuslaw National Forest on the Oregon Coast

Drift Creek Falls, Siuslaw National Forest. This Drift Creek Wilderness is a 5,798-acre wilderness, and Rock Creek Wilderness is 7,486 acres, both within Siuslaw. Photo #44 by Peter McCarthy

Pacific Northwest US National Forests

You sure can’t see stars that well in a city. Looking up at the night sky from a Pacific Northwest US National Forest. Photo #45 by USFS / USDA

Bald Mountain viewpoint near the Pacific Crest Trail, Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon

Bald Mountain viewpoint near the Pacific Crest Trail, Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon. Photo #46 by USFS / USDA

Mt Hood Crater Rock

Heavenly skies over Mt Hood Crater Rock. Photo #47 by USFS / USDA

Proxy Falls, Oregon

Wouldn’t you love to visit, or live near, the majestic and massive US National Forests of the Pacific Northwest? Photo #48 by Thomas Shahan

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