This state park has trails that wind through a forest of Ponderosa pine and Oregon white oak in the Simcoe Mountains near the Columbia River Gorge. Some trails take you up to meadows with wildflowers in the spring and views of Mount Hood in Oregon on a clear day.
The diversity of riparian, upland forest and wildflower meadow environments in this little-known 682-acre park make it a gem for naturalists. In addition to its many native plants, the park also is a birding stop on the Sun & Sage Loop of the Great Washington State Birding Trail.
Enjoy several miles of trails along the Little Klickitat River, through oak-pine woodlands, and heading up to wildflower meadows. Nestled on the south slope of the Simcoe Mountains, views of Mount Adams to the west are blocked by the high surrounding ridges, but Mount Hood is visible to the south from the high meadows.
The trail system still is under development on the east side of the park so way-finding may be a challenge, particularly on the Monastery Fire Trail.
In addition to hiking, mountain bikers and equestrians are welcome here. A disc golf course in the pines is located in the day use area next to the campground.
If you're camping here, be sure to make time to visit the Maryhill Museum, Maryhill State Park on the bank of the Columbia River, the Stonehenge World War I Memorial, and Goldendale Observatory State Park, all excellent and informative spots in a gorgeous landscape.