We flew to Seattle and rented a car, then drove the route Mt Rainier-Mt St Helens-Hood River-Fort Clatsop-Olympics-San Juan Islands-Seattle. We never got a clear view of either of the big mountains.
There were some naturist interludes.
We visited Wind River Hot Spring but to be honest we didn't enjoy it much. The landowner greets you via a notice which mingles hostility and greed in equal amounts, and the trail to the springs is miserable. Also it was raining lightly the day we went. But, New Englanders don't get to visit hot springs every day, so we persevered. The water was lukewarm but apparently we didn't go far enough; there is a hotter hot spring a little farther on.
Warning! I just read about a visitor to the spring who slipped off the trail and was seriously hurt. If you go, detour down to the stream bed as soon as you can. It's rocky, but you aren't likely to fall.
|This is the entrance to the "nude beach" at Rooster Rock State Park. It's on the Columbia River west of Portland. There have been reports that the beach has problems with sexual activity and gawkers in power boats. And the park headquarters was a burned-out shell when we came by. But it is an officially recognized nude beach. There aren't many around.|
|The highest and best-known waterfall in the Columbia Gorge area is Multnomah Falls. It is indeed spectacular, but it's a major tourist site right on the main road. We also took a hike of about a mile up to Elowah Falls, which we had all to ourselves. As a visiting naturist, I felt I had to show how a waterfall should be enjoyed. But I have to say that bathing under water that's been in free fall for 289 feet isn't all that comfortable.|
A spot that I highly recommend is Olympic Hot Spring. I'm sorry not to have a suitable picture of it, but it's a well known place within the Olympic National Park. You take the Elwha Valley Road to the end, then park and walk in about 2 miles along an old road. Many people treat it as a day trip, but directly across the valley from the hot spring is a large campground, officially the "Boulder Creek Campground". This is for people who can enjoy "primitive" camping, as it doesn't have picnic tables or even perfectly well-defined sites, and only a couple of outhouses. Water is from a stream, so you'll need a filter. It's an easy stroll from the campground to the spring. The path runs along the hillside, and the hot water emerges from crevices, and fills about 7 pools which have been constructed out of natural materials, and which offer varying temperatures and amounts of privacy. It's a very attractive site, worth travelling a considerable distance to enjoy. It's open year round.
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