Field Springs State Park

If you haven’t seen the Blue Mountains, make sure to put Fields Spring State Park on your Northwest life list! The Blues extend over 4,000 square miles of southeastern Washington, northeastern Oregon and Idaho.

Fields Spring sits at 4,500 feet in the middle of the range, and if the altitude doesn’t take your breath, the scenery will. Several park views unfold like rippling silks to the far horizon.

Four-season destination

The park shimmers in all four seasons. Green hills and wildflower meadows will have you singing in spring. The range turns gold and sapphire in summer and russet in fall. Its blue and white sparkles delight snow-shoers and cross-country skiers in winter.

Unique overnight options include two eight-person teepees in summer, and two lodges and two mountain cabins year-round.

Tamarack Cabin, near a big sledding/tubing hill, sleeps four and boasts a mini-fridge, bathroom with shower, microwave, coffee pot and parking spot. (Bring your own linens.) When you step outside in the winter, you’ll find 6 miles of groomed ski and snowshoe trails at your door.

Puffer Butte Warming Hut is as rustic as it gets. The hut provides an excellent intro to winter backpacking without the tent-camping part. A stove stocked with firewood will keep you and three guests toasty, but first you’ll make the 1-mile uphill trek with all your backpacking gear – minus the tent. Hardy winter recreationists can reserve this hut through the park for $20 a night. The hut opens to the public for warming all day.

The more, the merrier

Bigger groups and non-backpackers may prefer todrive to Fields Spring’s primitive snow campground, dig out campsites and stake tents. Sites are $20 a night plus Sno-Park permits, and the campground has bathrooms nearby.

Wohelo Lodge sleeps 20 and borders miles of hiking and bike trails. In winter, you’ll have a hard time pulling the kids off the sledding/tubing hill, mere steps from the lodge.

Finally, the large Puffer Butte Lodge stands on a butte at the north end of Hells Canyon, the Grand Ronde River and the Wallowa Mountains, and it sleeps up to 80.

Summer fun, local sights

In the warmer months, you may need a rest from that beautiful hiking. Treat yourself to a mellow day on the Snake or Grand Ronde River, or tour Hell’s Canyon 45 minutes north. Make the scenic 90-minute drive into Pullman to enjoy shopping and dining.

Winter, spring, summer or fall, Fields Spring State Park and its remote location will make you feel like you got away from it all.