The southeast end of the State Of Washington certainly is the land of wide open spaces. The Snake River runs along the eastern border and when combined with the tall mountains in Idaho, access to this region of Washington is limited by natural barriers. From Hell's Gate to the Oregon Border this area is practically a no man's land, so for those who want to get away from it all, this is an appealing place to be!
Washington State Road 129 runs from Clarkston south to the Oregon Border and onward to destinations in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Just across the Snake River from Clarkston is where a few historic sites and the Hell's Gate Idaho State Park are located, so there is plenty to do in this area. On the way south SR 129 also passes through Fields Spring Washington State Park, which offers plenty of shade trees, green grassy meadows and plenty of wildlife viewing.
For those who drive a sports car, south of Fields Spring State Park is where things start to get interesting and for those who haul a big travel trailer this is where Washington SR 129 becomes a nightmare. The road cuts through the high mountain canyons and there are plenty of zig-zag switchbacks to negotiate. By the time a driver arrives at the Grande Ronde River, the hands will likely be frozen on the steering wheel. This definitely is a white knuckle scenic drive, so be sure to take a few roadside breaks to enjoy the majestic views!
From the Grande Ronde River to the Oregon Border the drive is as pleasant as can be. There are very few signs of civilization out this way, so the majestic scenery is pristine. Hunters, survivalists and wildlife photographers know this region well, while the average mainstream tourist likely has never given thought to touring this neck of the woods. The vast Wallowa-Whitman National Forest awaits across the border, which is a summer season camping paradise. There are not many roads to choose from in these parts, so just set the map aside and hop on Washington SR 129 to a remote land of back country adventures!
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