Celebrate and recreate Washington’s Indian summer

…it’s gonna be a stunner!

This year an Indian summer is in the forecast for Washington State. What does that mean for Washington recreationalists?GraniteLakes

It means we get to play in warm, summer-like weather through September and possibly into October and November. It’s not too late to try out that hike or off road vehicle (ORV) adventure you’ve been aching to do. DNR has got the scoop on some great adventures to embark on as you head into your endless Indian summer.

So grab your trusty Discover Pass and head up to one of these treasured sites on DNR-managed state lands (below).

At Cypress Island, you too can bask in the spender of summer, and of nature. Photo by: DNR/Jason Golstein

Pelican Beach, Cypress Island Natural Area
Ever dream of a kayaking adventure through the San Juan Islands? If so, Pelican Beach at Cypress Island is your destination. Just a short trip out of Anacortes, nearly 90% of this beautiful island is protected by DNR. Don’t worry if you’re new to sea-kayaking, there are many outfits around the area that offer guided tours to Cypress Island. Pelican Beach will awe you with magnificent views and natural Washington forests that reach down and touch the water. And the adventure doesn’t stop at the water. The island is covered in trails, incredible vantage points, and campgrounds with full amenities. Since 1923, Cypress Island has been recognized as a place of incredible ecological and historical importance and preserved for kayakers everywhere to delight in. Check out the weather, currents, and some safety tips before you head out on this voyage.

Not only does Oyster Dome offer breathtaking views, but Blanchard Mountain also offers mountain biking, paragliding, horse-back riding, and hiking. Photo by: DNR/Diana Lofflin

Oyster Dome, Blanchard Mountain
This scenic lookout is a bit of a hike from the Blanchard Upper Trailhead, but it’s well worth the effort. There are many treasures along this trail, including stunning views of the sound. Once you scramble up to the top, you are greeted with a breathtaking view of the San Juans, Fildalgo Island, Whidbey Island, Vancouver Island, the Olympics, the Skagit River flats, and the shining Samish Bay. Blanchard Mountain is a great place to try out a new adventure — it’s a favorite to mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrian riders alike.

This short yet rugged hike offers an incredible vantage point of Capitols State Forest and old growth trees that do not disappoint. Photo by: DNR/Jessica Payne

Fuzzy Top, Capitol State Forest
In the mood for some rugged hiking? This amazing hidden trail contains Capitol State Forest’s finest stand of old-growth trees. Many Capitol Forest enthusiasts swear this hike is the best in the area. The stand is surrounded by stages of logged and young replanted trees, giving those who hike in to it a breathtaking vista of Capitol Forest. Fuzzy Top provides a unique educational opportunity to teach recreationalists the value of old forests and DNR’s practice of replanting. The trailhead may be a little difficult to find, and the trail is rather rustic, so make sure you check out DNR’s map and view some directions before you go.

Dramatically sculpted by the great Glacial Lake Missoula floods, Dishman Hills NRCA give you the chance to see Spokane the way it was before civilization. Photo by: DNR/Jane Chevay

Dishman Hills NRCA, Spokane
Dishman Hills Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) is a 518-acre nature reserve tucked inside the city of Spokane. Dishman Hills was dramatically sculpted by the great Glacial Lake Missoula floods and is guaranteed to wow. Springs freckle the land making it a true oasis for wildlife. Bring the kids and enjoy the singing of frogs, colorful wildflowers, and over 50 species of butterflies. Because it is a conservation area, leave your mountain bikes, horses, rollerblades, rock climbing gear, and motorized vehicles at home. The serenity will give you a unique chance to see the land the way it was before the chaos of modern civilization. View some trails where you can enjoy wildlife, rare species of plants, and spectacular geological features.

Enjoy the end of summer with a romp and roar in the sand at Beverly Sand Dunes ORV park.

Beverly Dunes, Grant County
Do you need a hefty dose of excitement in your life? Love to rip and roar through the trails but want to try something new? What better way to celebrate your endless summer than at Beverly Dunes off road vehicle (ORV) park. Riders of all ages can enjoy these dunes located near the town of Beverly on Lower Crab Creek. Want to try ORVs for the first time? Read these important safety tips to get you started. For more details on Beverly Dunes, view DNR’s Recreation Guide.

Poo Poo Point offers incredible views and a spectacular picnic show watching paragliders soar off the mountain.

Poo Poo Point, Tiger Mountain
The name of this trail alone is bound to make you laugh, but what it has to offer is anything but silly. This wide trail, lined with old forests and wildflowers, opens up into a grassy mountainside where hang gliders and paragliders can be found launching throughout the summer. There is a picnic spot above the launch area where you can enjoy views of Issaquah Valley, Lake Sammamish, Bellevue, and on clear days, Mount Baker. For detailed directions, check out the Washington Trails Association’s page.

Try a new adventure on DNR land in the late summer months
Butterfly-filled picnics, hikes to breathtaking views, and romping around the sand dunes! Whether it’s mountain biking, kayaking, or a rugged new hike, make sure you grab your Discover Pass and head out to make the most Washington’s rare and amazing Indian summer.