GETTING HERE FROM THE GOLDENDALE DIRECTION
It has a grand view of Mt Adams and sometimes Mt Hood. The major north-south Highway 97 runs through Goldendale.
If you want to travel to Glenwood you start by taking Washington State Highway 142 west.
West on long straight stretches, west around 90º corners and west winding through farm country. Mt. Adams is a sentinel to the northwest and Mt Hood to the southwest. WATCH OUT FOR DEER!!
At milepost (need to check this) you enter the little settlement of Blockhouse. During the Indian uprising of 1855, when Agent Bolon was killed a small log fortress was built in this area. Fort Simcoe was established in the Yakima Valley and a military road was surveyed from The Dalles, through Blockhouse, over the Simcoe Mtns, to Fort Simcoe. There is a HISTORY SIGN about the military road. What is even more fascinating about the military road is that it followed the ancient Native American Eel Trail. Across the road is the old trading post/store which is now a private residence. This area was cross road for Native Americans with abundant springs, for camping.
Continue winding west, past the Cinder Cone mountain, you will whoop de doop down across Mill Creek, back up to wheat fields on both sides. I'm being explanatory here because now you have to keep an eye open for the Glenwood Rd, turning off of Highway 142. Especially on a foggy night. You will travel a straight stretch down a hill and at milepost (need to check this) the Glenwood Road angles to the right. There will be a green sign and that is about it. Highway 142 continues on to Klickitat, down the Klickitat River to Lyle and Highway 14.
Now the road winds through pine forest and homes. You cross Bowman Creek and Canyon Creek. Off to your right is a primitive road that leads to Grayback Mountain. Grayback isn't noticeable from this direction, but from Glenwood, looking east, it is a noticeable landmark. At one time it was a fire lookout. Now it just has a weather station. At 3800' elevation it gets some pretty hefty wind gusts.
Up ahead, the pine forests open up to a spectacular view of wide open space, the Klickitat Canyon, Mt Adams and steep hillsides with scrub Oak.
Notice the hill across the river. Bare on the east slope, but a heavy fir forest on the west slope.
Glenwood residents call this section of road, The Goldendale Grade. Whot knows what Goldendale residents call it as they descend down in to the bowels of the Klickitat River?
I remember when the road was narrow and gravel and no guard rails.
In the spring time, these hillsides are blooming with Lupine and Balsam Root. There are several pull offs along the way. Take advantage of them and enjoy the view.
As you descend down the grade, the road to WDFW Stinson Flat campground and boat launch takes off to the left and winds its way through the oak trees down to the river.
The main road continues on down hill, around a big curve and down to the Leidl Bridge crossing the Klickitat River and the Leidl Campground.
Through the years, different families had a farm at this crossing. The Leidl family was one of them. Their son Louis was killed in WWI. When the Klickitat River experiences one of its rip roaring floods, this area experiences some major changes. But, for now, it is a peaceful, campground/boatlaunch. There is camping on both sides of the highway. Outhouses available. Keep a watch for rattlesnakes.
Across the road from the mill is a gravel road down to the Klickitat. Rafters, kayakers and fishermen use this road. It gives you a great view of Wonder Springs, a waterfall that gushes out from the rock wall of the Klickitat Canyon. Travel is limited because the road enters the Yakama Reservation.
Continuing toward Glenwood, at milepost 6 is a green “Viewpoint” marker. Turn off here for a wide open view of the Klickitat River Canyon, Outlet Creek Canyon and Mt Adams in the background. The parking area can be dusty in the summer but it is a short walk to the fenced viewpoint.
Continuing on up the road to mile 5.5 is an unmarked pull off. As soon as you open your car door you can hear the roar of a waterfall. If it is spring time, the roar is loud. If it is fall, the roar is faint. Here is where you can get a view of Outlet Falls. Outlet Creek drains the Glenwood Valley, tumbling over this cliff on its way to the Klickitat River. The falls has gained some fame by kayakers going over in the early spring runoff.
The water over the falls can be muddy looking, but as it makes its last dash for the Klickitat River, springs enter from both sides of the canyon, turning the creek to a clear bluish green color.
Past mile 3 is the “Welcome to Glenwood” sign, the Mill Pond on the south side of the highway and entrance to the Klickitat Salmon Hatchery on the north side.
The Glenwood Valley has always naturally drained its excess water from springs and snowmelt through Outlet Creek. Early settlers dug a canal to drain the water faster. The canal enters the Mill Pond, which actually was a Mill Pond at one time, and exits into the natural Outlet Creek. The Mill Pond is now owned by Mt Adams Resource Stewards, a community based timber resource organization. In the summer the community gathers here on the 4th of July to set off fireworks and in the winter, you might see kids ice skating.
The sign for the Klickitat Salmon Hatchery is at the main road, but the hatchery itself is about three miles away. The road travels across what the locals call “The Flat.” You cross over the old railroad grade that originally came all the way from the mill in the town of Klickitat. After two miles of gravel you reach a sign that says 22% grade for ½ mile. You then notice the road drops off into nothingness. Actually the road is still there, it just drops down a steep hillside along the breaks of the Klickitat. There used to be a sign here that said, “PRAY”. There is a great view of Mt Adams and far below you can see the fish hatchery. The hatchery, located at an early Native American river crossing, is run by the Yakama Tribe and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. The trip down might be a bit hair raising, but once you reach the bottom it is peaceful and beautiful. The hatchery facility provides a shady picnic spot with potable water, two fishing ponds and, with previous arrangements the staff will give a guided tour.
Call 509-364-3310 for information.
This area of the Klickitat River was the Native American crossing as they moved from the Yakima Valley to the Glenwood Valley to dig Camas or move on to the huckleberry fields or salmon fishing. McClellan's trail crossed here, following the Indian trail.
One mile from town you reach a Y in the road. Continue on the main road into town, or, the Lakeside Road to the left circles around the south side of the valley. The Fisher Hill Road to Lyle takes off from this road.