Along the Klikitat Valley Highway

I recently ventured into some back roads territory I had not traveled before in the Columbia River Gorge area in Washington. This region is one of my most favorite areas in the Pacific Northwest that includes both the Oregon and Washington sides of “the gorge.” It’s diverse landscape and climate keeps calling me back over and over. If you’ve ever traveled through this area before, you will know what I mean.

I’m one who likes to study road maps. I like to find out where all the lesser roads lead to and if I might want to explore them on my own. And, with the help of Google, I’m able to find out what things I may encounter along the way, such as points of interest, weather conditions, terrain, or whatever else I may want to know. I have traveled many of the back road highways just north of the main Columbia River Gorge Highway 14 in Washington, but there was one in particular I was curious about that connects the gorge community of Lyle to Goldendale, located some distance northeast. This would be Highway 142, located in Klikitat County. I’m glad I checked it out! And now that I’ve traversed it, I can tell you that the best starting point would be at the east end of the highway at Goldendale. Why? Because, as you travel in a westerly direction, you will get jaw-dropping views of two majestic mountain peaks: Mt Adams and Mt Hood. Now, that’s double your pleasure!

Mount Hood

Mount Adams

The rural highway passes through lots of lush, green farmland and pastures at first, then starts to drop down in elevation quite quickly though a steep canyon area. The road becomes very narrow and windy through this stretch of road and two cars can barely pass each other. Speaking of cars, you may not see very many pass by as you travel along this rural highway. Once down in the Klikitat River Valley, the road follows along the scenic, wild river in forested area. The few communities that exist are very small. It always makes me wonder who lives in these out of the way places and for what reasons. But then again, I would love to exist in these pristine, “God’s country” areas!

The highway ends at the main Columbia River Gorge Highway 14 at Lyle. There is a small, well maintained rest area at the end of the road (or beginning of the road) with a restroom and overlook of the Klikitat River. It is here that it empties into the Columbia River. (See photo below) It is also here that the 31 mile Klikitat Trail begins that is popular for hikers. What a wonderful region this is!

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About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I am retired and enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store, http://www.zazzle.com/northwestphotos.
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8 Responses to Along the Klikitat Valley Highway

  1. rdowney86 says:

    Gorgeous! Looks like a lovely day to go out and photograph!!

    • Thank you! Yes, the weather was great! Since that area is on the drier side of the Cascades, the rainfall is half that it is here in the Greater Seattle area and temperatures are warmer in the spring and summer. As a matter of fact, it can get down right toasty im the middle of summer!

  2. oh my gosh you were in my back yard! darn wish i had known…. I live in White Salmon, about 12 miles from Lyle

  3. I saw a reply from you on my page, but somehow it disappeared! I am sorry, been gone a lot… I do live in White Salmon now, but have also lived in Trout Lake a lot and have a brother up there, it feels like home to me. I go up there to do Saturday Markets in the summer too.
    Hmmm, you said “I’ve never explored the road from there to Appleton. Is that a worthwhile drive? I have a map here showing that the road may not be paved all the way. Also, have you ever driven the Centerville Hwy from Lyle to Goldendale? Anything exciting along there?”
    the road to Appleton from WS is gravel part of the way but passable except in Winter…or when really muddy… and it is a pretty drive. Another way to Appleton is up Canyon ROad from old highway 8 near Lyle, or from near Klickitat. from Appleton you can also loop up the Fisher Hill road to Glenwood, and from there to Trout Lake or Goldendale! all sorts of gravel roads, not good when muddy and snowy but fun in summer. and yes, the Centerville road is wonderful too… really sweet when the balsamroot is out in spring.

    • Thank you so much for the road advice in the Klikitat area. I may venture around that way again in the future. I may even venture towards Bickleton from the Goldendale area. Seems a bit out of the way, I know. I’ve been around the loop through Glenwood, Trout Lake, Hussam…all through there. Was not too excited about it, except for the views of Mt Adam. Also, I prefer to stay off the gravel roads. Again, thanks for your help.

  4. Gorgeous! It’s a part of the continent I haven’t been to yet.

Thank you!

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