Rock hounds have several places to explore. Money Creek is an area of many opportunities. The Damian Pithius Mine is no longer in operation but there is a wealth of mineral deposits, particularly quartz. At Money Creek itself, there is jasper of all colors, Chert, and petrified wood.
I like lighthouses and there are almost 30 in Washington. The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is located where the Columbia River flows into the Pacific Ocean. The water is so swift and hard to navigate that 234 identified ships have been stranded, sunk, or burned between 1725 and 1961. One of the previous caretakers felt that if he had a rescue boat, he might be able to save some of the people from those ships. The first life saving station for lighthouses was made at Cape Disappointment, a practice that continues today at the Coast Guard lifeboat station and training school located on Cape Disappointment.
The Ape Cave lava tube is on the southwest flank of Mount St. Helens. It is the longest known uncollapsed tube of its kind. There are two routes to explore inside the caves and one trail above ground connects the main and upper entrances. Lava stalactites and stalagmites as well as lava flow marks are points of interest.
Gingko/Wanapum State Park has several areas. Gingko Petrified Forest State Park is interesting. Logs and trees in this area were covered by water when enormous lava flows covered the whole area about thirteen million years ago. The water protected them from the extreme heat. Millions of years of chemical changes made the petrified wood there today. This is a good area for observing coyote, elk, rabbit, deer, lizards, snakes, and a large variety of birds.
The San Juan Archipelago is made up of more than 170 islands. At low tide they claim more than 300 additional rocky "islands". Seals. sea lions, and seabirds are protected in the refuge here. About 90 Orca whales live here year round so whale watching will probably be successful. Kayaks, bicycles. and feet are the best way to view the scenery of the islands. Artists will have no end of nature sights to photograph or paint. Birds are plentiful. Farms and gardens make a nice getaway for those who like plants.
Washington is a state to visit no matter what you want to do out in nature. Anything from winter recreations, to water recreations, to hiking and all nature observing. Photographers have a never-ending supply of scenery. So choose the activity you like best and plan your own adventure. Explore Washington then let us know what you did. There are links below to help you find the places you want to visit. In the meantime, I'm going to visit the World Kite Museum And Hall of Fame. I'm going to stay at the Cedar Creek Treehouse and go see the Grand Coulee Dam.
Official Washington State Site
The Cascade Loop
State Volcanoes and Volcanics
Washington State History
Washington State Mineral Council
Washington Ghost Towns
Experience Washington Newsletter
Offbeat Tourist Attractions