World’s Largest Sitka Spruce

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Heading east on US 26, you’ll pass a roadside park that promises the “World’s Largest Sitka Spruce”. Indeed, it’s big, but there’s a bit of competition for the title, from another giant spruce tree near Lake Quinault, WA.

A few more miles down the road, a side trip takes you to Saddle Mountain State Natural Area. After driving 8 miles up a very twisty and bumpy (although paved) road, you reach the trailhead for the 2.5 mile hike on up the mountain. This is a very steep hike, and signs bluntly warn you of the dangers.
I didn’t have time to make the climb, but from accounts I’ve read, it’s pretty incredible.  I’ll have to add this one to my list for the future.

If you don’t plan on hiking to the top of Saddle Mountain, or camping out at the base of the trail, skip this side trip. There’s nothing else to do or see there.

Note: This trip was first published in 2004.

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