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.
Note: This trip was first published in 2004.