Located in central Washington, the Teanaway State Forest compries over 50,000 acres of woods, watersheds, and wilderness. Along the Teanaway River in the Yakima Basin watershed, there are 400 miles of free-flowing streams for fishing, swimming, floating, and even whitewater rafting in some areas. With miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and explore the woods.
If you enjoy off-road adventures, there are quite a few miles of OHV trails and roads you can explore and enjoy throughout the forest. The Native Americans lived here 11,500 years ago, setting up camp along the Teanaway River where they could fish and to use the river as one of their methods of transportation. To encourage more use of the forest, the conservation department and the state of Washington have been building up the land and making more recreational areas while still protecting its natural habitat.
The summer brings opportunities for camping, swimming, boating, fishing, and picnicking while winter recreation includes skijoring and mushing, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sledding, and snowboarding. With all the mountains and cliffs, you can also do some rock climbing and mountain climbing if you like that sort of thing. To stay the night or the week, you can choose from three different campgrounds, which we have described below.
Since the forest is just minutes from Seattle off Interstate 90, it is easy to get to by RV or car. The roads into the forest are all scenic but the Teanaway Scenic Byway is one of the best in the west. Just take Highway 10 to Highway 970 and you will meander along pastures and meadows in the rolling hills of Washington. Farmhouses and barns dot the area, which make for plenty of excellent photo ops. No matter what road you choose to go down off of either of these highways, they are all full of gorgeous scenery.
Another breathtaking drive is the state Route 10 that zig zags through pastures along forests, cliffs, and crossing the Teanaway River. You will get some awesome views of the Yakima River Canyon and follow along Roslyn Northern Pacific Railway for 16 miles of old-time beauty. And state Route 903 along Cle Elum River takes you along the border of the forest by some old mining towns and the Salmon la Sac region.
There are several options for parking your RV or trailer with many different parking lots in the campgrounds, but most of the campsites have parking pads big enough to accommodate any RV up to 50 feet in length. Maneuvering around the narrow dirt and gravel roads of some of the campgrounds can be tricky though, so most people who visit leave their RV in the campsite and walk or ride bikes around the campground whenever possible.
On the middle fork of the Teanaway River, the Indian Camp Campground has 11 campsites with campfire rings, picnic tables, and a large clearing for sitting around the fire. They also have two group campsites and provide drinking water spigots and a restroom with running water. This campground is popular for those who like a more private and secluded atmosphere without having to completely go off the map. There have been bears sighted in and around the area so be sure to keep your food and other scented items locked in a bear proof container.
Although it is the smallest campground in the Teanaway Forest, it is packed with a plethora of things to do including a small picnic area, trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and even a place where you can do some OHV riding. It is the only campground with equestrian camping and with only 11 campsites, you have to get here early to get a spot. Dogs and cats are welcome as long as you keep them restrained and supervised at all times while you are here.
Close to the Seattle area, the Teanaway Campground, along the west fork of the Teanaway River, has 64 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings with grills for cooking. The campground also has potable drinking water spigots and two ADA-accessible restrooms, as well as several vault toilets around the park. There are also several group campsites able to accommodate large groups up to 25 people. These are first-come, first-served campsites so get here early if you want a spot, especially on weekends and holidays. There have been bears sighted in and around the area so be sure to keep your food and other scented items locked in a bear proof container.
Being on the Teanaway River, you can spend the day fly fishing for trout, bass, or crappie or find a spot along the bank for a picnic and some sunbathing while the kids play in the water. Toss a raft, canoe, or kayak in the river and take a trip downstream. Many people enjoy geocaching or hiking in the wooded area around the camp or just relaxing by the RV. Pets are allowed as long as you keep them restrained and supervised at all times during your visit.
The 29 Pines Campground on the north fork of the Teanaway River has 59 campsites, each with a campfire ring, picnic table, and a large clearing for sitting around the campfire. The campground also provides several drinking water spigots, a restroom, and several vault toilets around the park. There have been bears sighted around the area, so be sure to keep your food and other scented items locked in a bear proof container.
Whether you want to go fishing, swimming, or floating, this part of the Teanaway River is perfect for all of these choices. You can float down the river on a canoe, kayak, or a raft for a unique and refreshing way to stay cool during the summer. These are first-come, first-served campsites so get here early if you want a spot, especially on weekends and holidays. Pets are welcome as long as they are kept restrained and accompanied at all times during your stay.
If you are a beginner, there are some awesome spots to go rafting in the Teanaway River, but for some of the more challenging whitewater you will need to go below the forks. Although the difficulty stays pretty mild at a class II or III, you will need to know a bit about whitewater rafting before tackling these wilder areas of the river. Many of the experienced rafters go from the Teanaway confluence to the Thorp Highway Bridge but you can go further up to the Cle Elum River by Bullfrog Road for a longer trip.
Both rock climbing and mountain trekking are popular in the Teanaway with Ingalls Peak being the main point of interest for most. All the peaks and summits give you an awesome view of the Stuart Range and the stunning mountain ranges of Washington. Some of the most popular peaks besides the 7,662-foot Ingalls is the 7,382-foot Fortune Peak, 7,160-foot Mount Baldy, and the 6,260-foot Deroux Peak.
Take a hike while you are here instead of just hanging out at the RV the whole time because there are over 200 miles of trails to explore. The 12-mile Middle Fork Trail #1393 is one of the most popular is also great for climbers with all kinds of cool rock formations and crosses the river in 17 different places. For a shorter trail with a waterfall, try the 2.9-mile Monkey Bear Falls Trail #1273. There are rock steps and viewing platforms to enjoy here.
If you are a horse lover, hook up the horse trailer before heading to the forest. The Teanaway State Forest also has some great trails for equestrians such as the narrow mountain 7.4-mile Yellow Hill Trail #1222 by Jolly Mountain Trail, the brushy but fun 6.9-mile Teanaway Ridge Trail #1364 by Forest Road 9738-120, and the challenging four-mile Jungle Creek Trail #1383.
Remember how much fun you had sledding when you were a kid? Well multiply that by 100 and you will still not know how exciting it is to go sledding in the Teanaway State Forest. You just have to pack your sled in the RV after the first snow and head to the forest where there are acres of snowy hills to enjoy so you can experience it for yourself. The Crystal Springs Sno-Park is open from December until March and has some really awesome grades for everyone from beginner to expert, but there are also many unmarked trails and hills to enjoy throughout the forest.
Hook up the snowmobile trailer to the campervan and head to the Teanaway State Forest because winter is fun here too. There are plenty of trails for snowmobiling starting in December and lasting until mid-March, depending on the weather. The Taneum Sno-Park off Interstate 90 is one of the most popular places to go in the winter but there are over 200 miles of trails you can enjoy here during the winter. And since you are right on Interstate 90, check out the Blewett I-90 Snowmobile Trails as well.