Fort Simcoe State Park
Head 27 miles west from Toppenish through the heart of the Yakama Reservation to peaceful Fort Simcoe State Park (509/874-2372, www.parks.wa.gov, 6:30 a.m.–dusk daily April–Oct., free). The drive takes you through fields of grapes and hops, past fast-growing Heritage College, past Native American burial grounds with decorated gravesites, to the fort.
Fort Simcoe was erected by the Army in 1856 to help keep peace between Indians and white settlers. Two blockhouses and a barracks have been reconstructed, and five of the original buildings have been restored and furnished. Tour the buildings and the brick interpretive center (9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Wed.–Sun.) with artifacts and old photos, then enjoy a picnic lunch on the parklike grounds. No overnight camping is permitted at Fort Simcoe.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition