Washington has all kinds of unique places to explore, many of which are hidden and often hold mysterious or unusual stories behind them! For example, here are 8 of the strangest spots in the Northwest that you may have not known existed:
1. Disappearing Lake
in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is said to appear every spring and somehow disappear each summer, leaving an area known as South Prairie in its place. The natural wonder has a depth up to 8 feet and is home to the world’s largest-known population of a rare iris, as well as some of the farthest west aspen groves in the whole state.
2. The Fremont Troll
This sculpture underneath the Aurora Bridge in Fremont may not hold a lot of mystery behind it, but it's certainly one of the most peculiar sculptures in Seattle. The hidden landmark is made of steel rebar, wire, and concrete and can be seen clutching an actual Volkswagen beetle.
3. Skystone in Bonney Lake
It's not every day that you see a giant andesite glacial boulder all fenced up. What's so special about it?? Local archaeologists believe that the lines and holes carved on the top were done by ancient Native Americans and they point to the position of the sunset on the solstices, as well as other astronomical phenomena.
4. Mima Mounds
There are several different explanations of how these mysterious mounds were formed, ranging from pocket gophers to seismic ground shaking from earthquakes! If you want to admire the 4-6 foot mounds up close, there's a scenic trail you can take that loops all the way around this 445-acre natural area preserve.
5. Twin Sisters
Although science suggests that these pillars were formed from erosion thousands of years ago, there's a local Native American legend that claims they were formed when an animal spirit fell in love with three sisters but later became jealous of them and turned two into stone and the third into a cave - according to the
Washington Trails Association
. Regardless of how they were formed, it's definitely a remarkable feature to see while hiking along Wallula Gap by the Columbia River!
6. She Who Watches
If you're out near the Columbia Gorge, you can take a tour to view this fascinating pictograph hidden along a cliffside perch in Columbia Hills State Park! The treasure, also known as Tsagaglalal, is a combination of a rock etching and painting that was made over 300 years ago and is part of an old legend about a tribe's guardian who was also turned to stone.
7. Blue Lake Rhino Cave
While you may have seen all kinds of caves, there aren't many out there shaped like a rhino! This unusual spot was supposedly formed by basalt that was once a Diceratherium bull (an ancestor of the modern rhino) who was out on the prairie when an eruption started. The escape route it took had gotten cut off by a lake, which led to its unfortunate death. Later on, the lava that covered the bull cooled into molten rock and hardened into this uniquely shaped cave you can now see today.
8. Gravity Hill
If you drive up to the marked start line on this creepy road near Prosser, put the car in neutral and take your foot off the brake, the car will supposedly defy the laws of gravity and actually start to roll uphill until you reach the end a little ways up the road. While some people have wondered if it's just an optical illusion, others have tested the elevation to prove there is definitely an incline.
Have you been to any of these unusual places in our state before? Where are some other mysterious spots in Washington?? Add to this list below!