Surround yourself with sun-sweetened huckleberries! These resilient berries, considered by the local Yakama tribe to be heavenly gifts, first grew in the cooled ashes of wildfires that ravaged the Gifford Pinchot National Forest thousands of years ago. Located along the White Pass Scenic Byway, the forest is one of the best berry-picking areas in the Pacific Northwest. Come with a basket or satchel and gather up to three gallons of huckleberries free of charge! Sweeten your summer with jams, pies, and cakes layered in juicy huckleberries.
The best time to pick huckleberries is mid-August to mid-September when they are plump and deep purple in color. Berry picking is allowed in most areas within the forest, but due to the sacred meaning of the huckleberry to the Yakama tribe, certain areas have been reserved for tribal use only. Be prepared to pick berries by hand since the use of rakes is restricted to preserve the natural contour of the forest and to prevent damage to natural vegetation. Visit the forest’s website for more information concerning the cultural significance of the huckleberry, and for information detailing where berry picking is allowed. Come to the huckleberry fields along the White Pass Scenic Byway and leave with your fingers purple with berry juice!
- Copyright © September 2009 Baha'i Views/Flitzy Phoebie of Flickr.com.