Fields Spring State Park in Washington State is a beautiful 792 acre camping park. It is completely forested and is located in the Blue Mountains of Southeastern Washington in the town of Anatone, Washington. Part of the park sits on top of Puffer Butte at an elevation of 4,500 feet. The top gives you a view of three states, Idaho, Oregon and Washington and the Grande Ronde and Snake River basins. There are many opportunities to observe lovely wildflowers in the spring and summer months. The winter offers many different winter sporting activities.
There are several areas located in the park which have been designated as metal detector areas and there is a ball field located in the park.
The park is open year round for camping and day use. The hours in the summer are 6:30 A.M. to dusk and the winter hours are 8:00 A.M. to dusk. Although it is open during the winter season, a sno-park permit is needed from November 15th through April 30th. Sno-Park permits are necessary in order to park or use motorized or non-motorized sno-parks in the winter.
Because of the massive volcanic flows of the Grande Ronde, basalt is the dominant rock within the park. A great way to get around the park in the winter months is to use snowshoes which make transportation much easier. Some park visitors in the winter months also using cross country skis.
The park was named after Mr. Fields, who was an early settler in the area. Mr. Fields helped to develop a spring which was used at the time by many of the settlers in the area. The seasonal migration route of the Nez Perce Indian tribe is set within the park.
Puffer Butte, one of the highest elevations in the park, was named for Mr. and Mrs. Puffer who were homesteaders in the area. Mr. and Mrs. Puffer would climb Peterson Butte adjacent to Puffer Butte to watch for Indians who would pass in the canyon below. When Indians were spotted, the Puffer’s would move their livestock to the top of Puffer Butte to protect them.
There are many walking and nature trails located throughout the park where you can observe the natural beauty of the area as well as the many wildlife living within the park. There are a wide variety of birds in the park as well as hawks, owls, deer, rabbits, coyotes and crows. If you love to view the natural beauty of trees, there are ample varieties in the park, ponderosa pine, spruce, maple and douglas firs just to name a few. In 1974, tragedy struck when seventy percent of the douglas fir trees had to be removed because of an infestation of the Tussock Moth which severely damaged the trees.
The camping facilities located in the park consists of twenty tent spaces and there is also one kitchen shelter which has electricity and a wood stove. Camping sites are available on a first come first serve basis. There are also two teepees in the park each of which accommodates up to eight people and are available by reservation. Guests are only allowed to camp for a maximum of ten days, but, this is extended to twenty days from October 1st through March 31st. Picnic tables are also available in the camping area.
More information on the park can be found at Washington States website www.parks.wa.gov and then selecting Fields Spring from the drop down menu. The park is located in a very remote setting and the nearest supplies and services can be obtained in Clarkston, which is located thirty miles south of the park.