Stonehenge Isn’t Only in England
Everyone’s heard of Stonehenge in England, right? What about Stonehenge in Maryhill, Washington?
This small town (pop. 58) boasts one of the coolest monuments in Washington, and it’s free!
In 2015, the stars aligned and I got to see Washington’s Stonehenge with my own eyes. We arrived at Maryhill in the early evening, and after we had set up camp at Maryhill State Park, we drove up Stonehenge Drive just in time for the sunset (2-3 minutes from the campground).The wind had picked up some, and the sun had mostly set, but we got to weave in and out of the gigantic stones with no one else around. No crowds is always a good thing.
The monument sits on a hillside with incredible views in all directions. South is the mighty Columbia River and Oregon. West is Maryhill and Maryhill State Park. Northward windmills line golden hills. And, east farmlands surround a vineyard.
The next day, we shared Stonehenge with around a dozen people. As you can see the sky, the golden hills, the windmills, and the monument made for some really fantastic pictures.
One could easily spend an hour or so walking through the gigantic stones and taking in the view.
What is Maryhill’s Stonehenge? Sam Hill, a visionary, philanthropist, businessman, and builder, built this monument in 1918 to the size and dimensions of the original Stonehenge. It was completed in 1929.
This Stonehenge wasn’t made to be used as an astronomical calendar, even though the alter stone is fixed to the astronomical horizon, which gives it a few degrees difference from the original. It is a war memorial dedication to the servicemen of Klickitat County who perished in WWI. At the time it was built, the theory behind the original Stonehenge was that it was a sacrificial spot. With that in mind, Hill built his Stonehenge as a reminder to all of the sacrifices of war.
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North of the memorial, is the Klickitat County Veterans’ Memorial, which honors those who have died since WWI.
While there, be sure to walk down the bluff to Hill’s grave. It’s easy to miss from the top because it appears like a utility service structure. There is a small stone stairway to the east of the structure that turns into a path.
This treasure is north and east of Maryhill. From US 97 turn east onto 14, and a sign will be on the south side of the road. You’ll also be able to see the structure from the road.
Seattle is 223 miles and a little under a 4-hour drive away, and Portland is 100 miles and a 2.5-hour drive.