Posted by: columbiahighlands | May 19, 2010

Explore Your Own Backyard this Summer!

Join a local conservation or outdoors group on a hike  exploring the beautiful trails and landscapes of the Columbia Highlands this hiking season. Hikes range from day-long treks through the region’s finest trails traversing the Colville National Forest’s remaining wild gems to short family-friendly nature walks that leave plenty of time to observe plants, birds, and other wildlife. Bring your camera and be prepared to see a variety of wildflowers, wildlife, and expansive mountain views.

Emerald Lake in Hoodoo Canyon

Conservation Northwest and the Spokane Mountaineers hikes in the Columbia Highlands:

May 22: Bodie Mountain hike (near Republic)

This 7-mile hike starts near the summit of Bodie Mountain and threads through open grassy slopes and rocky, broken ridgetops that roll into dry Douglas-fir forests, a rare and threatened habitat type.

On this 8-mile hike, you’ll encounter open old-growth forests of ponderosa pine and other stately giants, home to the state-listed Great Gray Owl, largest of all North American owls. Wildflower lovers will enjoy the expansive meadows awash with color and the tiny Okanogan fameflower, which grows nowhere else in the world outside the Columbia Highlands.

On this 8-mile hike just south of the Salmo-Priest Wilderness Area, where you can drink in views of Idaho’s Selkirk Mountains, Priest Lake, and meadows of bear grass and other wildflowers. 

June 19: Twin Sisters wilderness hike (near Kettle Falls)

Think lynx on this 12-mile forest walk through the most secluded habitat in the western Colville National Forest. This lightly used trail traverses ancient mountains lush with lodgepole pine and old forests of Douglas fir and western red cedar–prime habitat for the endangered lynx and wolverine.

June 26-27: Kettle Range Rendezvous with 5 hike options (near Kettle Falls)

Join Conservation Northwest for this 8th annual weekend of Saturday day-hiking followed by a delicious potluck BBQ around the campfire and car camping in the beautiful Kettle Range Mountains of the Colville National Forest.
    1) Hoodoo Canyon from Trout Lake hike 
    2) Hoodoo Canyon from Deadman Creek hike 
    3) White Mountain hike 
    4) Wapaloosie Mountain to Jungle Hill hike 
    5) Stickpin to Leona Trail Loop hike

Beginning near a historic miner’s cabin, this 10-mile hike takes you through a rolling parkland of huge old-growth ponderosa pines interspersed with open meadows and wetlands.
This 9-mile hike packs three classic Columbia Highlands treks in one incredible hike. Begin on the Wapaloosie Trail, which passes through open meadows where sagebrush and subalpine parkland intermingle amid a riot of wildflowers. From the remains of the old lookout on top of 7,140-foot Copper Butte, highest peak in the Kettle Range, enjoy horizon-spanning of British Columbia’s Rossland Range to the north and the Selkirks to the east. Return on the historic Old Stage Trail, the remnants of Washington’s first highway.

July 17: Hall Mountain hike (near Metaline Falls)

Knockout views of alpine meadows, Sullivan Valley and Crowell Ridge will reward you at the 6,323-foot summit, the site of a former fire tower lookout. This challenging, 14-mile day hike offers fit hikers a steady, challenging climb along Noisy Creek, then up to the summit, gaining 3,200 feet of elevation in 7 miles.

Aug 7 (Sat): Bunchgrass Meadows Native Plant Hike

Join the Washington Native Plant Society and Conservation Northwest for an exploration of Bunchgrass Meadows Research Natural Area in Harvey Creek Roadless Area, a refuge for flora and fauna vying for wilderness designation about 2 1/2 hours north of Spokane. Bunchgrass Meadows features a high elevation sphagnum bog with ponds at each end, and is home to the only population of northern bog lemmings in the region. Feast your eyes on more than 130 other plant species, such as sundew and white bog orchid, and rare dragonflies and butterflies that flit among them.

Because of area’s sensitivity participation is limited and registration is required. Contact Grant Cummings for details and to reserve your spot:

This outing is organized by the northeast chapter of Washington Native Plant Society and led by Lawton Fox, an experienced guide with WNPS and a professor of botany and biology.

For more information about hikes sponsored by Conservation Northwest, the Spokane Mountaineers, and REI, click here. 


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