Posted by: columbiahighlands | June 21, 2010

Beautiful Wildflowers, Incredible Views, and the Chance to See Wildlife

Have you been thinking about getting out on a hike in the Columbia Highlands this summer?  Check out this slide show of the people and places that make these wilderness hikes so special. Volunteer hike leader Aaron Theisen put these images to music to inspire new people to get to know and lend a hand to protect these backyard wild places.


Photo by Jeff Lambert

Hiking Season Just Getting Started

The eight events of the 2010 Columbia Highlands Summer Hikes series showcase some of the region’s most beautiful and wild places, from the fir- and larch-laden parklands of Clackamas Mountain to the beargrass-covered slopes of Grassy Top.

 This Summer, hikers from across Eastern Washington have sampled the open, grassy ridges and old-growth Douglas-fir of Bodie Mountain and the stunning parklands and wildflower-covered ridges of Clackamas Mountain.

On May 22, over twenty hikers from around Eastern Washington braved rain, hail and snow for a day hike in Bodie Mountain roadless area, northwest of Republic, WA. This seven-mile hike, on an old Forest Service system trail, offered big old-growth Douglas-firs, rolling meadows, sagebrush, small ponds and big views of the Cascades, Kettle Crest and the mountains of British Columbia.

On May 29, a half-dozen hardy hikers explored Clackamas Mountain roadless area, west of Republic, WA. This moderately strenuous 8-mile hike traveled through shrub-steppe/grassland and an open parkland of huge old-growth ponderosa pines, larches and Douglas-firs. Numerous giant old-growth snags provided opportunities to spot birds, including several Clark’s nutcrackers. Hikers were also treated to a stunning display of wildflowers, including arrow-leaf balsamroot, shooting star, desert parsley, spring beauty and cut-leaf daisy.

Several upcoming hikes offer more opportunities for exploration of the Columbia Highlands. On June 26-27, celebrate the Kettle Range with one of five day hikes, car camping & BBQ. On July 3, hikers can explore the heart of Thirteenmile Roadless Area on a 9-mile hike through old-growth ponderosa pine parkland, open meadow and wetlands. Great views are guaranteed, and signs of wildlife are likely. On July 10, the Wapaloosie to Old Stage Trail day hike provides a 9-mile highlight reel of the Kettle Range, with wildflowers, horizon-spanning views and a trip back in time on remnants of an early wagon route that served as a state “highway”. And on July 17, the 14-mile Hall Mountain day hike rewards fit hikers with knockout views from the summit of Hall Mountain of alpine meadows, Sullivan Valley and Crowell Ridge.


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