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Columbia Highlands hikes

Posted by bchristensen at May 05, 2008 12:41 AM |

We think there is no better way to appreciate the amazing lands in the northeast corner of our state than to head out there! We hope you will join us on one of these free, guided hikes this summer into the Columbia Highlands. Tally ho!

There's no excuse to spend the weekend inside this summer!

I hope you will join us as we explore the Columbia Highlands, home to our collaborative effort to sustain communities, ensure outdoor recreation opportunities, restore forests, and protect wildlife and wilderness. Many of these lands are featured in our book Columbia Highlands: Exploring Washington's Last Frontier.

The details: All hikes are led by an experienced, volunteer hike leader. Hike duration is 4 to 7 ½ hours depending on hike and pace of the group, not including travel time to and from the trailhead. Most carpools leave from Spokane between 7:30 and 9:30 AM, and return around dinner time.  More details also available on our calendar.

Please register with Crystal Gartner via e-mail or at 509.747.1663

Saturday, May 31 - Elk Creek Falls

Bring the kids on this family-friendly day hike to a proposed wilderness area just south of the Salmo-Priest Wilderness!  Hike leader Karen Jurasin will take a leisurely pace on this route that includes a 2 mile loop to Elk Falls, her granddaughter’s favorite. There’s something for all ages to discover in this forest rich with wildlife and pioneer history. Includes a gradual climb to the waterfall, views of Sullivan Lake, geologic wonders, and a fun diversion to play on the beach at Mill Pond. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Location: Proposed Additions to Salmo-Priest Wilderness, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 4 miles
Difficulty: (2) Moderately easy
 

Saturday, June 7 - Thirteen Mile Creek from the Sanpoil River   

San Poil River, Columbia Highlands.  Photo copyright James JohnstonVenturing through some of the most spectacular country in the Columbia Highlands, this day hike climbs past a rushing creek and deep gorge through old-growth ponderosa pines the first few miles, then opens up to great vistas where wildflowers abound.  Just north of the Colville Indian Reservation, eagles, hawks, black bear, mule deer, and cougars make themselves at home here.

Location: Thirteen Mile Roadless Area, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 6 miles
Difficulty: (4) Moderately difficult

 

Saturday, June 14 – Columbia Mountain Lookout

A gradually climbing trail, this loop will take you through high-country meadows lush with flowers and sweeping views of the Sherman Creek Valley, Kettle Range, and beyond.  You’ll day-hike through south-facing slopes of sage and groves of aspen and fir up to the 6,780-foot summit with its weathered, historic fire lookout cabin built during the Wilson administration.

Location: Profanity Roadless Area, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 8 miles
Difficulty: (3) Moderate

 

Sunday June 22 – Jungle Hill to Columbia Mountain

What makes this hike unique is that you get the entire scope of the Kettle Range landscape in one day! Significant elevation gain and loss will take you through a gamut of wildlife habitats -- lush forest with glimpses of Sherman Peak, sunny hillsides of pine and juniper, marshy areas with wildflowers, tall grasses and sagebrush, an amazing stand of old growth that often shelters forget-me-nots along the trail, and more. 

Location: Profanity Roadless Area, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 14 miles
Difficulty: (5) Difficult

 

Saturday & Sunday, June 28-29 – Kettle Range Rendezvous Hiking Weekend

fire-ring-group_small(EricZamora).jpgThe annual Kettle Range Rendezvous is a marvelous way to get out into the Columbia Highlands and Kettle River Range, and learn about the lands we're working to protect.

Join us for this 6th annual weekend of Saturday hiking followed by a delicious potluck barbecue around the campfire and car camping in the beautiful Kettle Range Mountains of the Colville National Forest.  Hike options include Wapaloosie to Jungle Hill, Hoodoo Canyon & Emerald Lake, and the Sherman Peak Loop, led by Conservation Northwest staff who will discuss the history, flora, fauna, and fire ecology unique to this area.  It’s a marvelous way to get out into the Columbia Highlands, have fun, and learn about the lands we’re working to protect.  Space is limited; register early!

                          

Saturday, July 12 - Hoodoo Canyon & Emerald Lake

A family-friendly day hike great for kids and adults alike! From the cool, wet cedar forest around the trailhead, the trail climbs steadily up the glacially-carved, lush canyon, passing old growth Ponderosa pines and towering rock formations before dropping down to the calm, cooling waters of Emerald Lake. This is peak time for wildflowers, butterflies, and swimming. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Location: Hoodoo Roadless Area, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 6 miles
Difficulty: (3) Moderate

 

Saturday, July 19 – Clackamas Mountain

Wilderness campaign director Tim Coleman will guide you on this day hike through the home of the state-listed Great Gray Owl, largest of all North American owls.  You’ll encounter old-growth ponderosa pine and other stately giants in some of the last unroaded wildlife habitat in the eastern Okanogan National Forest.  Exploring this remote gem will reward you with views few others have seen of surrounding mountains and the distant Kettle Crest.

Location: Clackamas Mountain Roadless Area, Okanogan National Forest
Length: Approx. 8 miles
Difficulty: (4) Moderately difficult

                                                                             

Saturday, July 26 – Abercrombie Mountain to Hooknose

AbercrombieBearGrass(KRCG)_mod.JPGAs the second highest peak in northeast Washington, it’s no wonder that bears, goats, deer and elk love this place: it’s one of the wildest, most remote regions in eastern Washington.  The panoramic vistas awaiting you on this day hike—BC’s Monashees to its Purcells, the Cascades to Idaho’s Selkirks, and more—are guaranteed to recharge your batteries.

Location: Abercrombie-Hooknose Roadless Area, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 9 miles
Difficulty: (5) Difficult

 

 

 

Saturday, Aug 2 - Grassy Top from Pass Creek Pass

On this day hike just south of the Salmo-Priest Wilderness you can drink in views of the Idaho Selkirks, Priest Lake area and splendid meadows of bear grass and wildflowers.  One of the closest wild forests to Spokane, this area is home to elk and bighorn sheep and rare wildlife such as grizzly bear, woodland caribou, gray wolf, lynx and bull trout.

Location: Grassy Top – Hall Mountain Roadless Area, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 8 miles
Difficulty: (3) Moderate

 N. Fork Sherman Kettle Range TC.jpg

Saturday, Aug 9 – Sherman Peak Loop

This scenic loop day hike circles Sherman Peak through larch, fir, aspen, and lodgepole pine that are well on their way to a natural recovery from the 1988 White Mountain Fire.  Experience views of the Kettle, Selkirk and Cascade mountain ranges and an optional side-trip up to the summit for inspiring views of the southern reaches of the Kettle Range. 

Location: Bald Snow Roadless Area, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 6 miles
Difficulty: (3) Moderate

 

Saturday, Aug 16 – Hall Mountain

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 great day hike offers fit hikers a steady, challenging climb along Noisy Creek, then up to the ridge gaining 3,200 feet of elevation in 7 miles. Look for signs of bighorn sheep, cougar, and grizzly bears here in the heart of one of the largest tracts of unprotected wilderness adjacent to the Salmo-Priest Wilderness.

Location: Grassy Top – Hall Mountain Roadless Area, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 14 miles
Difficulty: (5) Difficult

 

Saturday, Aug 23 – Wapaloosie Mountain

Sprawling meadows of sagebrush interspersed with groves of pine and fir skirt one of the highest summits on the Kettle Crest at 7,018 feet.  The trail includes 2,000 feet of elevation in a short 2.75 miles, and extensive views ranging from BC’s Rossland Range to the Abercrombie-Hooknose Highlands.  This day hike rates as one of the Columbia Highlands’ finest in any season.

Location: Profanity Roadless Area, Colville National Forest
Length: Approx. 6 miles
Difficulty: (4) Moderately difficult
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