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Sierra Clubbers lead strolls in local natural areas

Ken Mondal of the Washington Trails Association looks at the Rocks of Sharon in the Iller Creek Conservation Area of Spokane County. (Rich Landers)
Ken Mondal of the Washington Trails Association looks at the Rocks of Sharon in the Iller Creek Conservation Area of Spokane County. (Rich Landers)

OUTDO – Sierra Clubbers are leading a series of evening walks with an environmental emphasis through Spokane-area natural areas that runs through September.

Hikes so far have been in Riverside State Park and on Mount Spokane.

Read on for the remaining list with details on each hike and the contacts.

THURSDAY, JULY 25 (6pm) PEACEFUL VALLEY HISTORY TOUR (Carol Bryan / Crystal Gartner) We will meet at the Sandifur Bridge at Clarke and Riverside and walk west through Peaceful Valley, discovering some of the valley’s colorful history. Along the way you’ll learn why residents are concerned about the impact of increased coal and diesel train traffic on the Spokane River and on the neighborhood quality of life. 2 miles of easy walking. Contact Crystal Gartner: 509.209-2395.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 1 (6pm) DISHMAN HILLS CONSERVATION AREA - GLENROSE This hike will focus on the Glenrose area about 2 miles east of Ferris High School – wildlands protected in 2012 using Conservation Futures funds. The hike is easy to access from the urban South Hill and features outstanding views of the surrounding areas. It’s 3 miles round- trip with a few short, steep sections; hiking poles recommended but not required. This hike will highlight  the possible Dream Trail in the Dishman Hills. RSVP to Jeff Lambert: 509.999-5100.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 15 (6pm) NEWMAN LAKE This hike features
our fairly recent Conservation Futures acquisitions, McKenzie Conservation area. This loop hike begins above the lake and continues through evergreen forests and rocky outcrops with views of Mt. Spokane and Newman Lake. The trail (built by local trail angels) goes downhill to lakeshore wetlands of Cottonwood and Aspen groves. 2.5 miles with about 300 ft. of elevation gain as we hike back up to the parking lot. This is an important wildlife habitat and nesting site for Bald Eagles. Our discussion will include the importance of these lands for wildlife corridors and we may pull a few noxious weeds as we walk along. Contact Karen Jurasin: 509.624-3150.



DISHMAN HILLS NATURAL AREA You’ll hike with Jeff Lambert and Michael Hamilton of the Dishman Hills Natural Area which was established in the 1960s. The hike is about 1.5 miles on relatively easy trails. Discussion of geology, native plants, the new trail system, and public policy. RSVP to Jeff Lambert: 509.999-5100.


SATURDAY, SEPT 7 (10am) DISHMAN HILLS CONSERVATION AREA: ILLER CREEK This hike is about 4 miles on moderately difficult trails. Excellent views of the Valley and Palouse.
You’ll see interesting variations in the ecosystems from Iller Creek to Rocks of Sharon ridge line. Audubon Society has picked this as a top birding area. RSVP to Jeff Lambert: jlambert@ 509.999-5100.



SIERRA CLUB CAMPOUT AT BUMPING LAKE (NEAR MT. RAINIER) Spend a weekend hiking and camping at Bumping Lake, adjacent to the William O. Douglas Wilderness. Our special focus will be the truly amazing ancient forests around the lake. Seattle restaurateur Chris Maykut and other local cabin owners will help host our campout. These ancient forests are threatened with destruction by a new irrigation dam, and the campout will be a start to understanding conflicts over scarce water in eastern Washington. RSVP to John Osborn: 509.939-1290.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 MT. SPOKANE STATE PARK Enjoy an easy to moderate hike, lasting 3-4 hours. Rich Leon, editor of Sierra Club’s Trail  Guides and nature photographer, will lead this hike. Mt. Spokane is the state’s largest park, and its ancient forests are threatened by a proposed expansion
of the ski area. Remember to bring a Discover Pass (or plan to carpool with someone who has one). Bring water and lunch. RSVP to Carolyn Leon:

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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