Posts tagged: trails
PUBLIC LANDS — Washington State Parks have a fee-free access day coming up.
Here's the list of 11 days in which the Discover Pass is not needed for vehicle entry in 2014:
Remember, Mount Spokane is a notable exception during winter season, when the Discover Pass is not valid. Until April 1, visitors are required to have a Sno-Park vehicle permit at Mount Spokane unless you are a patron of the alpine ski area on days the ski area is open.
Federal land fee-free entry days also are scheduled in 2014 to parks, forests, U.S. Bureau of Land management lands, refuges and other national interest lands where fees are charged.
CONSERVATION — The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is looking for volunteers to evaluate grant applications and help decide where the next parks, trails and boat launches will go in the state, as well as help prioritize farmlands to conserve.
Volunteers will serve on advisory committees that will rank grant proposals in the spring and summer for farmland preservation and all types of recreation around the state.
“This is a great opportunity for people interested in the outdoors,” said Kaleen Cottingham, RCO director. “The volunteers get to see firsthand what will be happening around the state – what great new parks and trails will be proposed – and help the state decide the wisest places to invest state and federal dollars.”
Volunteers with expertise in project design or project management, landscape architecture, planning or engineering, permitting or property acquisition especially are encouraged to apply. Volunteers serve 4 years. Applications for the advisory committees will be accepted until the positions are filled.
Parks: Seven volunteers are needed to evaluate grant proposals in two different park grant programs.
Farmlands: Two volunteers are needed to evaluate grant proposals to preserve working farms in the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program’s Farmland Preservation category. Volunteers should be farmers actively managing farms or rangeland. They will serve on the Farmlands Preservation Advisory Committee. Learn more about this committee.
Trails: Three volunteers are needed to evaluate grant requests in two different trail grant programs.
Boating: Four volunteers are needed to evaluate grant requests in two programs that provide money to acquire or develop land for boating facilities. The volunteers should be active in motorized recreational boating. The volunteers are needed to evaluate grant proposals in the Boating Facilities Program and the Boating Infrastructure Grant program. Learn more about this committee.
Information: Lorinda Anderson at 360-902-3009
PUBLIC LANDS — Progress!
Groups reach agreement on protecting Idaho area as national monument
The Idaho Conservation League, Wood River Bicycle Coalition, International Mountain Bicycling Association and The Wilderness Society have hammered out a proposal to submit to President Obama on designating the Boulder-White Clouds as a national monument in Idaho.
— Idaho Statesman
WINTER SPORTS — The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association and community partners are sponsoring a free cross-country ski day on Friday, March 14 for people to explore the region's most expansive and varied system of groomed nordic trails.
Trail passes will not be required on Backyard Ski Day and the event even includes free ski rentals and free ski lessons.
Details of the event include:
OUTDOORS — Two outdoors/conservation groups — Inland Northwest Land Trust and Washington Trails Association — are advertising this week for job openings in the Spokane area.
Inland NW Land Trust: Executive Director Chris DeForest will transition into the role of Conservation Director by June. During the interim, our Board will conduct a search for his successor and Chris will occupy both positions until the right candidate is hired. Chris was hired in 1997 as the Land Trust’s first full-time staff member and he has been our sole Executive Director.
Staff transition will not affect the conservation work of the Land Trust or its responsibilities to monitor the 47 easements entrusted to it. The Board and staff are poised for a future as successful as its rich history with a transition team ready to invite the next Executive Director’s vision.
More information will be available by the end of March. Questions: Chris at email@example.com or (509) 328-2939.
Washington Trails Association is hiring its first staff position in Spokane. WTA’s Eastern Washington Regional Coordinator is a temporary, part-time position focused on growing WTA’s presence in the Spokane area. The coordinator will create regional content for WTA publications, develop partnerships, lead outreach and engagement efforts within communities and on the trails and oversee a high quality trail maintenance program in the region.
WINTER SPORTS — If I weren't forced at knife-point to be here in the office today, I'd be taking advantage of the prime conditions presented by the weekend's dump of 10 inches of new snow to be skiing Art's Boogie and other off-trail routes at Mount Spokane State Park.
See Sunday's story (also click the Photos button for photos) about Art Bookstrom, who helped blaze an off-the-groomed-trails route for people who sometimes long for a peaceful trek through the woods.
Extension: Art's Boogie is about 3Ks one-way from the Selkirk Lodge area to the Nova Hut. Extend your pleasure by continuing up the access road to the Quartz Mountain Lookout (see photo).
On the other hand, there's freezing rain in the area, so driving would be tricky and the temperatures will be warming as the day advances.
Maybe the office isn't such a bad place to be?
ADVENTURING — My recent multi-week winter rafting-hiking adventure on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (see story here) prompts a few hints to people planning similar river trips as well as to anglers planning multi-day trips to places such as Alaska:
CARE FOR YOUR HANDS. River trips suck the moisture out of your skin, especially your hands. I've come home with cracked, bleeding hands after week-long float-fishing trips in Alaska, my fingers so sore it was difficult to stuff a sleeping bag in its sack.
Colorado River rafters emphasize this point and recommend preventive treatment.
Based on a recommendation from an experienced Canyon boater, I started using ProKera lotion (available at RiteAid stores) twice a day several days before we launched.
During the trip, I wore paddling gloves as much as possible while on the boat and especially while loading and tending bow lines.
And I applied the extreme-care ProKera lotion two or three times a day. This is the kind of lotion (Tiger Balm also works well) that takes several minutes of rubbing to absorb into your hands. The time is well spent. My hands came out of the desert river trip in excellent condition.
ADVENTURING — My recent multi-week winter rafting-hiking adventure on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (see story here) with a private group prompts me to share some observations to people planning similar group river trips. For example:
BAG THE GROUP KITCHEN: If your trip is long and the group is larger than about six members, rafting guide Brian Burns recommends letting every rafter, couple or family bring and prepare their own meals on their own cooking equipment.
“The group kitchen thing can cause problems on trips longer than a week or so,” he said. “People eat different quantities and have different food preferences and the chores can become a sense of friction if some people think others in the group are slacking.”
And it can be a big bummer to get up at 5 a.m. on a bad-weather day to get the group meal going so the coffee's ready by 7 — especially if several in the group want tea.
The do-it-yourself method worked beautifully on our Grand Canyon trip. It gave people time to chill on their own and then mingle as they wished during breakfast and dinner, sometimes sharing with the group treats such as cocktails, chocolate, smoked oysters and wine before and after mealtime.
Even after a couple weeks, the only person you could blame for inadequate food was yourself.
HIKING — Geologists with the Ice Age Floods Institute are organizing a rigorous full-day hike to explore the geology of the Palouse Canyon from Lyons Ferry State Park upstream to Palouse Falls on March 15.
Gene Kiver and Lloyd Stoess will lead the eight-mile hike near Washtucna emphasizing the impact of the great Missoula floods in shaping the landscape as well as the history of native Americans and settlements in the area.
Pre-register by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (509) 235-4251.
Tuesday, March 18, 7-9 p.m. Spokane Community College, Free Public Lecture “Geologic Crossroads in Central Washington” by Nick Zentner, Geology Professor at Central Washington University.
This lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Science at Spokane Community College and the lecture is scheduled at SCC’s Lair Auditorium, Building #6, 1810 Greene Street, Spokane. Zentner will discuss that Central Washington is a crossroads for many important geologic forces—Ice Age Floods from the northeast, Columbia River Basalts from the southeast, and Cascades Ice, ash, and mudflows from the west. Photos, maps, and short videos will be featured.
TRAILS — The big effort recently invested in updating Spokane County's 2008 Regional Trails Plan has resulted in maps and details important to everyone from hikers to developers.
The Spokane County Commissioners approved the updated plan on Tuesday.
The goal of the plan has always been to develop an interconnected system of trails, whether they're simple single tracks or major rail-trail projects such as the Fish Lake Trail. The plan also seeks to assure adequate maintenance and high standards while promoting the growing trail system as an economic development tool.
The updated plan, with input from Spokane County Parks and Recreation staff and the Inland Northwest Trails Coalition, includes a mapped inventory of 677 miles of trails, new trail strategies, an analysis of demand and needs and much more detail throughout.
WINTER SPORTS – Take a gamble on the hand you’re dealt to win prizes at the Panhandle Nordic Club’s 23rd annual Best Hand Fun Ski and Snowshoe event Saturday, Feb. 22, starting at noon at Fourth of July Pass.
Skiers will do an 8-kilometer course and snowshowers will trek the shortrer Jeanette’s Jaunt route.
Cost: $10 or $5 for youths under 14. Family rate: $25.
Idaho Park and Ski Passes will not be required for participants in this event.
About 50 hours ago I snapped this photo after hiking out 10 miles and nearly a mile in elevation to the Grand Canyon's South Rim Village.
I'd been rafting the Colorado River and exploring the side canyons for two weeks. But I had to leave my rafting buddies and return to Spokane as they continue downstream on one of the greatest 30-day adventures one can have in the USA.
Two things motivated me to put the pedal to the metal for the 1,240-mile return drive from the Canyon:
Stories to come. Stay tuned.
HIKING — Hikers looking for a long winter walk where they can let their dog romp a bit might consider the shores of Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area that are away from houses and buildings.
Be smart: If there's anyone around — anglers, walkers or anyone else — use a leash.
Snow rarely lingers long on the Roosevelt shoreline after a storm, and the water level is low from winter through early spring leaving a large beach area for roaming.
Local hiker Karen Jurasin snapped the photo above of her dog, Scout, during a romp on the shore line at the Hawk Creek area northwest of Davenport (page 315 in 100 Hikes of the Inland Northwest).
WILDLIFE WATCHING — In December, Parks Canada posted this time-lapse video from a trail camera in Waterton Lakes National Park spanning over a four-month period when the area was closed to hikers as a result of flood damage.
See how the animals took advantage of a human-free trail and used it for an easy travel route.
How many species do you count?
WINTER SPORTS — An insurance company compiled this list of safety tips for snowmobilers based on data of what most often goes wrong. Heed these guidelines and you'll stay out of the wrong column of the insurance company's statistics.
PUBLIC LANDS — John Roskelley, a Spokane mountaineer and former county commissioner, will be the keynote speaker at the first annual meeting of the Riverside State Park Foundation.
The public is invited to the meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Mountain Gear retail store, 2002 N. Division.
The foundation, a nonprofit group that supports Riverside State Park, also will feature Chris Guidotti, park manager, and Lucinda Whaley, Washington State Parks and Recreation commissioner from Spokane, speaking about the status and future of Riverside and the state's century-old parks system.
Riverside, which borders the city of Spokane, is Washington's largest state park with two rivers, several campgrounds, an equestrian area, ORV area, cultural sites, boating and paddling access, miles and miles of mixed use trails, plus wildlife and stunning scenery. Riverside rangers also manage the Little Spokane River Natural Area, Columbia Plateau Trail and the Centennial Trail, among other duties.
Now is a great time to join the Riverside State Park Foundation as it introduces its newly created membership packages. The Foundation is instrumental with the fundraising for Riverside State Park through project support, education, volunteerism and events. For more information about the Riverside State Park Foundation, visit .
PUBLIC LANDS — A group that's been a watchdog over the spectacular Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho is wary of elevating the national status of the area.
Sawtooth Society wary about proposed Idaho national monument
The Sawtooth Society has been involved with Sawtooth National Recreation Area in Idaho since 1997, and a new push to put those lands, as well as others into a new Boulder-White Clouds National Monument has the group calling for an all-inclusive examination of just what creating a monument would mean for those lands and the communities adjacent to them.
—Twin Falls Times-News
PARKS — The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is holding four meetings this week for the public to comment on plans to ban outdoor smoking at state parks.
WINTER SPORTS — Several special nordic skiing activities are gearing up this week, according to Spokane Nordic. Time to dig in:
Hands-on Waxing Clinic
Friday, Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. — A two-hour class on base prep to finish waxing on your own gear at Fitness Fanatics in Spokane Valley. $35 a person/set of skis. Pre-register, (509) 922-6080.
Kids' Telemark clinic this weekend
Cross-Country Skiing Basics Class
Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. — Session at the Spokane REI store covers fundamental differences between backcountry, telemarking, and touring ski styles, plus clothing choices and where to get started. Pre-register here.
Coming up Jan. 19: WinterFest, presented by Spokane Nordic.
Here's what to think about now:
Register for Donut Dash
The Donut Dash Sprint Race during WinterFest Jan. 19th is geared to all ages and abilities. Enter the lighthearted or competitive bracket. Learn more and register.
> Backcountry Clinic and Free lessons
A few spots are still available for the FREE Backcountry Ski Clinic at WinterFest. There are also free lessons slots available throughout the morning.
> Sign up for soup and cider
Two “folk ski” routes to free soup and cider at the Nova Hut will be featured on Jan. 19. Learn more and register.
TRAILS — An update to the 2008 Spokane County Regional Trails Plan will help integrate routes for walkers, runners, skaters, cyclists and equestrians into planning and development as the population grows, officials say.
The draft plan, up for county approval this month, identifies 677 miles of routes ranging from single tracks to the 12-foot-wide Centennial Trail, said Parks Department planner Paul Knowles.
The plan will help the county preserve and maintain existing trails while identifying links for an interconnected network of user-friendly trails, he said.
But don't take our word for it: check it out for yourself:
The county Planning Commission is set to review the draft plan on Jan. 16.
Outdoor groups in the Inland Northwest Trails Coalition helped fund the trail planning, map trails and propose possible links and expansion throughout the region.
The new Centennial Trail segment through Kendall Yards is indicates the benefits that can be achieved through trail planning Knowles said. The proposed Dream Trail running north-south completely through the Dishman Hills is another goal.
The plan could facilitate public access from Five Mile Prairie to the Little Spokane River.
Read on for more information about the plan.