Colville Forest hosts NatureWatch hikes, tours

FORESTS – Hikes and other free activities are being organized by the Colville National Forest this summer to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 70th birthday and the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Here's the lineup of NatureWatch events: July 12: Hike the 3-mile round-trip route to...


Three-day festival near Libby celebrates wilderness

PUBLIC LANDS -- A Blackfeet Tribe troubadour and a former chief of the U.S. Forest Service are coming to the Inland Northwest to be part of a three-day event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. An impressive mix of wilderness and wildlife experts...

MONDAY, JULY 7, 2014

Forest Service seeks Pacific Northwest Trail advisers

TRAILS -- The U.S. Forest Service is seeking volunteers to serve on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council to help plan future upgrades -- much work and many decisions will have to be made -- for the 1,200-mile route from the Olympic Peninsula...


Idaho trails group targets Grouse Mountain trail

TRAILS -- The Idaho Trails Association is looking for volunteers to help out on a one-day project in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest northeast of Sandpoint next Wednesday (July 9). "We will be constructing a puncheon walkway to go over a bog hole about a...

MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2014

Forest Service road work will cause delays near Pass Creek Pass

PUBLIC LANDS -- National Forest travelers headed to the Pass Creek Pass area of the Colville National Forest, including the south trailhead for the Shedroof Divide and the Grassy Top Mountain trail, could experience delays this month on certain days. The Forest Service and Border...

SUNDAY, JUNE 29, 2014

Graham Mountain hike overlooks Silver Valley

HIKING -- It's called Coal Creek Trail No. 41, leading up, steeply up in some places, roughly 6 miles from the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River road to Graham Mountain, elev. 5727 feet, overlooking the Silver Valley. Great views from a former fire lookout sight,...


Hikers: snow still lingering in area mountains

HIKING -- "Road is open from Lightning Creek through to Trestle Creek," reports Mary Franzel of Hope, Idaho. But the photo she posted (above) indicates significant snow on the ridge at Lunch Peak Lookout. Creeks are still running high in most areas, making crossings a...

MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014

Mount Rainier plays no favorites when it claims a life

HIKING -- Although the official announcement still wasn't released this morning, friends on Sunday mourned a well-known outdoors writer and photographer who had been missing for three days in Mount Rainier National Park before searchers said they recovered a body of a woman. The National...

Snow slowly receding, exposing high-country trails

HIKING -- Phil Hough and Deb Hunsicker celebrated the summer solstice by checking out the Grouse Mountain Trail in the Cabinet Mountains for an upcoming project by the Idaho Trails Association. They couldn't resist to going all the way to the summit of the 5,980-foot...

FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014

Volunteers working on Mount Spokane snowshoe hut

STATE PARKS -- A hut geared primarily for snowshoers at Mount Spokane is well on its way to being completed for the next winter season. Nora Searing, above, and Cris Currie of the Friends of Mount Spokane State Park were working on the hut Thursday,...


Forest Service updates snowmobiling travel plan

WINTERSPORTS -- Snowmobiling rules send mixed messages and where the machines are allowed to roam, groups say. USFS releases updated over-snow travel management plan Snowmobiling groups applauded the U.S. Forest Service's proposed update of its over-snow travel management plan that keeps access decisions at the...

Pull together against weeds at Iller Creek Saturday

PUBLIC LANDS -- Local hikers are pulling together to reduce the noxious weed infestation at the Iller Creek unit of the Dishman Hills Conservation Area in Spokane Valley. The Inland Northwest Hikers are recruiting volunteers for a spotted knapweed pulling party on Saturday. “We’ll move...


Father sets bar high as hiking/parenting role model

HIKING -- What's your excuse for not getting your son or daughter out on the trail lately? James Geier, a retired law enforcement officer, celebrated Fathers Day by hiking with his 18-year-old son, Jonah, in Arches National Park. Even though Jonah is not able to...

SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014

Groups highlight trail projects past and future

PUBLIC LANDS – Volunteer trail projects past and future will be highlighted in a program by the Spokane Mountaineers and Washington Trails Association on Monday, June 17, at 7 p.m., at the Mountain Gear Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield. “The Mountaineers have a long history of...

FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014

BLM gating Escure Ranch road to Towell Falls

PUBLIC LANDS -- Motor vehicles will be blocked from driving the Escure Ranch road to Towell Falls on Rock Creek south of Sprague starting today, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say. The annual summer closure begins when fire danger becomes high in the range...


State Parks pass can buy you a free lunch

PUBLIC LANDS -- The value of a Washington state Discover Pass is going up. The $30 annual pass, required on vehicles in state parks and many other state lands, also will be valid for a free sandwich at many SUBWAY® sandwich shops. Most of Eastern...

MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014

Wilderness goal: get passport stamped for “Blue Mountains 7”

WILDERNESS -- Maybe you've followed trails all over the Northwest, but have you visited all seven wilderness areas in the Blue Mountains that straddle the Washington-Oregon border? The Blue Mountains National Forests (Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests) have introduced the Wilderness Passport Challenge to...


Blockages: Check ahead for forest road, trail conditions

HIKING -- It's early season; snow is still plugging mountain roads and Forest Service crews are just working their way through projects left by the ravages of winter. The basic rule: Call ahead to the national forest ranger districts or other agencies for any updates...


State of the Trails program updates a dozen prized areas

TRAILS -- The Inland Northwest Trails Coalition has rounded up more than a dozen local leaders in trails-related efforts for the annual “state of the trails” presentations Thursday, June 12, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Mountain Gear Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield Ave. in Spokane Valley....

THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2014

Washington to offer free entry at state parks

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: Jan. 19 and 20 – Martin Luther King holiday. March 19 – Washington...

Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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