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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Deep Creek hike has potential for discovery

HIKING — My story about the visual pleasures of day hiking in April was published in the Sunday Outdoors section.  One of the hikes mentioned was Deep Creek Canyon in Riverside State Park.

As if to emphasize the timeliness of hiking that area, Crystal Gartner and members of the Upper Columbia River Group of Sierra Club were on the trail finding more to see than spring wildflowers.

If nesting bald eagles might tickle your fancy, take this hike — No. 82 in Day Hiking Eastern Washington — and be sure to hike all the way to the benches on Pine Bluff.

Hint:  Bring binoculars!

Roosevelt Lake shore ideal for winter hikes with dogs

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).

Forest Service biologist to lead nature hike

HIKING — Join a Colville National Forest wildlife biologist on his annual naturalist’s tour of the Elk Creek Trail near Sullivan Lake on May 18. 

Mike Borysewicz, a veteran wildlife biologist at the Sullivan Lake District, will show participants an old prescribed burn heavily used by elk, a cascading waterfall and a wildflower meadow on this delightful two-mile-long loop trail. 

Meet at the Elk Creek Trailhead with shoes, clothing and a pack with lunch and water.

When: Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. 

Where: Elk Creek Trail Head.  Five miles northeast of Metaline Falls. Drive east from Highway 31 on County Road 9345 (toward Sullivan Lake).  The Trail Head is located at the Mill Pond historic site northwest of Sullivan Lake.

Info: Mike Borysewicz, Sullivan Lake Ranger District, Wildlife Biologist, (509) 446-7500

Landers offers tip of the hat to Day Hikers

TRAILS — A humble thanks to the 200 people who packed into Mountain Gear tonight for my program about the great sport of  Day Hiking.

I said to heck with the Camelbak and had a beer afterward! 

I detailed many of the virtues of taking a hike in this Sunday Outdoors story.

The program was based on my two years of research for a new guidebook, Day Hiking Eastern Washington, which I've co-authored with Craig Romano.

I'll look forward to emails with questions and feedback about the presentation as well as questions you may have as after sampling the routes detailed in the book.

Even more, I'll look forward to seeing you on the trail.


Tonight: free Day Hiking program by trail guide author Rich Landers

TRAILS —  Join me to discuss the pleasures of Day Hiking - and a few places to enjoy them - during a free slide program tonight (May 2), 7 p.m., at the Mountain Gear retail store in Spokane.

The program is based on my two years of research for a new guidebook, Day Hiking Eastern Washington, which I've co-authored with Craig Romano.

Be ready to take the Day Hiker's Quiz.

Hog Canyon waterfall beckons early season hikers

HIKING — Fishing success is tapering off at Hog Canyon Lake west of Spokane near Fishtrap Lake, but the hiking season is underway.

The waterfall that flows into the lake's upper end was flowing nicely on Saturday. A dozen or so anglers were trying to catch rainbow trout in the winter fishing lake that closes for the season at the end of March while several groups of hikers were walking — and backpack camping — along the shoreline on land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

  • See a post from a previous year.

Fishing at Fishtrap Lake, which should be excellent this year, opens the fourth Saturday in April.

Day-hiking Spokane on a full-bloom Sunday

HIKING — My Honey and I were city-hiking along the Spokane River today. I caught Meredith among blossoming trees near the Ft. George Wright Cemetery, with a backdrop of Mount Spokane still shrouded in snow.

Visualizing the long-distance backpacker

HIKING — Hikers who tackle entire lengths of long-range trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail are called "thru hikers." 

Follow them on the Thru Hiking facebook page. 

Hikers find spring waterfalls blooming

DAY HIKING — Wet spring weather is giving dayhikers extra incentive to hit the trail. 

Palouse Falls near Washtucna is roaring this week, and nifty trails offer numerous points of view.

One not to miss in its brief spring rise to fame is Hog Lake falls, 30 miles west of Spokane.

The scablands are saturated and feeding the lake’s waterfalls, which generally flow only in late-winter and spring. The lake, a popular winter trout fishery that closes Thursday, is on the Bureau of Land Management’s Fishtrap Lake recreation area south of Interstate 90 near the Spokane-Lincoln county line.

From Exit 254, drive south and turn left at the first public road. Cross the railroad tracks and continue on the gravel road to the boat launch. Hike the west shoreline a few hundred yards, scramble up to the rim and follow it up the lake, past all the blooming buttercups, to the overlook of the falls.

Dayhike destination: Waterfall ripping at Hog Canyon Lake

HIKING — Looking for a good early-spring dayhike?  Check out this spot i visited with my daughter this weekend.

Runoff period is a good time to visit the BLM land around Fishtrap Lake for a hike into Hog Canyon Lake.  .

Hog Canyon is a popular winter fishing lake off I-90 from the Fishtrap exit. There are several ways to reach it, including a longer walk from the main trailhead parking area on Fishtrap Road between the Sprague Highway and Fishtrap Resort.

First timers might want to use the BLM Fishtrap map to find your way to the Hog Canyon boat launch. Hike the west shoreline, scramble up to the rim and follow the rim up lake to the falls, with the lake below you to the right. Beautiful.

Butter cups blooming. Grass widows and balsamroot soon to follow.