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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Volunteers building new trail to Star Peak lookout

TRAILS — Volunteers are helping the Kootenai National Forest build a new trail to a stunning view from a forest fire lookout overlooking the Clark Fork River and the proposed Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness northeast of Lake Pend Oreille.

The Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness already has put in multiple days of routing, brushing, log cutting and carving the tread to the Star Peak Lookout over the past two years.  

The peak where an historic lookout is located formerly was known as Squaw Peak.

  • The next work party is set for Friday ( Aug. 9).   Meet at the trailhead (see map) at 9 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (10 a.m. Mountain). 

Following work days are Aug. 23 plus the weekend of Sept. 21-22.

The group also has set work days on the South Fork of Ross Creek on Aug. 16 and  Morris Creek in the Lightning Creek drainage on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 28.

“We are getting close, and I am very confident we will finish this trail this summer,” said Sandy Compton, FSPW program coordinator. The Forest Service trail crew cut the rest of the trail out last week. If it's really warm, we will hike up to where the the new trail meets the old single track and work down the hill in the shade.

The friends group isn't all work and no play.   See the FSPW list of guided hikes designed to familiarize the public with the official wilderness in waiting.

To sign-up and help with the trail projects, contact Sandy Compton, (208) 290-1281.
  

Snowshoers making tracks this weekend

WINTER SPORTS — This has been a glorious and brilliant weekend for exploring the winter outdoors in the Inland Northwest, especially for snowshoers who absorb it all at a quiet pace that seems in step with the season.

Ice shrouded everything on top of Star Peak northeast of Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, when a Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness group arrived on a snowshoeing daytrip Saturday.  The Idaho-based wilderness advocates lead numerous group snowshoe treks into the wild and unforgetable scenery on winter weekends. 

On snowshoes that kept him afloat over the ample snowpack, George Momany of Spokane marched through a winter wonderland under brilliant blue skies up to the top of Mount Spokane on Saturday.  I joined him. We saw numerous snowshoers up and down the mountain on treks short and long.

Sno-Park requirement at Mount Spokane

Snowshoers should make a commitment to visit Mount Spokane State Park more than once a season and take advantage of the bargan.  A one-time Sno-Park permit costs $20 per vehicle  while you can enjoy unlimited entry to the lower portions of the mountain by purchasing a $40 season Sno-Park pass.

If you want access to the upper snowmobile parking lot and Selkirk Lodge parking area near the nordic ski trails, and additional $40 groomed trail system season pass is required.

Get info and purchase Sno-Park permits online here