Out & About: Salmo-Priest lookout abused by hikers
Sat., Aug. 27, 2016
OUTTRASHED – Grandfathered at the time the Salmo-Priest Wilderness was designated, the Little Snowy Top Lookout is a piece of history and a rare shelter in a storm for any wilderness traveler.
Unfortunately, the cabin-style fire lookout northeast of Sullivan Lake is being trashed by people who must hike or ride horses at least 18 miles round-trip from the trailhead.
After hiking the 19-mile Salmo Loop trails last week, Holly Weiler posted a mostly glowing and detailed Washington Trails Association trip report about the scenery and trail conditions.
But she also reported that visitors had left trash and junk such as a broken folding chair.
People have carved names in the wood walls, left the door open to the weather that’s caused water damage to a floor that was replaced by volunteers in the 1990s.
The shutters have been left up allowing the windows to be broken by wind and hail.
Not that many years ago, all backcountry travelers knew that cabins must be closed up when people leave.
When did wilderness travelers start thinking someone else would come in to take care of duties like that?
“I was disappointed in the poor-choicers at the Little Snow Top Lookout, where I was sad to see damage to the structure,” Weiler said.
“In the 2014, the lookout was in good shape. This year the outer door is broken and on the ground outside.”
She said the shutters have been damaged by being left open and two of them could not be closed last week.
“I packed out as much as I could carry, but there’s still more,” Weiler said. “This is why we can’t have nice things.
The lookout was restored around 1988-89 by U.S. Forest Service staff, volunteers from the Spokane Mountaineers and Back Country Horsemen and a grant from sales of the guidebook “100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest.”
September huge month
for bicycling events
OUTPEDAL – September is a darling month for organized bicycle events in the region. Among the 20-some listed events within an easy drive of Spokane are some of the most popular rides of the year, such as SpokeFest in Spokane on Sept. 11 and Coeur d’Fondo out of Coeur d’Alene on Sept. 26.
The Great Northwest Fall Tour on Sept. 4 offers routes of 15, 30, 50 or 85 miles beginning at Newport City Park sponsored as a fundraiser by the Newport/Priest River Rotary Club.
Kidical Massive, Sept. 17, is a safety-oriented Spokane bike event starting at 1 p.m. for kids on a 3-mile, vehicle-free course starting and ending at Kendall Yards.
Check out the 2016 Northwest Bicycling Events Calendar, which includes convenient links to more information and registration, as well as access to racing and cycling groups in the region at spokesman.com/outdoors.
host Outdoor Expo
OUTSPORTS – Outdoors-related nonprofit groups will have information booths with information about their activities at Avista Stadium today before and during the Spokane Indians game with the Tri-City Dust Devils. Game time is 3:30 p.m.
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