“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” – Mary Davis
For this hike, I chose to explore Beauty Mountain by way of Trails 131 and 130 in Mt. Spokane State Park. This trail is great for year-round use: you can admire wildflowers and forage for berries in warmer months, and strap on snowshoes for a winter wonderland adventure throughout the snowy months.
Because the park is open until 10 p.m. in winter, you can wear a headlamp and hike beneath the stars. It’s also a neat little piece of Spokane history! During the Depression, the cabin was constructed in only three days for Civilian Conservation Corps men from CCC Company 611 and Company 949 (a Junior unit).
Compared to other CCC camps around the nation, the food, living conditions and overall morale of Mt. Spokane’s camp was considered superior. In 1934, it was chosen to represent the Fort George Wright District in the Best CCC Camp National Competition and won first place out of over 400 camps.
In 1974, the cabin was converted to a warming shelter for snowmobilers. Since the Depression, this cabin has been enjoyed by countless mountain wanderers – including yours truly!
To start this hike, cross the road from the SnoPark lot to take Trail 131 uphill toward Bald Knob picnic area.
The southernmost peak in the Selkirk range, Mt. Spokane is older than the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades. It was also once much taller than its present-day elevation, but many millions of years of weather exposure have resulted in substantial erosion.
This hike’s activity strain recommendation, Pine Queen Dream, understood the assignment and my senses were perfectly heightened. The cerulean sky, the ancient trees full of character, the gold leaves and amber needles strewn about the trail, the scattering of quartz rocks all around, the mica glittering beneath our boots, the frost adding a sparkling touch of pizazz to the late autumnal undertones; none of it went unnoticed or unappreciated.
Follow Trail 131 until the Bald Knob picnic area and campground. The campground is closed for overnight use in winter, but there’s a great open-space picnic shelter to take a safety meeting break, if the mood strikes. When you’re ready to resume, continue across the Summit Road to Trail 130 and follow the signs to the CCC Cabin.
You’ll be treated to panoramic views stretching from Idaho to west Spokane. In the fall, the golden larches make for an ultra-dramatic backdrop that epitomizes Eastern Washington glam. A little over two miles in, turn right and head uphill to Beauty Mountain where the CCC cabin awaits. Kick back in the cabin (you can even build a fire in the winter), have a snack, whet your whistle and learn more about the history of the CCC. This is also a prime spot for a safety meeting, again, if you’re so inclined.
When you’ve exhausted your explorative desires and ready to return, simply retrace your route back to the SnoPark lot. It may be the same trail you took in, but your perspective will be completely different.
Activity strain recommendation
Pine Queen Dream (Pine Queen Haze x Blue Dream)
Pine Queen Dream is the ideal pick for a day spent among the trees. The scent immediately transports you to a pine-filled forest and will flood your senses with a woodsy, herbal, pine aroma. That pine flavor will be the first thing to hit your palate, and you’ll be pleasantly lifted by the euphoric cerebral high that will elevate your spirits, heighten your senses and clear your mind, leaving you relaxed but focused.
Recovery strain recommendation
Critical Purple Kush (Critical Mass x Purple Kush)
Critical Purple Kush (CPK) has a sweet, earthy smell with spicy undertones. It hits the palate with a slightly sweet, citrusy flavor upfront and finishes with a coffee-flavored note on the exhale. A heavyweight strain that allows your body to enjoyably sink to the depths of relaxation, CPK’s uplifting cerebral effects will be the first thing you notice before they give way to a full body high that helps ease any tension, ensuring you find the rest and relaxation you’re looking for after a day of adventure. Terpenes include myrcene (calming, stress relief), beta-Caryophyllene (refreshing, euphoric, stress relief) and linalool (calming, sedative, stress relief).
And that’s magic, baby. Lace up, light up and explore this urban escape.
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