The Inland Northwest is home to some of the finest trails, peaks, rocks and roads in the country, but getting up and into the outdoors can be difficult on your own. Thankfully, the region is also home to many thriving outdoor organizations.
Whether you’re interested in starting an outdoor hobby, continuing a passion, or just going somewhere new, consider getting involved with these six regional outdoor clubs.
Each club is uniquely its own, with different offerings, activities, philosophies, and schedules. These clubs as perfect if you are looking for an education in outdoor stewardship, skills or maintenance, seeking to establish a routine of getting out there, or trying to discover more that the region has to offer.
Bower Climbing Coalition
BCC represents local climbers by preserving and maintaining climbing throughout the Inland Northwest. The group maintains climbing routes across the region, from replacing bolts and anchor systems to removing graffiti and garbage.
BCC hosts public clean-up events and encourages stewardship among local climbers. There is a membership option as well, proceeds from which help to fund cleanups and improvements to local climbing opportunities. The group advocates for environmentally-aware climbers, and emphasizes the maintenance of the ample local climbing resources for the long term.
To join for a crag clean-up or other community events, follow BCC’s instagram @BCC_BowerClimbingCoalition.
Friends of Scotchman Peaks
Friends of Scotchman Peaks started in 2005 as a group advocating for the Scotchman Peaks to be designated as a Wilderness. According to Phil Hough, the group’s executive director, it became apparent that it was crucial for local and regional residents to enjoy the area so that they might advocate for it.
The group leads hikes and trail maintenance work, both open to the public. They also lead education programs for local and regional school field trips, and advocates for safety on the Scotchman Peaks trails. The group has 10,000 supporters and over 100 volunteers. To receive updates about events and more, join the group at their website scotchmanpeaks.com.
Inland Northwest Hikers
INW Hikers are one of the easiest local groups to join. Just sign up for a www.meetup.com account and request to join the group, and you’ll be given access to their past and future events.
While hiking is the main activity offered, the year-round group also hosts snowshoeing, paddling, biking, and other human-powered activities. Since its founding in 2010, the group has led thousands of hikes both near-to and far-from Spokane, catering to a range of abilities. Hikes are rated for their length and elevation change to allow members to thoughtfully choose their hikes, and know what they’re getting into.
The INW Hikers emphasize relaxed social hikes aimed at getting participants out into the areas many beautiful trails. Plus, dogs are allowed on most hikes, at the discretion of the organizer.
Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club
The SCKC is your one-stop shop for all things watersports. Human-powered watersports, that is. Canoe, kayak, and paddleboard with the club, who hosts weekly flatwater and whitewater paddles around the region. Their packed event schedule can be found through their website, www.sckc.club or on their opensports.net page. Signing up for events is easy and open to the public, with an Opensports account.
SCKC was founded more than 50 years ago, and has 270 registered members. The group also hosts cleanups and clinics, to teach awareness and paddle skills. Whether you’re looking for a beginner flatwater paddle or to tackle whitewater with other experienced locals, SCKC has the resources to improve your watersports experience.
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance
Evergreen is among the largest MTB advocacy groups in the country, representing the whole of Washington state. The Eastern chapter alone is made up of 650 members. Though the group is primarily concerned with advocating for MTB access, maintaining and building biking trails, they also host classes, group rides, and camps to help spread the sport.
The Inland Northwest is home to a number of top-notch biking destinations, and according to Chris Conley, president of the East chapter of Evergreen, getting people out on those trails is central to the group’s advocacy. Evergreen is involved in many local outdoor events, including Spokatopia, where they ran the beer garden.
They also host trail work, led by trained trail builders, to build and maintain biking trails in the region.
For 106 years, the Spokane Mountaineers have been out and about in the local outdoors, climbing, hiking, skiing, paddling, or more. No matter what activity sparks your interest (ice climbing? skiing? watersports?) Spokane Mountaineers probably has a community for it.
The organization offers recreational and educational events, from hikes to climbing classes. They also have a conservation activity group. For getting your foot in the door in for almost any outdoor sport, the Mountaineers provide the skills training and social networks you need.
The annual 50-dollar membership will get you access to their online website, which functions like a small social media for local and likeminded outdoorspeople. Post about trips, browse the events calendar, and sign up for online classes with ease. Classes and events may include additional costs. For more information visit www.spokanemountaineers.org.
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