By Holly Weiler
Pass Requirements & Weather
Don’t forget to check your favorite trailhead for pass requirements as the season transitions from fall into winter, with SnoPark season beginning on Dec. 1 in most areas. Get passes in order for places that require them and remember that some favorite summer trailheads are not maintained for winter access. Check with the land manager before late fall trips to higher elevation locations and note the possibility of changing weather conditions during an outing.
Free Outdoor Entertainment
- Public lands in Washington have two fee-free days during the month of November: Nov. 11 for Veterans’ Day and Nov. 24 for Autumn Day (otherwise known as Opt Outside day for all the REI fans).
- The Methow Conservancy is offering a free First Thursday Zoom presentation on bats of Washington state on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Register via their website to receive the Zoom link (Methowconservancy.org).
- Dishman Hills Conservancy will be continuing the Tuesday hike series into late fall and early winter. Check the website to confirm each week’s destination. (Dishmanhills.org)
- Sign up now for First Day Hikes! Washington State Parks observes this fun American Hiking Society tradition each New Year’s Day, but advance registration in December is required. Mount Spokane State Park typically hosts two options for snowshoe enthusiasts (easy/moderate level to the snowshoe warming hut and difficult level to the summit of Mount Spokane), and Riverside State Park typically holds a lower elevation hike option as well. Watch the Washington State Parks website for event sign-ups.
Fundraisers & Events
- Spokane Riverkeeper will be hosting Spoken River, a fundraiser dinner with silent auction, on Nov. 16. (Spokaneriverkeeper.org)
- The Backcountry Ski Film Festival returns to Spokane on Nov. 30. Hosted by the Spokane Mountaineers/Spokane Mountaineers Foundation and benefiting local snow school programs and the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center, this year’s event will take place at the Garland Theatre and will be preceded by a “Powder Hour” happy hour event with a special showing of a film shot in the Canadian Selkirks.
Conservation & Stewardship Opportunities
The majority of stewardship opportunities are winding down and taking a winter hiatus. Volunteers with Washington Trails Association will continue to chip away at annual maintenance projects through November before beginning snowshoe trail maintenance projects in December. (Wta.org/volunteer)
Trail users can also volunteer their time in other ways over the winter (and throughout the year!) by reporting trail conditions. For any trail in Washington, consider writing a trip report for WTA. For trails in Idaho, Idaho Trails Association has a trail report section on its website (Idahotrailsassociation.org/trail-reporter). Additionally, Pacific Northwest Trail Association tracks reports for the Washington portion of the PNT (Newashingtontrails.com/volunteer). Each of these nonprofits (and regional land managers) use reported information to help plan maintenance projects in the coming year, so if you are exploring in our region and note some trail needs, please consider sending in a report!
Inland Northwest Land Conservancy will be hosting a series of Waikiki Wednesday events every two weeks throughout the fall, beginning on Nov. 1. Volunteer tasks may range from invasive species removal to trail maintenance and tree planting as weather allows. (Inlandnwland.org)
Cover Photo Shallan Knowles