Welcome to The Trailhead, where we share important information and updates about trails and outdoor recreation around the Inland Northwest! Here is the latest event and conservation news for May-June 2022.
Glacier NP Permit System Expansion
Glacier National Park is expanding its permit system in 2022. This is the second year of the pilot permit system aimed at reducing crowding within the park. Anyone planning to visit areas of the park requiring a permit will need to create an account on recreation.gov in order to apply. In addition to permits, each vehicle entering the park will also require a vehicle pass (or interagency pass).
Free Park Entrance & Fishing Days in Washington
Due to a recent legislative change, Discover Pass fee-free days in Washington will now extend to all state-owned public lands (including Washington State Parks, Department of Natural Resources, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife).
There will be three opportunities to take advantage of this change during June, with the following fee-free days:
- National Get Outdoors Day – June 11
- Free Fishing Day – June 12 (which actually extends to the whole weekend, so a fishing license will not be required on either July 11 or 12)
- Juneteenth – June 19
If you take advantage of the free fishing opportunity, remember that while a fishing license and Discover Pass will not be required that weekend, all other Washington fishing rules still apply. Check the WDFW website for information on the body of water you intend to fish.
Inland Northwest Fishing — Photos (left to right): Dad & daughter fly fishing on the North Fork. Photo: Amy McCaffree // Big trout on the North Fork. Photo courtesy of the Silver Valley Chamber of Commerce. // Fishing derby catch at Klink’s Resort on Williams Lake, near Cheney, WA. Photo courtesy Klink’s Resort. // Dad teaching his oldest son about fly fishing. Photo courtesy of Josh Mills.
Spokane Summer Parkways Returns
Celebrate Summer Solstice with a return to Spokane Summer Parkways on June 21, 2022. This free event aims to promote a healthy lifestyle, with 4 miles of city streets closed to vehicle traffic from 6–9 p.m.
The route connects Manito and Comstock parks and allows nonmotorized users to hike, run, walk, bike, scooter, skateboard, or even unicycle along normally busy streets. Local organizations will have informational booths along the route with lots of fun activities.
Trail Projects, Cleanups, & Outings
Trailwork and public lands stewardship projects around the region are getting started in earnest and will begin to venture into the higher elevations in late spring. Watch the local trail organizations’ volunteer offerings for National Trails Day on June 4.
Here are a few late-spring into early summer projects:
- The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust offers citizen science early morning birding outings to gather information about birds returning to post-fire landscapes. Advance registration is required for the group outings, or independent data collection can be coordinated with the Land Trust.
- Evergreen East has new trail projects planned at Mackenzie Natural Area and Liberty Lake Regional Park, along with ongoing projects at Mica Peak and Mount Spokane.
- Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness offers both guided hikes and trail stewardship projects. Spring highlights include trail maintenance days in the lowlands at Ross Creek Cedars and up high at Star Peak.
- Idaho Trails Association has spring trailwork trips planned at various locations including Priest Point, Priest Lake, the Mickinnick Trail, and Boulder Meadows Spring.
- Inland Northwest Land Conservancy offers hikes, trail maintenance, and other stewardship activities. Spring offerings range from wildflower hikes to noxious weed identification and removal, to trail building projects on INLC-managed lands. There will also be a celebration of the work on Rimrock to Riverside hosted by INLC on May 14.
- Okanogan Highlands Alliance is planning spring trail maintenance events to the Virginia Lilly area west of Republic and Pine Chee area near Oroville.
- Pacific Northwest Trail Association has regular volunteer work parties aimed at new volunteers, drop-in work parties for experienced volunteers who are willing to work alongside PNTA Performance Crews, and Backcountry Trips that require two or more days of camping/backpacking along with volunteer trail maintenance. Late spring highlights include northeast Washington trips such as Fir Mountain and Sweat Creek, Silver Creek and Abercrombie Mountain, and trails in the Sullivan Lake area.
- Spokane Riverkeeper will be hosting two river corridor cleanup events on June 25, with one group focusing on the University District/Downtown and another focusing efforts on the Mission Park area.
- Washington Trails Association will be hosting spring day trips within Spokane County Parks and Mount Spokane State Park; a weekend camping opportunity at Indian Creek Community Forest hosted by the Kalispel Tribe Natural Resources Department; and Backcountry Response Team Trips to Bead Lake, Sweat Creek Basin to Clackamas Mountain, the Salmo Loop in the Salmo Priest Wilderness, and East and West Butte in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness.
Find signup links to volunteer opportunities with several of these great nonprofits on the Out There stewardship volunteer calendar.
Get out there & hike! Find destination ideas in the Hike of the Month column.