In addition to alpine winter recreation, the Park offers year-round recreation including nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, camping, horseback riding, biking and hiking trails, berry picking, sightseeing, and more.
We drove up a gravel access road and parked, then went for a short and easy half day hike.
It is amazing to see the ski runs without snow on them. They seem a lot steeper in summer because you are actually walking up the hill not riding a lift, so the rate of ascent is more noticeable and sticks in the memory.
This hill has great views of the ski area and so much more. Gazing from the summit in summer can take your breath away.
There are many types of flora (including Huckleberries) and fauna birds, four legged critters and scurrying little guys, in lots of kinds of well-maintained trails. Inviting photographers to take mucho happy clicks home. The variety of trails, terrains and spots to see is quite extensive. Check out their website which gives 47 things to do in the park if you run out of ideas.
We discovered some historic structures while we were there including the Civilian Conservation Corps Cabin (CCC) which we posed beside, and it is not much further up the hill to see the Vista House both built in the 1930s. This park is another Inland Northwest “gem” for outdoor lovers.
We took an easy hike this weekend, our destination was “Granite Falls” just above Nordman, and Priest Lake ID. It was a bright sunny day but there was a noticeable chill in the air whenever you were in the shade. You can see there were still patches of snow… This was a total departure from blue screen hypnosis or chatter for us.
Nature in the Inland Northwest…. Ahhhhh! Going up just past Nordman ID and Priest Lake to a Cedar Forest Reserve is Granite Falls trail. This is a short hike 1.5 miles on a well maintained trail with easy grade and many switchbacks through huge noble cedars reaching up high into the air. There are many places to experience the roar of water cascading over solid granite formation, where you are chilled by the moisture in the air. Wow! the power of moving water. Makes you see how small we are in the whole system of nature. This was a revealing adventure for our family to take together. It was as though our souls were able to surface and share more meaningful expressions of emotion and thought as we journeyed through the beauty. It was an inspired afternoon full of amazing natural wonder and an infusion of beauty.
I walk through woods each day and it never ceases to amaze me how much changing beauty nature always shows. While walking Max, and I saw an overnight transformation into bright spring colors with a green “lawn-like” carpet sprinkled with colorful little flowers sprinkled everywhere in it.
Today speaking with a client, I was trying to explain my favorite place to feel closest to heaven. It is almost as though God paints the scene different every single night. Some trees with tinly icicles on each needle, some delicately powdered with fluff on the top of each branch and then some totally encased in a frozen frosting. These thoughts led me to look at a folder of old shots up on the ski hill.
Probably my favorite thing is the way light shows through the trees almost as an invitation. Always a thrill and obviously a favorite of mine as I probably have 100+ shots similar to this in my reference photography. I have done paintings of this frequently…. this is one of my early oils.
The shadows are of my husband and I around 2001-02. This was an early morning right after a heavy snow that left the trees fully cloaked they looked like hunched over creatures in groups. I loved being on the ski patrol, getting up on the mountain for first tracks and watching the mountain transform from sleepy and dark to bright white. No better morning than that. On the hill the same location never looks the same.
Here is another early morning where I stood for 5-10 minutes in this spot taking shots so I could see how fast the colors changed.
Amazing isn’t it? Okay, so maybe I aspire to be a ski bum. My son gave me a sweat shirt with that on it. Yep.
I am walking more and more in preparation for doing Bloomsday this Sunday. Check it out here www.bloomsdayrun.org – My son and daughter ran it with me more than once and I sure miss them right now. They always had better times than me. Oh well, 7 miles and lots, did I say LOTS OF PEOPLE! In spite of age “ing” and health/healing issues. Am hoping to just enjoy the walk and make it to the finish line in good health.