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.
is a painting done from the memory of a strenuous hike I did in high school with my cousins up to the top of the Koolau mountain range at the back of Haiku valley on Oahu. I believe it is now called the “Stairway to Heaven” hike and is not open because a large storm damaged sections of it recently. You can find information about it easily by searching, “Stairway to Heaven, Hawaii”.
This hike is straight up “literally” most of the way and is not a hike for weenies. It takes stamina and half a day to climb all the metal stairs that were installed by the military leading up to the top where there was a “naval communication cable” antennae stretched from one bunker to another bunker across the valley on the opposing ridge line. Take food, water and bedding but sure to keep that pack light cause these steps do seem to be never ending by the time you reach the top. We were allowed to camp at the concrete bunker on the ridge leading up to the top of the mountain trail.
The next morning just a few minutes before sunrise I woke up stiff but eager to take the short walk up the path on the ridge to the very top of the Koolaus. The top isn’t very far from the bunker (under 5 minutes). In ancient times, the runners traveled on this path stretching from the north to south of the island carrying messages between neighboring villages and the royalty. When you reach it you find that this famous route is surprisingly only a couple feet wide with one heck of a drop off on each side. There are strong winds all the time and earth shattering views of both sides of the island from this ancient pathway. I sat there and absorbed the history as I witnessed the most beautiful sunrise and panoramic view of the island I ever seen. It had moving rainbows appearing and disappearing randomly, a sight I will never ever forget.