Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mt. Spokane Vista House

20130926-_DSC0306Last Thursday, I and my friend and Day Hiking Mt. St. Helens co-author Craig Romano had a great day roaming the trails of Mt. Spokane State Park, Washington’s largest state park, during a brief burst of sunny weather. Here, Craig Romano checks out the historic, Civilian Conservation Corp-constructed Vista House on the summit of Mt. Spokane.

Scotchman Peaks sunrise

20130902-_DSC0218A pre-storm sun peeks over Snowshoe Peak in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, as viewed from the heart of the Scotchman Peaks Proposed Wilderness Area.

Scotchman Peaks – Eleanor Crag

20130901-_DSC0177The sun sets behind Eleanor Crag in the heart of the Scotchman Peaks Proposed Wilderness Area, western Montana.

Scotchman Peaks – Melissa Basin

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Melissa Basin sits high on the flanks of Melissa and Eleanor Peaks in the Compton Crags, a series of rugged spires in the heart of the Scotchman Peaks Proposed Wilderness Area named for a longtime northwest Montana family. I got to accompany two Comptons, Sandy Compton and Melissa Compton (of Melissa Basin fame herself) to this special area–one of the best spots in the Inland Northwest to set up a tent.

Extreme Plein Air

20130831-_DSC0033A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of accompanying the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness on its annual “Extreme Plein Air” event. Extreme Plein Air takes a handful of artists on a rugged backpacking trip–the majority of it off trail–deep in the heart of some of the wildest country in Montana. Not a bad place to find artist inspiration! More photos to come soon.

Quartz Creek trail – 2

20130911-_DSC0319Morning sunlight reflects in shallow Straight Creek near its confluence with Quartz Creek on the Quartz Creek trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Quartz Creek trail

20130910-_DSC0293The Quartz Creek trail is one of southwest Washington’s most spectacular old-growth valley treks, and after years of neglect, it’s getting some love, thanks to the Washington Trails Association. With the exception of a few big blowdowns at the end, the first 4 miles to Snagtooth Creek are free and clear. This is a great hike to escape the heat or rain–or any time you want to marvel at old-growth trees and rushing creeks.