Sunday, December 20, 2009

Palouse Falls

Two hours southwest of Spokane lies Palouse Falls State Park. There are some excellent viewpoints of the falls near the parking area, but we decided to meander down to the trails in the canyon that travel much closer to the edge of the falls.

Above is the rapids above the falls. Just out of sight down in the gorge, the river turns right and then drops over the main falls. There is a rough trail along this entire gorge above and below the falls.

Below is the trail wrapping along the steep canyon wall, downstream of the falls but looking upstream.

It is a fairly easy hike despite the sketchy appearance, but having a dog leashed around one's waist does add a degree of excitement, given the sharp slope down to the sheer dropoff.

Libby will have to return with her kayak if she wants to go over the falls... Maybe when the thick slabs of ice are melted.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mt. Spokane Summit

We finally hiked to the summit of 5900-foot Mt. Spokane. We took the 130 trail from the first large parking lot to Bald Knob Picnic Area, and then turned straight up to the summit.

It was about 15 degrees, and felt warm where we started at the 4500-foot level, but cold on top with the stiff wind. We brought snow shoes, but as expected the two feet of week-old snow was quite crusty. As we trekked up the steep slope in light boots, we occasionally broke through the crust, but it was much easier than wearing snow shoes the entire way.

Mika had fun, and got a little frosty around the edges...