Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Romano's Favorite Hiking Haunts No. 5
The Salmo-Priest Wilderness

I love the mountains and backcountry of northeastern Washington. From the Okanogan River to the Idaho border some of the wildest and loneliest terrain left in Washington state can be found here. A sparsely populated and lightly visited region, I love venturing to the mountains of Washington's northeast-its Columbia Highlands-for solitude, reflection, rejuvenation and to experience a Washington not found west of the Cascade Divide. Here in the Kettle River Range and Selkirk Range-and especially in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness, some of Washington's rarest and most fascinating fauna roams. Wolverines. lynx, mountain caribou, wolves, and grizzly! The only wilderness area in the state's northeast and within the 1.1 million acre Colville National Forest, the Salmo-Priest must be enlarged to ensure the protection of these wild denizens. And to assure me and other seekers of solitude that portions of our ever-growing Evergreen State will forever remain wild and untrammeled. I'm doing my part to help get this area into wilderness. I'm introducing hikers to the wonders of this region so that they may take an active role in protecting it. I urge you to join Conservation Northwest which is leading the movement for an Eastern Washington wilderness bill. Come visit. Need ideas? My Columbia Highlands book will give you plenty. So will my Best Hikes with Dogs Inland Northwest Book. And my new backpacking book that I am currently working on will also showcase some mighty fine eastern Washington wilds. I'll see you over that way this summer-and in the Blue Mountains too-but that's another story-and one I'll save for a future blog entry.

(photo- view east into Idaho from Round Mountain in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness, Oct 08)


Kendall said...


I got your Columbia Highlands book off of Amazon and really like it. I have some good friends who live up Barnaby Creek (just North of Inchelium along lake FDR) and go hiking there every year. On one hike I saw two moose, I was very impressed by their size. They say the moose are making a comeback around there, and on one hike they saw six of them.

You briefly mention Ranald McDonald in your book. My friends took me to his grave site near Curlew, and I had no idea who he was. It wasn't until I got back home and read up on him on the internet that I realized if you made a movie about that guys life, most people would not believe it. What a remarkable character.

What a great book, thanks for writing about a place in WA that is close to my heart.

Does this look familiar?

Thanks again,


Craig said...

Hey Kendall,

Great to hear from you again. Yes, moose are loose all over NE WA. And Yes Ranald (pronounced Ronald believe-it-or-not!) McDonald's life would make one hell of a movie! And I'm glad you like the Columbia Highlands Book- the whole place is a very special place to me-and that's saying a lot because I have lots of places I admire-
Love your photo of Metaline Falls-spent a week there doing research- I love that funky little town!