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Capitol Christmas Tree (and Snowshoe Ideas) Courtesy of the Colville

Posted by Kindra at Dec 04, 2013 11:00 AM |

Washington state's Colville National Forest gives a gift to the other Washington in the form of the Capitol Christmas Tree. If you can't make it D.C. to see this piece of Washington decked out in more than 10,000 lights, consider a snowshoe trip to its originating forest instead.

Christmas has arrived in our nation's capitol, having traveled all the way from Washington state. No, Santa did not relocated to the Evergreen State in search of great hiking.This year's Capitol Christmas Tree came from our very own Colville National Forest. The 88-foot tall Engelmann spruce will serve as the holiday focal point on the lawn at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The tradition of "The People's Tree," started in 1964, with the U.S. Forest Service providing a Christmas tree for the U.S. Capitol Building. Every year a different national forest has been chosen each year to provide this holiday centerpiece.

This is the second time that Washington state has provided the Capitol Christmas Tree. The other time was in 2006, when a Pacific silver fir was selected from the Olympic National Forest.

If you can't make it D.C. to see this piece of Washington decked out in more than 10,000 lights, consider a trip to its originating forest instead.

Spotlight on Washington's Colville, a hiking and winter wonder

The Colville National Forest, located in northeast Washington, is a unique and beautiful backcountry made up of three mountain ranges with nearly 500 miles for hiking trails begging to be explored. The forest is home to some exciting wildlife such as the grizzly and black bears, cougars, bald eagles and the last remaining herd of caribou in the United States.

It is exciting to share a small token of the majesty of the Colville with the rest of the nation. WTA has hosted Volunteer Vacations and Backcountry Response Trips in this area for the past couple years, and we can attest to its beauty.

Three snowshoeing adventures in the Colville National Forest

  • Sherman Pass Loop: This six mile loop offers views that stretch from Canada to the Columbia River Valley,including the Okanogan Highlands, and the Southern end of the Kettle Mountain Range.
  • Columbia Mountain: This loop is described as one of the top snowshoe treks in the Columbia Highlands.
  • Snow Peak Cabin: Rent this rustic cabin and explore this scenic area at your leisure.

Snow Peak Cabin
Snow Peak Cabin. Photo by David Inscho.

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