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Home News Blog Hiker Headlines: Stay Off Muddy Trails, S&R Drill, Free Day, Climbing Closures

Hiker Headlines: Stay Off Muddy Trails, S&R Drill, Free Day, Climbing Closures

Posted by cwakenshaw at Mar 04, 2021 01:47 PM |

It’s March 4. In Eastern and Central Washington it’s important to stay off of muddy trails during the freeze-thaw cycle. Kittitas County Search and Rescue will be performing a practice drill on Hex Mountain this weekend. Entry to State Parks will be free on March 19. Two climbing areas in North Cascades National Park will be closed to protect peregrine falcon nesting habitat. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

It’s March 4. In Eastern and Central Washington it’s important to stay off of muddy trails during the freeze-thaw cycle. Kittitas County Search and Rescue will be performing a practice drill on Hex Mountain this weekend. Entry to State Parks will be free on March 19. Two climbing areas in North Cascades National Park will be closed to protect peregrine falcon nesting habitat. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

a trail with a view of the Spokane River and ponderosa pine trees. Photo by Frankie Benka.
Riverside State Park is one of the many state parks you can visit for free on March 19. Photo by Frankie Benka. 

Stay off muddy trails: Spokane County is reminding trail users to stay off of muddy trails, especially where signs are posted. Spring conditions result in a freeze-thaw cycle which makes trails in Central and Eastern Washington susceptible to lasting damage. When hikers walk on a muddy trail, their footsteps create ruts and holes, which freeze and create trail damage that lasts into summer.  

Search and rescue drill: If you’re thinking of heading to Hex Mountain this Saturday you may want to wait. Kittitas County Search and Rescue will be performing training drills on Hex Mountain on Saturday. The drills will involve snowmobiles, helicopters and other large-scale deployments. These drills are the best way to practice the skills needed in a real emergency. 

Free day at State Parks: March 19 marks the 108th birthday of Washington State Parks. To celebrate, state parks have waived entrance fees on March 19. Popular state parks can get busy on free days, so consider checking out a lesser-known park, or if you already have a Discover Pass, celebrate this anniversary later in the week.

Peregrine nesting closures: Two sport climbing areas in North Cascades National Park will be closed from March 1 - July 15 to protect the the cliffs where peregrine falcons nest. Newhalem Crag East and Newhalem Crag West (Ryan’s Wall) are the two areas that will be closed.


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