Outdoor Recreation

Lace up your hiking boots. Pack your backpack. Snap on your skis or snowshoes. Go explore the outdoors in North Idaho and beyond.


Realistic expectations on and off the trail

Exceeding expectations is great. I remember hikes when I was bursting with energy and hiked far beyond what I planned–reaching the peak and then exploring down the other side before turning back. Then there are those days when I know it won’t be easy. A total lack of energy after…

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Young cougars on the move this time of year

In the recent weeks, several cougars have been spotted in Bonners Ferry. Normally cougars are secretive and shy away from humans. However, in the fall and winter they tend to follow prey (especially deer) to lower elevations and often into towns. Additionally, young lions leave their mother’s territory when around…

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Shorty Peak lookout offers spectacular views

Waking up on top of a mountain as the horizon turns orange with nothing blocking the view is an amazing sight–especially from the comfort of a bed within four walls. With windows across all four walls, a 360 degree view of the mountains and Kootenai Valley could be seen from…

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Five ways lightning can strike a person

The impressive lightning and thunderstorm at the end of June hammered Boundary County with dozens of lightning strikes. The next morning I found a ponderosa pine near my house with a spiraling crack around the trunk and pieces of bark scattered around on the ground. When the storm was overhead…

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Be prepared for a bear encounter or attack

Seeing bear tracks in the trail provides a heads-up that a bear is in the area. However, surprise encounters can happen if the bear can’t smell you because of the wind or its attracted to food or garbage odors. Most surprise encounters do not result in physical attacks, especially if…

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Learn to recognize bear sign

Seeing grizzly bear tracks in the snow on the trail always heightens my awareness, especially relatively fresh tracks where the claw marks can still be seen.  The scenarios of what could happen start rolling through my head as I begin to make more noise. This spring I realized I needed…

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Challenge yourself to get outside more this winter

While winter is great time to plan for summer hikes, camping trips or hunting trips, don’t forego exploring the outdoors in winter because of the cold and snow. In addition to making a list for next summer, make a list of activities you want to do before the snow melts.…

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A train ride on the other side of the Selkirk Mountains

This gallery contains 15 photos.

Chug-a-chug-a-choo-choo. The train began to roll out of the Ione, Washington station on a beautiful October day on a short trip to Metaline Falls. Through the rolling countryside and next to the Pend Oreille River, the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad train chugged. Glimpses of the river could be seen through…

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