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Eastern Washington

The Eastern Washington region  includes a mix of rugged mountain ranges interspersed with rolling hills and river valleys.

After descending from the storm-catching ridges of the Salmo-Priest Wilderness, the trail in Eastern Washington is characterized by a dry climate and open, grassy hillsides with sweeping views. The open landscape offers unique opportunities to glimpse Bighorn sheep and, more rarely, cougars and black bears. People in Eastern Washington keep close ties to the land. Old homesteads and prospectors’ cabins are traces of the area’s farming, grazing, and mining heritage. At Northport, hikers cross the mighty Columbia River, the river that powers the West. Fire is the other important element shaping the landscape. Lookout towers stand atop mountain peaks, and ponderosa pines bear the scars of past burns. Due to existing land uses in this region, thru-hiking requires some significant road walking for now. However, Eastern Washington offers plenty of rewards, including quiet, star-filled nights and the kind of Western scenery that movie directors dream about.  

Highlights:
  • Experiencing the lush inland rainforest of the Salmo-Priest Wilderness
  • Enjoying views from the crest of the Kettle River Range
  • Watching for Bighorn sheep at Whistler Canyon
  • Savoring the Pacific Northwest Trail halfway point at Oroville
  • Strolling historic Metaline Falls
     

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Day Hikes
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Explore Other Regions
The 1200 mile trail has been divided into 5 regions.