By Jessi Loerch
Interesting programs are planned all summer in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Rangers and other experts will teach about hiking safely, history, geology and a lot more. Here’s the lineup from a Forest Service press release:
Mountain Loop Highway
Except for the Big 4 Picnic Area Programs and Stargazing at Big 4, all of the following programs are at Gold Basin Campground Amphitheater, two and a half miles east of the Verlot Public Service Center on the Mountain Loop Highway. For more information, call 360-691-7791.
- Big 4 Picnic Area Programs: Each Friday and Sunday July 5 to Sept. 1. Interpretive Ranger led activities 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Campfire Stories, Life in the Mountains: July 6, 11 a.m.; Interpretive Ranger Owen Couch
- Lunch with Smokey Bear: July 6, 12 p.m.; Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Fire Crew
- Gold Panning 101: July 13, 10 a.m.; Eras Gattshall, Everett Chapter Gold Prospectors Association
- Stargazing at Big 4 Picnic Area: July 13, 9:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.; John Angell, Everett Astronomy Society
- Sarvey Wildlife Birds of Prey: July 20, 10 a.m.; Sarvey Wildlife Center
- Getting Out in the Woods Safely: June 27, 10 a.m.; Tim Denhoff, Snohomish County Search and Rescue
- Campfire Stories, Life in the Mountains: Aug. 3, 10 a.m.; Interpretive Ranger, Owen Couch
- Hiking Opportunities along the Mt. Loop Highway: Aug. 8, 8 p.m.; Edith Farrell, Mt. Loop Tourism Bureau
- The Return of the Impact Monster! Aug. 10, 10 a.m.; Interpretive Rangers
- High Tech History: Aug. 15, 8 p.m.; Fred Crueger, Granite Falls Historical Society
- Cougar Ecology and Behavior in the Pacific Northwest: Aug. 17, 10 a.m.; Brian N. Kertson, Ph.D, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Tales of Trails Around the Darrington Ranger District: Aug. 22, 8 a.m.; Interpretive Ranger Matthew Riggen
- Weed Invasion in the Forest: Aug. 24, 10 a.m.; Sarah Callaghan, Forest Invasive Plant Specialist
- Big 4 History Tour: Aug. 31, 10 a.m.; Interpretive Ranger Anissa Smith
- Campfire Talks: Douglas Fir Campground, Highway 542, Saturdays 6 p.m., June 22 to Aug. 31. Join the Nooksack River Stewards on to learn about salmon and stream ecology in the Nooksack River while snacking on smoked salmon, cream cheese and crackers around the campfire.
- Noisy Waters: A Nooksack River Walk, Sundays 10 a.m., June 23 to Sept. 1. Go for a walk up the Horseshoe Bend Trail and discover the vast aquatic mysteries of rivers and riparian zones. Learn about native plants, test the water quality and identify aquatic insects in the North Fork. At the Horseshoe Bend Trail. Travel east on the Mt. Baker Highway two miles from the Glacier Public Service Center and cross the Nooksack River. The trailhead is on the right side (east) of the highway, across from the Douglas Fir Campground entrance.
Interstate 90 Snoqualmie Pass
- Snoqualmie Pass summer programs June 29 to Sept. 1. Learn about the history, flora and fauna of the Cascades on easy hikes for all ages. Make reservations and get more information by calling 425-434-6111. Programs for groups can be scheduled. A $15 donation per person is suggested.
- Gold Creek Pond, Saturdays, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Hike a one-mile trail around the lake and learn about the landscape history, plants, beavers, birds, ants, snakes, fish and other critters. 90 minutes.
- Twin Lakes, Sundays, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Hike a two-mile round trip to the lakes and back through dense old-growth forest and learn about the trees of the Cascades, plants, wildlife and some unusual history of the area.