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Eastern Washington High Desert Life Adventures

The weathered beauty of old Juniper trees in the high desert of Eastern Washington USA
The weathered beauty of old Juniper trees in the high desert of Eastern Washington USA

Eastern Washington High Desert Life

Eastern Washington is the home of the high desert. What a unique place! The climate in summer is hot and dry. It is not uncommon for temperatures to reach triple digits.  Winters can get quite cold. Winter snow is not uncommon. In fact, in winter, the desert usually gets several feet of snow. When visiting this region keep in mind that the people are rather laid back and dress casually. Even in restaurants, you will mostly find people wearing nice jeans and sweaters. You will find little need for formal wear in this area. When packing, remember to include garments that can layer, and anywhere in Washington requires a good rain jacket. Keep in mind that while the days may be hot and dry, the nights will get quite cool.

Anything east of the Cascade Range is considered Eastern Washington.  The second-largest city in the state is in this dry desert. Spokane is a hub of activity for the Northeast. What a fun place! Here Shopping abounds.  Spokane also is the largest shopping area for much of Northeastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle.  Serious shopping is done in Spokane by all. You can find it all in Spokane.  It has an international airport that also serves much of the bordering state of Idaho, especially the Pan Handle. This is a terrific boon to the Washington economy. The mountains provide awesome skiing when the snow arrives. There are many trails for the cross-country skier. In summer these same trails keep the hiker happy. Camping is plentiful! Most places allow dry camping most anywhere. If you like nature, there are endless things to do.

The Juniper trees are gorgeous. It is believed the Juniper Woodland is the largest Western Juniper Woodland on earth. The Junipers extend from Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, Idaho, and into Northeastern California.  The Juniper is a slow-growing tree that elbows out other high desert plants like Sagebrush. Sagebrush is needed as a habitat for the Sage Grouse. It is beautiful and fun to watch it blow across the desert. Junipers also make it hard for other trees to flourish like the Quaking Aspen, Bitterbrush, and Mountain Mahogany.  Juniper trees often live to be over 1,600 years old. There is one Juniper in Fort Rock, Oregon which is 64 feet tall and 5.5 feet in diameter. This patriarchal Juniper is awesome beauty. All through Eastern Washington, you will see these beautiful and ancient Junipers. They are fantastic! They are ancient! They are the Juniper Tree.

The summer color tones of the Eastern Washington High desert are brown with autumn hues mixed in. The knarly Juniper Tree has a beauty all its own. Even the Sage Brush is gorgeous as it blows across the desert. Nothing though can beat the muted red tones of the Mountain Mahogany. This tree is pure beauty. It is an economic blessing to the region. The high desert is the place to hike and there are many hiking trails. It also provides endless photography. The desert is beautiful! It is a natural photo waiting to happen. Wildlife scurries across the desert floor. The desert is full of life!

Nestled in the valleys of the desert are the rich and fertile farmlands of the Yakima Valley in Eastern Washington. The beautiful  Palouse is in both the Pan Handle of Idaho and Eastern Washington. In these valleys are some of the richest farmland in the state. Most anything grows in these valleys! Not only do they grow bountiful fruits and vegetables, but they are also wonderfully gorgeous. The beautiful Columbia River separates Oregon from Washington. The river provides many summer activities and is gorgeous as she moves through the beautiful gorge that carries her name. Windsurfers and boaters both love the Columbia River.  The Snake River is another major river that snakes its way through the Eastern parts of Oregon and Washington and the tip of Idaho.  She gets her name from her snake appearance. White water rafting is fantastic on the Snake River.

When looking for things to do, don’t forget, what’s in your own backyard. There is fantastic hiking, boating, windsurfing, swimming, rafting, skiing and many photo opportunities for the photographer. Life is great in Eastern Washington. It is fun! It is full of adventure! It is the perfect place for your next family vacation.

Eastern Washington High Desert

Spokane River

Spokane River: Washington USA

Spokane River, “Gateway To The American West,” must be one of the most spectacular rivers in the USA. Just 111 miles long, it is a tributary of the Columbia River. It begins at Idaho’s Lake Coeur d’Alene. This is a magnificent lake in the Pan Handle of Idaho. Leaving Idaho, the Spokane River flows through Spokane, Washington. What amazing beauty! Only a few cities in the US are privileged to have such a beautiful river gorge flow through its urban landscape. From here it makes its way to the Columbia River. What a fantastic opportunity this is. The river is extremely gorgeous. Fishermen living in the urban area of Spokane, need not travel far to fish.  Boaters, rafters, canoes with excited paddlers, and many other water sports find fantastic adventure on the Spokane River. The Spokane River is a gem shared by Idaho and Washington. It is an urban river waiting to be explored.

So what is the river like in the city? It flows by an opera house and then through a park at the river’s side. Here you can also witness the magnificent Spokane Falls. If you really want to see the beauty of the  Spokane River go on downstream for about a half-mile. Here is where the river begins to make its journey through the beautiful canyon that it calls home for about 8 miles. At this point, you will see some of the most exciting Basalt rock formations. You will see many exciting shapes including the Bowl and Pitcher. There are amazing Basalt cliffs! These cliffs are magnificent. The forest is fantastic with towering evergreens, including the Ponderosa Pine Tree. In this amazing urban playground, you will see beautiful Eagles and Osprey flying above you. How utterly amazing! Just think, you are only a few minutes from downtown Spokane.

Those who enjoy hiking will find many options for beautiful day hikes. When you get to Bowl and Pitcher, cross the swinging bridge and then either choose to hike to the right or the left. Both are short well-marked trails suitable for family outings. These are beautiful and well-kept urban trails! All this and more, just outside the city.

Those that want to relax, can do so on its lovely banks. At Spokane River Park, you will find plenty of places to read a book or paint a picture. Bring the whole family and picnic in the park. Dad, there are BBQ grills to grill the catch of the day. The park has wide open places for a good game of volleyball. Whatever your desire, you will find it on the river.

Experienced rafters enjoy the raging white water in the spring and early summer. What a beautiful and fantastic adventure. In the latter summer, the water levels drop for the season and it becomes an easy trip for beginning rafters. You will also see many different ponds and scenic opportunities. The Spokane River is an urban delight. It is perhaps the most beautiful urban river in the United States. Whether you come for the day or a week, there is plenty of action for all, on the Spokane River.

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