At the center of the Inland Northwest, Moscow is within a day's drive of some ofthe greatest wilderness in the United States. Whether you take advantage of the local rails-to-trails bike paths or add a side trip to Glacier National Park, Evolution 2009 is an opportunity to see the natural world up close.
For more suggestions, see the Moscow-Pullman Daily News visitor's guide for Latah and Whitman Counties, and a selection of independently-run field trips and activities tailored for conference attendees.
For exercise between symposia, or an easy day trip.
The diverse landscape of the Inland Northwest provides a fairly rich bird community and the meeting coincides with high breeding season. Opportunities to visit a variety of conifer forest types and remnant Palouse Prairie are within a close drive of town. For birding info, maps, and checklists, see:
- Charles's Swift's online birding map
- The Idaho Birding Trial north region
- The Palouse Audubon Society
- The eBird list of Latah County birds
- Moscow Mountain: Paradise Point, Idler's Rest. Maps can be found at Moscow Area Mountain Bike Association.
- Kamiak Butte, just north of Pullman, with native vegetation, good birding, and views of the Palouse.
- Rose Creek Preserve: Nature Conservancy preserve, excellent riparian restoration in somewhat intact Palouse Prairie - good birding.
- Elk River Falls trail, east of Bovill, Idaho: A short hike through north Idaho forest to nice falls.
- Spalding Park and the Nez Perce Museum, Lapwai, Idaho: Birding in Spalding for forest and riparian birds along the Clearwater River.
- Fields Spring State Park: 50 km south of Clarkston, WA. A number of short day hikes with views south into the canyons of the Grande Ronde and Snake Rivers.
Road and mountain biking
Bike rentals are available ($20-30/day) at Paradise Creek Bicycles in downtown Moscow.
- Moscow Mountain: Maps can be found at Moscow Area Mountain Bike Association.
- The Palouse has miles of rolling country roads and paved trails for long bike rides, including the newly-completed Latah Trail from Moscow to Troy (approximately 19 km one way). Search MapMyRide for a full list.
- The Trail of the Coeur D'Alenes: 115-km paved rails-to-trails path runs east out of Plummer, Idaho (approximately 1.5 hr north of Moscow on U.S. 95), along the shore of Lake Coeur D'Alene and into the mountains. Multiple trailheads for a variety of hikes, or take a day to ride the whole trail.
If you have a day or two extra, try a backpacking trip, whitewater rafting, or fishing.
Although it will be a bit early for any high mountain backpacking, several excellent low elevation backpacks should be possible:
- Selway River. Hike up the Selway River from Selway Falls. Pleasant walking along a Wild and Scenic River in the heart of the Selway Bitteroot Wilderness. Can hike out and back, or if a car shuttle can be arranged (depends on snowpack), can extend this into a one way hike through the wilderness to Paradise Ranger Station on the Montana side, taking anywhere between 3-6 days.
- Wenaha River. Hike up the Wenaha River into the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. Best for an overnight as this is limited to an out and back.
- Rapid River. Another hike up a wild and scenic river bordering the Seven Devils Wilderness. Best for an overnight as this is limited to an out and back
- Chinook Salmon. Depending on the run, the meetings may well coincide with a salmon season. The fish that return to the Clearwater (35 minutes from campus) and Salmon (2.5 hours from campus) Rivers range from 12-40 pounds. They're best pursued from a boat and several licensed outfitters charter half or full day trips.
- Trout. Northern Idaho has the best fishing for westslope cutthroat trout in the world. However, fishing for these beautiful fish in June is entirely dependent on run-off and wintersnow pack. If the snowpack is below average this winter, fishing will be excellent just after the meetings on the St. Joe, Lochsa, and North Fork of the Clearwater. These are all ca. 3 hrs from campus. Regardless of snowpack, several lakes in eastern Washington fish well through June, primarily for rainbows, but some have large brown trout as well. Float tubes were invented for fishing some of these lakes, which may require hiking > 1 km to reach.
- Smallmouth Bass. Dworshak Reservoir (1.5 hrs from campus) and the Snake River reservoir provide world-class fishing for smallmouth bass. The meetings may coincide with the spawning season, which can provide opportunities to catch several fish over 35 cm.
- Sturgeon. Catch-and-release fishing for gigantic sturgeon (> 3 meters!) is available in Hells Canyon if flows are low enough. Even in late spring/early summer, sturgeon fishing is available below Lower Granite Dam. Sturgeon fishing pretty much requires an outfitter (unless you have your own boat).
Single-Day Roadside Rivers
These rivers offer great opportunities for a day float or paddle and are all within an easy 2-3 hour drive of Moscow. No permits required for day use. Information on each of these rivers is available through American Whitewater. There are lots of outfitters who take parties down these runs, and who will provide a wetsuit and lunch. Alternatively, Beamers Hells Canyon Tours offers a variety of all-day and half-day cruises and float trips.
- Lochsa River (3 hour drive from Moscow)
- Main Salmon (Riggins area; 3 hour drive from Moscow)
- Lower Selway River (Selway Falls to Lowell; 2.5 hour drive from Moscow)
Multi-Day Wilderness Rivers
Permit Required (Lottery opens December 1): The four rivers below all offer world class whitewater in the heart of the Idaho wilderness. For private party launches these rivers require a permit issued through the Forest Service lottery system. Information on the lottery is available from the U.S. Forest Service. If you don’t win the lottery or want to be guided down one of these rivers, a list of outfitters and guides is available through the State of Idaho.
- Middle Fork of the Salmon
- Selway River (Paradise to Selway Falls)
- Main Salmon (Corn Creek to Vinegar Creek)
- Hells Canyon (Hells Canyon Dam to Pittsburgh Landing)
Permit Required (Self-Serve): Two rivers offer the opportunity to experience Idaho’s wilderness whitewater without the hassle of the lottery. Although both parallel roads at some points along their lengths, for the most part they offer great opportunities for wilderness floating/paddling. Information on the Grande Ronde is available from the U.S. Forest Service, and information on the Main Salmon is available from American Whitewater.
- Grande Ronde (Multiple possible launch and landing sites)
- Main Salmon (Hammer Bar to Snake River confluence)