Best of the West: New National Trails map, Montana earthquake, high altitude discovery

The West

It’s hiking season and across the West outdoor enthusiasts are hitting the trail. High Country News has done an interesting story about the National Trails System and created a map to illustrate where the extensive routes, many based on historic pilgrimages and exploratory expeditions, crisscross the region.

The trail with the highest overall elevation, the Continental Divide Trail, tops out at 14,270 feet on Grays Peak in Colorado. The oldest in the West, the Pacific Crest Trail, runs through California, Oregon and Washington. Read more about the National Trail Systems Act and view a map.  

High-Altitude Discovery: University of Wyoming researchers have found evidence that humans thrived in challenging, high-altitude environments earlier than previously thought. The team made a discovery in the Andes of Peru that indicates people lived at high elevations year-round, rather than periodically travelling up and down the 13,000-foot peaks. Learn what they found.

Treasure State Temblor: An earthquake struck western Montana on Thursday (July 6) and could be felt hundreds of miles from its epicenter of Lincoln. The 5.8 magnitude quake was the strongest to hit the region since 2005, when a 5.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded. Surprised residents were woken from their sleep, but no injuries have been reported.  

Strange Catch: Tropical, spineless sea-creatures typically found along the equator have been found in Alaskan waters, to the puzzlement of scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The organisms, which resemble pink thimbles or tubes, have also been found off the coasts of Oregon and Washington since 2014.

Annual Meeting Reporting: Last week's Annual Meeting in Whitefish, hosted by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, generated a number of stories. Read Conrad Anker's advice on how climbing can inspire collaboration, watch a TV report on resolutions approved, and learn about actor Jeff Bridges' conversation with the Governors on ending childhood hunger.

Get more news about the West and its governors by following the Western Governors' Association on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.


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