MEAD, Wash. - A Northwest summer tradition in full swing and its good news for berry hunters; rangers with Mount Spokane State Park say this has been the best season for huckleberry picking in years.
One month in to huckleberry picking season, with up to 100 pickers each weekend, Nathan May with Washington State Parks said, “there's still tons of huckleberries to be picked.”
Rangers say your best bet at a big haul lies along the cross country ski trails.
“There's a service road that goes all the way down the mountain and those cross country ski road are littered,” said May. “You can pretty much walk all the way down and still find huckleberries; even in areas that are relatively picked already.
Rangers and pickers are even finding huckleberries pop up in places they never been found before....you just may have to go off the beaten path to find them.
The only place pickers haven't had much luck is in areas with direct sunlight. as the extreme heat has hurt the bushes.
Kathy Grier has gone huckleberry picking twice already this season. Last weekend she headed to higher elevations and says she could sit on the ground and fill a quarter of a bag easily. Today she and her friends decided to head off the trails and it paid off.
“We found a few spots the further we went in as opposed to the side of the road. Lots of good, lush berries,” said Grier.
She's still unsure what she wants to do with all of her huckleberries.... But it seems her friend Hilda Lofti has the best idea.
“Just to have them fresh! It's yummy,” said Lofti.
Rangers say there have been no bear sightings but advise all pickers to bring bear spray just in case.