Molson Loop

Old Molson, Washington

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This bucolic cruise goes up to the Canadian border, passing a number of historic features: Old Molson, where locals preserve a cluster of historic buildings; the Molson School (1914-1962); the site of bygone Sidley, British Columbia; and old railroad grades and road cuts that recall the days when smoke, steam and whistles filled the highland air and Molson had Washington’s highest railroad depot (3,708 feet). You will gaze across a broad upland that once lay beneath a continental ice sheet. Geologists theorize that this was once the Okanogan micro-continent, a fragment of the Pangaea supercontinent that broke apart 200 million years ago. North America’s former western shore lies to the east, where the Columbia River now flows. About 100 million years ago, the eastward-moving Okanogan micro-continent collided with the westward-moving North American continent, beginning the assembling of Washington and British Columbia. Then some 50 million years ago, the eastward-moving North Cascades micro-continent collided with the western edge of the Okanogan micro-continent, at today’s Okanogan Valley. Half of it is paved. The rest is gravel.
Washington Byways

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Washington Byways

by Tony Huegel (Wilderness Press)

This bucolic cruise goes up to the Canadian border, passing a number of historic features: Old Molson, where locals preserve a cluster of historic buildings; the Molson School (1914-1962); the site of bygone Sidley, British Columbia; and old railroad grades and road cuts that recall the days when smoke, steam and whistles filled the highland air and Molson had Washington’s highest railroad depot (3,708 feet). You will gaze across a broad upland that once lay beneath a continental ice sheet. Geologists theorize that this was once the Okanogan micro-continent, a fragment of the Pangaea supercontinent that broke apart 200 million years ago.

North America’s former western shore lies to the east, where the Columbia River now flows. About 100 million years ago, the eastward-moving Okanogan micro-continent collided with the westward-moving North American continent, beginning the assembling of Washington and British Columbia. Then some 50 million years ago, the eastward-moving North Cascades micro-continent collided with the western edge of the Okanogan micro-continent, at today’s Okanogan Valley. Half of it is paved. The rest is gravel.

©  Tony Huegel/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Old Molson
Distance: 15.8
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 1 hour
Local Contacts: Okanogan County Historical Society
Local Maps: Washington Road & Recreation Atlas; AAA Oregon & Washington
Topo Map: Molson Loop Topographic Map
Guide Book: Washington Byways Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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