Hiking & Backpacking

All posts

Walking to the End of the World

The following is excerpted from Walking to the End of the World:  A Thousand Miles on the Camino De Santiago, Beth Jusino.

I climbed the narrow stairs to the upper level of the train, my backpack strapped over my shoulders, a bag of sandwiches clutched in my hand, and my husband a few steps behind me. The car was empty as I settled into a forward-facing seat, feeling smug. Everything was going exactly as planned. Read more…

Global Adventures | We Aren’t in Kansas Anymore: Trekking in Tasmania

Perhaps it was the splash of the shy platypus as it swam away after a close encounter with us on the trail, or the snarl of Tasmanian devils feeding on carcasses and biting each other at a sanctuary near the start of our trek. Or maybe it was the zzzzzzzzip of a big, black currawong bird unzipping a backpack and helping itself to the snacks in our backpacks, or the THUMP of the Bennett’s wallaby jumping away with a joey in her pouch as we watched from our hut. One thing was certain: we weren’t in Kansas anymore. Read more…

Low-Trash Backpacking

Backpacking is popular for good reason – it provides isolation, time away from the stresses of work and home, and a window into the natural world. However, there is one element of backpacking that’s incongruent with its value set: the amount of trash produced. Read more…

Backpacking Blunder: Headlamp-less in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

When my fiancé Chelsea and I moved to Seattle, we were thrilled to enjoy the amazing hiking and backpacking opportunities the Pacific Northwest has to offer. We decided to explore the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, having purchased the map shortly after moving. Our plan was to start near Stevens Pass, ascend along Surprise Creek, then join up with the Pacific Crest Trail to Deception Pass. We would then head up to either Marmot or Jade Lakes to camp. Read more…

Trail Talk | Morning on Mount Bonaparte

Eastern Washington’s third highest summit, 7,257-foot Mount Bonaparte rises all alone in the Okanogan Highlands. Bonaparte is a monadnock (also known as an inselberg) — a geological term taken from Mount Monadnock, a popular southern New Hampshire mountain memorialized by 19th century writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The word monadnock is of Abenaki origin translating to isolated mountain. Monadnocks are lone isolated mountains standing above their surroundings. They have fared better than their environs in surviving the agents of erosion. Broad lofty Mount Bonaparte indeed stands alone, and with a 3,500-foot prominence, is distinguishable from quite a distance away. Read more…

10 years, Two Boots, and Countless Miles: A Wonderland Trail Adventure

The Thursday before Labor Day weekend, my friend Tia called me with a Wonderland Trail permit in-hand and asked if I wanted to join. Without hesitation, I responded the only way I could: “YES!” Read more…

Did You Know? South Point Lookout Trail #123

South Point Lookout Trail #123 is located in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The path used to lead to a fire lookout, which was established in the 1920s and dismantled in 1972. Read more…

Five Favorite Places in Seattle to Hike or Run

Thanks to an incredible landscape, the foresight of early city planners to build a world class park system, a government that values trails, and an active population engaged in a healthy outdoors lifestyle, when it comes to urban trails, Seattle is topnotch. The city’s park system contains a wide array of trails that traverse nature preserves, old-growth forests, historic districts, lake and Puget Sound shoreline, and vibrant neighborhoods. There are hundreds of miles of them, giving you many reasons to never leave the city when it comes to seeking excellent outdoor adventures.  Read more…

New Youth Gear Library Opens Outdoors for Broader Community

Thanks to support from hundreds of people and partners, we're excited to launch our new Mountaineers Gear Lending Library and leader training programs. As we seek to continue to engage future Mountaineers, expand our youth programs, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors, this resource will make the outdoors more accessible to all outdoor enthusiasts. Read more…

Trip Report: Lake Ann in the Rain

The rain came steadily through the mountain hemlocks as my group huddled under an overhanging branch. Misty waves of water had been passing through this forest for the last half hour, but distant thunder was what caused us to pause. Raincoats and hats dripped. Read more…