Hiking & Backpacking

All posts

Three Easy Hikes to Enjoy in Joshua Tree National Park

Featuring stunning, easy hikes to explore three distinct regions of Joshua Tree National Park (Lost Horse Valley, Queen Valley, and Pinto Basin), the following is excerpted from Scott Turner's Hike the Parks: Joshua Tree National ParkExcerpt edited for space and clarity. Read more…

Stories from the Cloud Forest of Western Panama

Keow-kowee keow k’loo keow k’loo keeloo came from right over our heads, making us stop abruptly. Jeffrey, my hiking companion, whispered, "Quetzal, courtship." My head was already crunched all the way back so I could stare directly into the canopy of this tropical forest. Resplendent Quetzals were in courtship. The male flew from one branch to another, his long tail waving behind him; the female also was moving back and forth, twigs swaying with her activity. My parabolic reflector pointed right at them, I was capturing their courtship on my sound recorder. Read more…

Exploring Swift Creek and the Lake Ann Trail at Mount Baker

"See that ledge that runs to the right from Lower Curtis Glacier?” Stewart pointed to the far slope behind him. “That is the intersection of two terranes. Shuksan greenschist is above the line, and Darrington phyllite is below it. A thrust fault runs between them." Stewart (his geology training evident), stood in front of us, pointing at diagrams in his notebook and then the cliff. We had stopped for lunch near Lake Ann. I stood off to the side, letting him talk. He teaches several courses for The Mountaineers, and I’d hoped he’d come on my trip. He could master this geology that I’d found so confusing. We’d seen so much thanks to him. Read more…

Did You Know? Teely Creek Trail

The Teely Creek trail has much to offer hikers: fishing, camping, swimming, geocaching, and a relaxing atmosphere amidst an old growth forest. Read on to learn more about this incredible area, and how you can make the most of your trip if you decide to explore the trail.  Read more…

Gnar Face: A Slip on Aasgard Pass

Our blog series Gnar Face documents the funny, painful, and unfortunate things we’ve done to ourselves in the outdoors. In this edition, we hear from Communications Associate Hailey Oppelt about poor planning on Aasgard Pass. Take a look at the last edition of Gnar Face for more tails of woe and misery. Read more…

Mount Rainier Infinity Loop: Bringing a Vision to Life

“You’re doing what?!” I gasped. It was a typical Monday evening in July and we were sitting at the Elliot Bay Brewery for the launch party of The Mountaineers first peer-to-peer adventure based fundraising campaign, Our Parks | Your Adventure. Being the year of the National Park Centennial, we hoped our campaign would inspire individuals to seek an adventure of their choosing in a National Park while fundraising for The Mountaineers youth programs. Read more…

Trail Tails: Gumbo

Trail Tails is a special feature showcasing the mutts of The Mountaineers! This month we recognize Gumbo, owned by Mountaineer Chi Tran.  Read more…

Peak Fitness | Gamify Your Hikes: Making Family Adventures Fun for Everyone

Our twelve-year-old daughter loves to pester us with, “Are we there yet?”, “How much longer?” and “Can we take a break?” when we go on hikes. The solution? Bring a friend her age. If that strategy fails, we try to include a cool distraction like having a scavenger hunt, finding a geocache, playing in a snow patch, or identifying birds or plants. I recently stumbled on another technique you can add to your repertoire of distractions that can also work great on your pack carrying workouts. I call it “Gamify.” All it requires is a pair of dice and some creativity. Read more…

Last Word | The Wilderness Act at 50

My wife and I hiked up to Rachel Lake last week. The hike hurt. I felt old. But what a glorious way to pain — a stroll through an incredible old growth forest, then a scramble up a steep hillside to a beautiful mountain lake in the amazing Alpine Lakes Wilderness. What a gift it is, to be able to hike through wilderness, just an hour or so from the urban core. Read more…