Hiking & Backpacking

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Trip Report: Angels Landing in Zion National Park

Zion is a national treasure that begs to be explored. It is not only famous for its many hiking trails, including the most dangerous, Angels Landing, but for the milky green Virgin River that shapes what we see today. Read more…

What Are The Ten Essentials?

The Mountaineers Ten Essentials™ dates back to our climbing courses of the 1930s. This widely respected safety and packing system was formalized in the third edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, released in 1974. Each of the nine editions of Freedom, as it is affectionately known, was written entirely by volunteers and reflects the collective wisdom of hundreds of outdoor skills instructors. The list has always sought to answer two basic questions: Read more…

Trail Talk | Revelations After More than 30,000 Miles on the Trail

As an outdoors writer and guidebook author, former backcountry ranger in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, former mountain guide in the Spanish and French Pyrenees, and dedicated adventurer, I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the trail. It totals more than 30,000 miles hiking and backpacking, and who knows how many miles running. I’ve hiked on trails from Nova Scotia to Florida, Alaska to Argentina, and in Europe and Asia. I’ve seen a lot of spectacular natural places. And I’ve learned quite a bit along the way — some trivial, some life changing — about nature, humanity, and myself. In a stream of consciousness (just as my mind works while I’m hiking), here are a few of the things I’ve learned while putting thousands of miles on the trail: Read more…

How To: Entertain Kids While Hiking & Backpacking

Backpacking with kids is an exciting and eye-opening experience for both parents and children. Sharing the love of nature, exploration, and adventure is special, but not always the easiest thing to get kids exited about. These activity ideas will help you have a great time the next time you head into the backcountry with kids. Read more…

How To: See Golden Larches This Fall

Crisp days and bright fall foliage call hikers out onto the trails each autumn, but few trees draw crowds like our much-loved larches. Located primarily on the sunny eastern slopes of the Cascades, larches are deciduous conifers whose needles turn a rich gold each year. Their stout frames and bristling branches dot hillsides with color each October, and make alpine scenes all the more magical. Read on to learn more about these unique trees and the best hikes to spy them on. Read more…

Trip Report: Lake Ingalls

Lake Ingalls in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is one of the most striking hikes for fall foliage. In fact, this area is stunning no matter what time of the year you go. In the spring the blooming flowers make a striking contrast against the craggy mountains, and in the fall the huckleberries are ripe, juicy, and delicious. Do not wait to hike this trail! Read more…

Leave No Trace Tips for New Hikers

Hiking is a wonderful way to get outside, stretch your legs, and see the best of what the Northwest has to offer. However, it’s important to be mindful of the impacts that we can have on our public lands by doing our best to keep the places we visit wild and pristine. Read more…

Life as a Trail Angel: The Reality of 1200 Houseguests

You quit your job, sublet your apartment, and sold your car. Standing on the curb at the San Diego airport, everything you know has been left behind. There’s just you and your backpack, and a dream so big you wonder again: Will it fit that five-month hole I’ve carved out of my life? You’re looking for a yellow pompom. Just like more than 6,000 others before you. Read more…

The Olympic Mountain Project

I always wondered what it would feel like to be in snow in the middle of August. Read more…

Trip Report: Mt. Rainier: Sunrise, Sourdough Ridge, and More

Mt. Rainier’s Yakima Park, aka Sunrise, is the highest drive-able point in the national park at 6,400 ft. Sunrise is second to Paradise when it comes to popularity, but Sunrise offers a drier, sunnier climate, impressive views, and plenty of opportunity for adventure. Read more…