Hiking & Backpacking

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Trail Talk: Peril in the Pyrenees

I had hiked the route from the Col de Tentes over the 7,450- foot Port de Boucharo, straddling the French and Spanish border to the medieval town of Torla in Aragon, a half dozen times. It was one of my favorite hikes to bring folks along on when I worked as a hiking guide in the Pyrenees for Portland-based Mountain Hiking Holidays. I loved looking for edelweiss, pointing out izards (a chamois native to the Pyrenees), explaining the fascinating history of the route (used by pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago and refugees during the Spanish Civil War), and highlighting so many other facets of this fascinating route to the folks I was guiding. Read more…

Bird and Hike the Cloud Forests of Western Panama - Apr 15-26, 2020

Our Global Adventures Committee leads exciting trips around the world every year to help you get outside while playing and learning in a new place. Registration is now open now for a birding and hiking trip through the Cloud Forests of Western Panama from April 15-26, 2020. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - Fall 2019

What better time to look back on your autumn adventures than when you're waiting for winter to arrive? Soon, snow will cover all of your favorite ski hills, the streets of the Pacific Northwest will be full of colorful down jackets and rain shells (if that hasn't already happened), and one single snowstorm will slow roads down for longer than is reasonable.  Read more…

Mountaineers Backpacking Courses for 2020

Backpacking season will be upon us before we know it, and we have more options than ever to help you kick-start your backcountry dreams. Courses are available for adults at all skill and experience levels, as well as for families who want to take kids out on the trail. And, you're welcome to take a course with any branch regardless of your branch affiliation. Be sure to sign up for courses while you can, they fill up quickly!   Read more…

Wanted: Your Stories of Extraordinary Walks in the Wild

In 2017, our Seattle and Foothills Hiking Committees jointly launched a new adventure presentation series to celebrate extraordinary trekking and backpacking adventures  in the wilds of the world. Three years and 12 well-attended presentations later, our audiences have seen amazing photos, heard incredible stories, and learned how to plan their own adventures to international trekking and backpacking destinations  from other Mountaineers members. And we're looking for more Mountaineers to volunteer to share their stories! Read more…

Did You Know? Ape Canyon Trail

Our hike this month takes us to Mt. St. Helens’ Ape Canyon trail. The trail takes its name from Sasquatch sightings back in the early 1920s. Not only is the trail rich in local folklore and legend, but geological history as well. Hiking up to the Loowit trail you can view the geological history of Mt. St. Helens. The hike follows an ancient lahar debris flow on one side of the ridge and the Ape Canyon on the other side, and views of both can be glimpsed through the trees. Read more…

Thank you Foothills Volunteers!

Foothills is the fastest-growing branch in The Mountaineers, and it's thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of our many wonderful volunteers. Without you, we wouldn't be able to hold the many courses, activities, and events that we offer. For that we would like to thank and recognize a group of volunteers that recently made a difference in the lives of our students and helped us get outside!  Read more…

Rebuilding History & Hearts

"What are those?” I asked, pointing to the four hikers who had pulled off the trail to don microspikes and crampons. It was a frigid, late Saturday in February 2015 on Mount Pilchuck. At this point in my outdoor career I was a sport climber, a casual hiker (at best), and had only backpacked a handful of times. You can imagine my reaction to seeing people take these grizzly-bear like claws from their packs and attach them to their boots. Read more…

Top Nature Hikes in Tacoma

You may not immediately look to Washington’s third largest city for a walk in the wild. So be prepared to have Tacoma surprise you. Within the hustle and bustle of this metropolitan area are some large natural areas laced with excellent trails that invite walkers, hikers, and runners of all ages and abilities to explore and be wooed. So no need to head to the backcountry this weekend if you're looking for a great place to do an all-day hike, long run, or get-back-to-nature stroll. Check out these three urban wildernesses in and near the City of Destiny from my new book Urban Trails: Tacoma instead.  Read more…

Armchair Adventures For Fall

It's that time of year when the mercury plummets, the rains arrive, and we want to wrap ourselves in a warm blanket and cozy up with a book. But that doesn't mean we're going to stop exploring! How does traveling Italy by bike, venturing into the Alaskan wilderness to photograph wildlife, or joining the thru-hiking community on the Appalachian Trail sound? How about making a ground-breaking ascent of Mount Everest via the West Ridge, becoming the first North American woman to do so? All this and more is available for your reading pleasure, so settle in, pour yourself a hot beverage, and enjoy our armchair adventure recommendations. Read more…