Hiking & Backpacking

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Gear Love

Forget about that special someone – let’s focus on that special something! We all have the pieces of gear we love above the rest. Things that keep you warm, safe, and comfortable. Take a moment to think about that piece of equipment you just couldn’t live without, and enjoy these love letters written by Mountaineers to gear they adore the most. Read more…

Preparing for the Worst: A Chaplain’s Perspective

On August 14, 2018, I received the phone call. A climber had died, and my mountaineering friend had just gotten the news. He needed assistance with what to do next. In seven years as an emergency services chaplain, I’ve lost count of how many death notifications I’ve given, and I was the right person for my friend to call. Only, when I realized that the climber he was talking about was Stephen Kornbluth, my best friend and “mountain husband,” I felt my world shatter into a million pieces. None of my experience had prepared me for this moment. Read more…

Did You Know? Washington's Wildflowers

We know spring has arrived in the northwest when the crocuses worm their violet heads and long green bodies out of the dirt every March, a harbinger of brighter days. Our walks to work and school are dotted by blasting spring rains, and hikers slowly start to fill the trails again as snow melts and our forests become plump with moss and ferns. Read more…

Backpack in the Patagonian Summer - In February 2021

Backpack for eight days far off the beaten track across the Andes through Argentina’s 'Switzerland'. Join us to explore  Nahuel Huapi National Park in northern Patagonia as part of a Mountaineers Global Adventures trip in Feburary 2021. It'll be winter here, but you can enjoy the sunshine of the summer in the southern hemisphere! Read more…

Hit the Trail With a Day Hiking Course - Begins March 30

With spring around the corner, we want to help you get ready to hit the trail with the Olympia Branch's new Day Hiking Course! Are you new to hiking, or haven't been out in a while? Do you wonder about gear, clothing, or backpack weight? Want to get better acquainted with our local area? This course is for you!  Read more…

Adventure Wellness Weekend at Meany Lodge: June 5-7

The Mountaineers would like to welcome you to our first annual Adventure Wellness Weekend! Sponsored by the Foothills Branch Trail Running Committee and located at Meany Lodge, the weekend hosts a multitude of activities designed to allow participants to experience nature in a new way. You can forage for wild plants to eat or grow at home, hike at night, try yoga in natural settings, and more! Read more…

Trip Report: Shi Shi Beach

Four friends and I set out to enjoy the beach for a two night backpack adventure at Shi Shi Beach. We drove up from Olympia to Port Angeles on US-101 to pick up our overnight permits at the Wilderness Information Center (WIC) on East Park Avenue. From there we continued on US-101 to the junction of SR-112, taking it towards Neah Bay. 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…

Zion National Park's Must-See Sights & Activities

While much of Zion’s scenery is best viewed on foot, there are a number of must-see destinations that visitors can enjoy with only a modest amount of walking. Of course, nobody can talk about “must-see” activities in Zion without mentioning its two most famous hikes—Angels Landing and The Narrows. This list will give you a sense of how to prioritize your agenda for a first-time visit while also giving you ideas for subsequent visits. Read more…

Introducing the GoHike Beginner Hiking Series: Realize Your Dream to Start Hiking

Hiking is both calming and energizing. It’s a way to connect with nature, and build community with new people. We'd love to help you make 2020 your year to start a lifetime of hiking, with a compatible and fun community of people and low-stress easy hikes at a social pace, in one of the loveliest places in the world to do it!    Read more…