Hiking & Backpacking

Hiking & Backpacking

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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…

Top 5 Trip Reports - September 2018

Fall is here, which means lots of transitions between t-shirts and raincoats - don't forget your layers, folks! Although our Washington weather can be fickle at this time of year, when you get a  crisp autumn day perfect for an outdoor adventure, it's well worth it. We hope you're able to get out there and enjoy the season before it's time to  start strapping on skis, snowshoes, and snowboards. 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…

Trip Report: Hiking in the Mist

Dense fog concealed the subalpine meadow in an eerie white veil. Water dripped from the firs and cedars, and our pant legs were soaked from touching the grass, lupines, and mountain hemlocks. Only a hundred feet in front of me, my friend, Laurie, began to disappear into the white. Waves of heavier mist drifted across the field and lasted for just a few minutes before passing. Every snap of a stick in the surrounding forest would cause us to stop and look. Spray Park is well known for its black bears, and we didn’t want to meet one in a cloud. Read more…

MountainLove | Sharon Dietrich and Chuck Potter

In each issue of Mountaineer magazine, we feature two lovebirds who met through The Mountaineers and share a passion of the outdoors. In this column, we interview Sharon Dietrich on her 37-year marriage with Chuck Potter, after meeting on a hike in 1978.  Read more…

Vibram Sole Factor Tour Partners with The Mountaineers

Your feet take you places, and as a result you probably have more than a few pairs of well-loved shoes and sandals. We think it's time you give them the makeover they deserve! In honor of our weeklong K2 celebration, Vibram is bringing The Sole Factor Tour to Seattle to bring your old kicks back to life. Their team of specialized cobblers are resoling shoes for only $25 – all of which is donated directly to The Mountaineers in support of our outdoor education and conservation programs. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - August 2018

With the fires burning around Washington this past month, it’s been a pretty hazy August. Luckily, that didn’t seem to stop you from getting outside! And even better, it didn’t stop you from writing more than a few fantastic trip reports.   Read more…

How To: Hike Healthy As You Age

On Monday, August 13, 2018, I attended a free presentation at REI by Dr. Michael Domingo, DPT, OCS entitled "Exercises for Healthy Hiking". I learned a lot about how to stay active in the outdoors as you enter your 'wiser years', and with Dr. Domingo's permission I want to share those tips with you. Read more…

Urban Speed Hiking With Liz Thomas

With the sun about to kiss the horizon, Liz Thomas, trail name: “Snorkel,” has places to go and needs the last rays of the day to illuminate her path. She is ascending and descending steps in Seattle, one of the hilliest and most publicly staircased cities in the country. This is not a task to be executed, at her pace, in complete darkness. Read more…

Did You Know? Ozette Loop

The Ozette Loop, often referred to as the Ozette Triangle, is located on the Olympic Peninsula and offers spectacular coastal scenery. Ozette is the ancestral home of the Makah, and the site of a world-famous archaeological discovery. Here are some ways you can enjoy the hike and learn more about Makah culture. Read more…

Wildfire

In Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Station 8, journalist and author Heather Hansen embeds with Boulder, Colorado's Station 8 fire crew and follows them through an entire season. From these professionals, she learns what it takes to protect us from these ever more frequent conflagrations. She also interviews those who study these fires to report the reasons for them and how we can do a better job of mitigating their destruction. Following is an excerpt from Heather's book. Read more…

Secret Rainier: Goat Island Mountain

Many of the 100 peaks in Mount Rainier National Park are seldom visited and we believe under appreciated. In this sense they are “secrets” and worthy of being featured in this series. In this chapter of Secret Rainier we describe Goat Island Mountain, one of our favorite scrambles. Notable are the views of Little Tahoma looming above Rainier. It’s is a super summer scramble and a great destination to plan for in the midst of winter. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - July 2018

Picking the best 10 trip reports from an entire month of Mountaineers activities and courses isn't easy. Especially when that month is July. Mountaineers are out adventuring, and seemingly, only pause between trips when it's time to report on them.  Read more…

Did You Know? Mt. Skokomish Wilderness

With its steep and rugged trail systems and its proximity to Olympia, the Mt. Skokomish Wilderness is a great training ground for the locals. It's not just for locals though - many of its mountains and trails are well worth traveling to visit.  Read more…

Three Best Stroller-Accessible Hikes in Western Washington

We sat down with Susan Elderkin to find out her favorite area hikes for young children from her new book Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington. The following are kid-tested and kid-approved, to help you get your kids out and exploring nature at any age! Read more…

Olympia Branch Hiking and Backpacking Set For A Great Summer

Welcome to summer and all that it entails! At the Olympia Hiking & Backpacking committee, we've been very busy gearing up for summer. Learn what's new and say hello to Monty Pratt (pictured above, left), our newest committee member! Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Bernadette Lamarca

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Bernadette Lamarca, a volunteer leader with the Everett Branch who was hooked on The Mountaineers after three hikes ... and one fortuitous piece of chocolate! Read more…

Peak Fitness: Preventing Stiffness Post Outings

Imagine returning to the car after hiking double-digit miles into triple-digit temperatures, finally pitching your heavy pack into the back of the car. Before you take off to the local pub that serves nachos, pizza, and beer, consider how you’ll feel after an hour or more in the car.  Read more…

Volunteers Needed - Youth Trip to Squamish June 29-July 8

Calling all qualified Mountaineers volunteers for the raddest, most fun volunteer opportunity EVER! The Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC) for teens ages 14-18 takes a ten-day long climbing/hiking/backpacking/car camping trip each summer, alternating between the North Cascades and Squamish. This summer we're heading to Squamish from Friday, June 29-Sunday, July 8. We need your help for as many of those das as you're available! Read more…

The Many Acronyms of the PCT + How to Hike Your Own Hike

There ain’t no party like an acronym party, and the PCT is chock full of them. Let’s learn! Read more…

Top Three Tips for Hiking with Kids

Some kids love hiking; others would rather stay home and read a book (I have one of each). Once my unenthusiastic hiker is actually on the trail, his attitude usually improves, thanks to some of the tricks I’ve learned over the years: Read more…

Best Waterfalls in Northern California’s Cascades

Northern California is home to the southern reaches of the California Cascades, and this rugged volcanic landscape contains some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the western United States. Here are four of my favorites that are featured in my hiking guidebooks, all linked by CA Highway 89: Read more…

Dealing with Bears 101

For hikers, Montana is close to heaven. Thousands of miles of trails lead to scenic mountain lakes, wildflower-covered meadows, and dramatic viewpoints. All winter long (and our winters are really long) Montanans eagerly await the snowmelt when we can once again head for our beloved backcountry. But the melting snows also signal the time when our state’s famous bruins awaken, looking to replenish the fat layer lost during their winter sleep. We humans typically have the opposite seasonal timing on fat layers – another excellent reason to hit the trails. Read more…

Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California + More - May 22

Ever thought about backpacking sections of the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California? Philip Kramer, author of the new book Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California (Mountaineers Books, 2018) shares key information in this wide-ranging interview. Read more…

Five Things You Didn't Know About Fire Lookouts

You may have hiked to a couple fire lookouts already, sweating your way up a steep trail until you reach an historic wooden cabin perched on a mountaintop. But here are a few things you might not know about lookouts as hiking destinations. Read more…

How To: Lightweight Food Packing & Preparation

Few subjects cause so much hesitation on the part of new backpackers as trail food! How much do I need? What kinds should I pack? The questions are endless, and luckily we have a few tips to help you stay happy and well fed on the trail! Read more…

A non-cook impresses friends with this Dirty Gourmet Trail Brittle

I've lived a charmed life, insofar as I like to eat and have a spouse who loves to cook. I'll gladly wash dishes as my part of this bargain, a chore I've managed with a moderate degree of competence. That said, I was intrigued by a recipe in Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures, a new cookbook from Mountaineers Books. Read more…