Hiking & Backpacking

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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…

Secret Rainier | Huckleberry Creek Trail

Mount Rainier National Park (MRNP) is filled with glorious places to visit. Its visitors justifiably flock to the well-known destinations: Sunrise, Paradise, Camp Muir, Summerland, Spray Park and Comet Falls to name just a handful. But there are dozens of other wonderful places — less well known and perhaps a bit more difficult to find — that have a beauty all their own. Longtime Mountaineers trip leaders, Gene Yore and Mickey Eisenberg, call these places “Our Secret Rainier.” This is the sixth of a periodic installment from Gene and Mickey on these gems in the park.  Read more…

Trip Report: Mima Mounds Preserve Trail

The word "Mima" in Mima Mounds is derived from a Native American language meaning “a little further along” or “downstream.” Modern scientists argue about what causes these unusual land formations, but what I find fascinating is that the Mima Mounds are not unique; mounded forms are found across the United States. In California they're called “HogWallow Mounds,” and New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming have “prairie mounds.” In the Northern Great Plains they're known as “Pimple Mounds.” Read more…

Raising Adventurous Kids: How We Survived the Early Years

The fourth time my 6-year-old fell down on the muddy trail and screamed like there was no tomorrow, I thought, “hmmm… maybe we should turn back.” Then I figured he’ll be fine - it’s all part of getting outside. To be fair, he kept falling because he was wearing his mom’s (giant for him) rain boots, because he’d forgotten his own boots. He also forgot his shoes, and we didn’t drive an hour to not go for a hike because our kid forgot his boots when we had a perfectly good pair of rain boots in the car. Lesson learned: double-check footwear for all family members. See also: socks, pants, gloves, hats… you get the idea. Read more…

Trail Tails: Oliver

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

Secret Rainier | Bald Rock

Bald Rock is infrequently visited but it makes for a lovely
forest hike with great views of Rainier and Little Tahoma.
The peak is named for it smooth treeless summit. Read more…

Did You Know: Steamboat Rock State Park

Steamboat rock is composed of Miocene Columbia River basalts, and sits 800ft above the desert floor. This monolithic basaltic rock overlies a much older intrusive igneous rock, and it sits in the channeled scablands in Eastern Washington, known as the Grand Coulee. Hiking the trail towards this magnificent rock you are walking on a soft, deep, sandy trail reminiscent of the beach. Steamboat Rock sits on a sand dune, a remnant from the past massive floods. Read more…

My Covid-19 Experience

On February 26, 2020, I hopped on a plane and flew to Australia. I was a tad nervous about the flights because of the news I kept hearing about a new coronavirus, but I also heard that Australia had stopped all flights departing from China and southeast Asia. International travel was not yet restricted, and at the time there was no reason to delay my trip. Little did I know what was in store for me. Read more…

Backcountry Hygiene 101: You Don't Have to Smell Bad to Smell Better

Hello gorgeous! You - yes, you! With the messy hair, dirty legs, and that certain wilderness glow about you. You look fabulous! Read more…

Trail Tails: El'Bug

Trail Tails is a special feature showcasing the mutts of The Mountaineers! This month we recognize El'Bug, owned by Mountaineer Kate Tegeler.  Read more…