Hiking & Backpacking

Hiking & Backpacking

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Conservation Currents | Bring Leave No Trace Home

I had a light bulb moment this summer when I got back from a backpacking trip. Read more…

Olympia Hiking and Backpacking Committee Meeting – Nov 9

Join the Olympia Branch for a Hiking and Backpacking Committee meeting! This online meeting is a place for hike and backpack leaders within the branch to come together, share ideas, and get a refresher if you haven’t led any activities for a while. We will be reviewing our plans for the 2021-2022 season, providing news on the latest Mountaineers leader guidelines, and sharing experiences from the last year. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - September 2021

Leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping, and the air is feeling crisp. No matter how you decide to enjoy autumn, there’s one thing we can all agree on: We’re lucky to live in a place where fall is this awesome. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - August 2021

Unsurprisingly, August was a busy time for The Mountaineers community. From the looks of these trip reports, it’s clear that we are all reveling in the ongoing late summer weather that affords such tremendous outdoor opportunities here in the mountains and waters of the Pacific Northwest. Read more…

Trail Talk | The Best Decade Yet

No one ever thinks they’re going to get old. As Kenny Chesney reminds us - “don’t blink, because life goes by faster than you think.” And fast it goes. Read more…

Global Adventures Info Session - Nov 1

Have you ever wanted to explore the world with a group of active, capable outdoorspeople? Or are you a trip-planning master hoping to share your skills and knowledge with a group of excited participants? Join us for our upcoming Global Adventures Info Session on November 1 to learn all about our program!  Read more…

Non-Trekking Uses for Trekking Poles

The car is locked, and the keys are inside. Having already endured a 3am start, many miles of skinning in tough conditions, and a sporty ski and hike back to the car, the disappointment at not reaching Shukan’s summit is now dwarfed by the locked car doors. Facing the prospect of hiking another 10+ miles out in ski boots, we get creative. Read more…

Peak Performance | Training for Overnight Outings

You’re six weeks out from your big multi-day summer adventure. You want to be in peak condition before you go, and you have an opportunity to simulate your outing once or twice to check your preparedness and adjust your training program. Read more…

How to Pick a Backpacking Trip: Planning Your First Overnight in the Wilderness

You’ve been day hiking and are ready to have your first overnight in the wilderness, but you’re not sure where to start. Below are a few steps to take before you go to maximize your chances of having a fun, successful trip:   Read more…

Trip Report: Cape Perpetua

For our third installment of the Oregon Winter Adventure series, we take a look at Cape Perpetua and the geological marvels that it holds. Learn about this gorgeous spot along the Oregon Coast, and how to maximize your visit if you choose to head south for some seaside adventures.  Read more…

How Do You Recreate in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest? Share Your Data

Do you hike, climb, bike, hunt, picnic, or otherwise spend time outdoors in Washington? We need your help! Our partners are working to help the US Forest Service improve their data collection related to visitor use in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Information about outdoor recreation is critical for maintaining and advocating for recreational opportunities on public lands. Read more…

Trail Talk | How to Plan the Best Hike Ever: Or at least a pretty darn good one

I’ve been hiking and backpacking for more than 40 years now. Along the way I’ve learned a few things from research, the guidance of others, the trials of my own errors, and random luck. It’s not only helped make me a successful guidebook author, but a confident hiker, backpacker, and trail runner. Below are a few of my hard-earned, trail-tested tips on how to have a pretty darn good hiking adventure. Read more…

9 Ways to Explore Washington This Summer

It's officially summer in Washington and we're so lucky to live in a state full of a never-ending bucket list of things to do. We put together this list of just a few ways to explore the area and get the most out of your summer!  Read more…

Trip Report | Oregon Winter Adventure: Ecola State Park, Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach), and Hug Point

What I find fascinating about the Oregon Coast is that geological events helped shape what we see today. The Colombia River Basalt Group is a series of flood basalts similar to what is found in Hawaii, where large amounts of basalt erupt and cover an extensive area. Read more…

Introduction to Hiking Seminar - March 30

Ready to get out and explore all those amazing places you’ve seen photos of, but not sure how to get started? Join us for our virtual Introduction to Hiking seminar, which will provide you with the basic knowledge necessary to enjoy outdoor adventures in the Pacific Northwest and return home safely. Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Luis Zuniga

This month, the Foothills Mountaineers would like to recognize the contributions of Luis Zuniga! Luis is a new Mountaineer who, with his wife Karla, has developed a passion for the outdoors and all things Mountaineers. He quickly became a Foothills hike leader, is already seeking his backpack leader badge, and has volunteered to be a mentor for the Backpacking Building Blocks course. We're thrilled to have Luis on the Foothills volunteer team! Read more…

Upcoming Olympia Clinics and Seminars

It's exciting to see our courses and events opening up this year to give new members and students the experiences that we all enjoy. If you would like  to brush up on your skills and start planning your summer hikes, join Olympia Mountaineers leaders for one of our upcoming clinics or seminars. Read more…

March Releases: Mud, Rocks, Blazes & Urban Trails: Sacramento

It's new release day for two very different trail-centered titles. Mud, Rocks, Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail by Heather "Anish" Anderson is a memoir about her deeply internal yet highly physical journey on the 2,180 miles of Appalachian Trail. Urban Trails: Sacramento is a handy trail guidebook for hikers of all types wanting to explore the Sacramento, California area.  Read more…

New Year, New Activity!

It sounds like clickbait - “I rucked a mile a day for 31 days, and here’s what happened!” But I did indeed ruck at least a mile each day in January 2021. Here’s what happened. Read more…

Start your hiking life in 2021 with the GoHike Beginning Hiking series!

The GoHike: Beginning Hiking Series, opening for registration January 25, is your gateway to breaking through the hurdles that have kept you from realizing your hiking dreams! Join a compatible, low-pressure community that lets you start from where you are. Read more…

Backpackers' Pajama Parties Back by Popular Demand

We're back! The Foothills Backpacking Committee's Backpackers' Pajama Parties helped many of us stay sane during the early days of quarantine, and many of you have told us you want more. We're happy to announce our 2021 lineup, sure to keep you entertained while we wait for the summer season to arrive. Read more…

Backpacking Courses Spring 2021

Although we’re still in the heart of winter, it won’t be too long before the skies begin to lighten and we’re planning our spring and summer adventures. Get a head-start on your summer plans now by signing up for one of our upcoming introduction to backpacking courses, an excellent way to develop your skills and confidence on the trails before heading out on your first over-night or multi-night trip. Read more…

Trip Report: Windy Ridge at Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens is an exciting place to explore; a true-to-life science experiment, fun for both children and adults alike. My hiking partner and I decided to hike and explore the seldom traveled Windy Ridge Side of Mt. St. Helens. Here you get an up-close and personal view of the destruction done by the lateral blast that rolled over the landscape on May 18, 1980. Read more…

Upcoming Olympia Branch Courses and COVID-19 Accommodations

As we navigate COVID-19, our priority is to keep our members safe and engaged in the outdoors. The Olympia branch is excited to offer three upcoming courses in January and February; hear from the course chairs on the safety adjustments made, and what you can expect to learn.  Read more…

Rainy Season Tips for the Summer Hiker

I grabbed my antique wooden snowshoes and headed for the door. Growing up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, solo adventures every weekend were the norm as a kid. Winters were my favorite; a blanket of snow transformed the world into a black and white vintage photo from December through April. My brothers and I would skate on the lake and wander the empty woods surrounding our small cabin until dusk. Read more…

Running a Course in the Middle of a Pandemic

This story starts back in 2019 when, as the Hiking Chair for the Tacoma Hiking and Backpacking Committee, I had the idea of offering a Conditioning Hiking Series (CHS) in Tacoma. The goal of a series like this is to help casual or new hikers increase their mileage and elevation gain in a fun, community-oriented way, and I had a feeling it would be popular at our branch.  Read more…

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…

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…