Hiking & Backpacking

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Hiking With Dogs - The Basics

There’s nothing like sharing the great outdoors with your best friend. However, it’s important to keep trail etiquette and safety in mind when you explore with a dog in tow. Below are excerpts from the Mountaineers Books title Best Hikes with Dogs: Western Washington by Dan A. Nelson. Learn what to do (and not to do!) when you and Fido hit the trail. Read more…

Travel to the Austrian Alps with The Mountaineers

Discover Austria! Join us on a Global Adventure where we will be hiking in a little-known area of the Austrian Alps. Hike the European way: combine stunning scenery with uncrowded trails, comfortable lodging, tasty cuisine, and high mountain huts. We’ll wander through alpine meadows and across rock slopes, have lunch at scenic huts, reach high tarns and passes, and see breathtaking views. Learn how trek the mountains traveling hut-to-hut! Read more…

5am Never Felt So Good - A Conditioning Hiking Series Story

I moved to Seattle in the summer of 2016 because I no longer really knew who I was, or what I was doing with my life, but I knew that I couldn’t continue living in New York City, with its crowds and smells and weird roommate situations. I had visited Seattle twice before I moved here, and while I didn’t know a lot about the city, I knew that the proximity to the water and the mountains and the boundless natural beauty made me feel better, and I wanted to feel better. So I moved. Read more…

Tips for Hiking the PCT

Whether you're planning a section hike or a thru hike, our experts are here to help. We asked the authors of our Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail guidebooks to give us their top tips to prepare.   Read more…

Did you Know? Fort Rock State Park

Fort Rock State Park is a geological wonder located just outside Christmas Valley, Oregon. It's a 5-6 million year old horseshoe shaped volcanic maar, formed of tuff breccias that tower some 325 feet above the flat desert floor. It was formed when super heated basalt magma came into contact with ground water, causing an explosive eruption. Read more…

Backpacking Courses for 2019

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…

My Photography Adventure in Whistler

Whistler is know for its skiing and snowboarding and was the location of the 2010 Olympics. It's been on my bucket list for a while now, but I've been so involved with hikes at Mt. Rainier during the summer, that I forget about it until the season turns cold and wet. It's also supposed to have good hiking trails for the warmer months, so that's why I wanted to go. Read more…

A Route for the Ages: UP North Loop

On the evening of May 14, 2018, my wife Kathy “OBAL Unbranded” Vaughan and myself, aka Team UltraPedestrian, set out hiking south along the Idaho Centennial Trail from the small town of Hammett, Idaho. On November 5, after covering more than 2,600 miles on foot over the course of 174 days, 22 hours, and 25 minutes, we returned to our starting point, completing the first ever Inland Northwest Loop. Read more…

Voices Heard | Solitude vs. Community: There’s No “Right” Way to Be Outside

The first time I tried my hand at astrophotography (shooting the stars, as opposed to shooting stars) was on a clear night just outside Mount Rainier National Park. I was renting a cabin with my wife and her family, a trio of sisters from Colombia who spoke frequently about the possibility of seeing wildlife. I left them for the pitch darkness down the road along the Nisqually River. Read more…

How to Safely Go Bear Spotting in Washington

We are fortunate to have large National Parks and Wilderness areas in Washington State, and with them come an incredible array of wildlife. Among the more mysterious and hard-to-spot creatures are the bears populating our forests and rivers. I've had the opportunity to see over 50 bears in Washington over the last 15 years, and another dozen or so outside the state. I’ve written down every memorable encounter and have learned a few things about where to find them, how to spot them, and what to do (and not do).  Read more…