Hike/Climb

New Beginnings at Kukutali

Thanks to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and the Washington State Parks Department, we have new public access to a beautiful coastal forest and shoreline beside the Salish Sea. The Kukutali Preserve, located on Swinomish Tribal lands in Skagit County, was opened to the public just three years ago, the result of a ground-breaking alliance of Tribe and State. An …

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Above & Beyond: The End is Just the Beginning

The North Cascades are a hiker’s paradise. The trail system that we enjoy in these northern mountains provides access to spectacular places and ranks among the world’s supreme networks of footpaths. Two of the finest routes in the Mt. Baker area are the Ptarmigan Ridge and Yellow Aster Butte trails. Both transport boot-clad acolytes across landscapes of unforgettable grandeur. Both …

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Mountain Stewards: Angels of the Backcountry

On a bright summer day in the North Cascades, a father is hiking along with his two sons, their mother trailing far behind sporting flip-flops. The uneven terrain makes her feet look painful, and a passing man offers that flip-flops probably aren’t the best footwear for the trail. “Oh I know, my husband—that idiot— said we were going to the …

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San Juans in Spring: Hiking the Outer Islands

Mention hiking on the San Juan Islands and Moran State Park instantly comes to mind. While this large popular park on Orcas Island with its 30 miles of trails certainly is a supreme hiking destination, there are scores of great hiking spots throughout Washington’s stunning archipelago. The outer islands, beloved by boaters, paddlers and sailors also contain some exceptional hikes. …

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The Weight of Time: A Rescue on Denali

August 2015 – Ruth Glacier, Denali National Park, Alaska The Talkeetna Air Taxi scenic flight circles the massive south face of Denali which rises 8000 feet from its glacial foundations. The plane – with ten passengers on board – drifts over the Matterhorn-like peaks around the Ruth Glacier, then throttles down and lands. One by one, the passengers climb down …

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Dancing with Goats: A Walk up Sahale Arm

“The views from here of ice-chiseled peaks and peak-chiseling glaciers are the most extensive and impressive of any trail in the west.” – Harvey Manning, Hiking the Great Northwest   North Cascades National Park is home to countless high and lonely camps, tucked away in rocky enclaves above tree line. But the highest established camp in the Park is found …

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Hiking In My Dad’s Hundred-Year-Old Bootprints

Over a hundred years ago, at age 28, my dad raced to the summit of Mount Baker and back to win the 1911 Mount Baker Marathon, considered America’s first mountain endurance race. On an October day in 2015, with my 80th birthday looming, I hoped to honor his memory by hiking a portion of  the trail he ran. My sisters …

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Hike the Wonderland Trail This Summer

Mount Rainier’s backcountry might be a little less crowded this summer, thanks to a technological snafu. A power outage during a storm last March destroyed the backcountry permit reservation system for Mount Rainier National Park. In effect, those backcountry camping spots that had been reservable – up to 70 percent – are now available when you come to the park …

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Here Comes the Sun: Top 10 Spring Hikes in Washington

Itching to do some serious hiking packed with breathtaking views? Don’t let the snowpack put a damper on your hiking. There’s no need to wait until summer when the Cascades, Olympics and Selkirk Mountains shed their snowy shrouds. Nope – thanks to a temperate climate in much of western Washington, micro-climates throughout the state, and some sun-kissed slopes in eastern …

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