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Washington State Hiking Trail Finder
This site is designed to provide organized access to Washington State hiking trail sites. Hiking and backpacking enthusiasts like you have posted pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.
- Mt. Adams This is an outstanding narrative, with photos and all the necessary "details" on a great backpacking site by Steve Leroux.
- Mt. Adams Another excellent narrative with photos, this one on NaturalBornHikers.com.
- Mt. Angeles climb Photos, description and diagram of this popular Olympic NP climb. Penned by yours truly.
- Annette Lake Narrative and photos by Steve Leroux; excellent site.
- Mt. Baker Climb excellent narrative, photos, links, etc. well done page by Kent Kersten.
- Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest -- General MBSNF features a 1,500-mile trail system that leads to designated wilderness, wild rivers, old growth forests, and of course, beautiful subalpine meadows, secluded alpine lakes, snowy peaks, and glaciers. This is a good site to gather information from, surprisingly good effort from the US Forest Service.
- The CascadesThis is the Cascades Volcano Observatory site, maintained by Lyn Topinka and the good people at the US Geological Survey. These folks are the spiritual heirs to the work of Mr. David Johnston, of Mt. St. Helens fame. Alright, this isn't about any trails exactly, but it's an indispensible site to bookmark if you hike the Cascades and want to be a little more knowledgeable about what you're looking at.
- General Site — A & A - Backpacking tips, message board, photos, trail conditions, and journals, all from the perspective of two women. Trails are all in Washington state. Great site.
- General Site by Steve Leroux - Photos and lessons from hikes in Washington, with trail reviews and personal insights. We've picked out a few of the key hikes and given them individual links elsewhere on this page.
- General Site - Attrition.ws A statewide guide with comprehensive trail directions and descriptions. Emphasis at this time is Baker-Snoqualmie NF and Rainier NP, but the site adds steadily; Olympic NF & NP gaining. Probably 60 hikes listed at time of initial review, expect more. If you enjoy either of the two areas mentioned, this is positively a "must click" site. Well done, site maintained by John Munyan.
- General Over 20 real-time photos of mountain and seaside areas around Washington. Want to see what the weather (not to mention the traffic) is doing on Snoqualmie Pass? Stevens Pass? How about the line at the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal? These and more are just a click away. We don't normally put links to non-hiking pages, but this is just so helpful...no need to click through a jillion different sites; all the traffic and mountain cams are right here, along with all sorts of Washington links. Good stuff...site by Gerard Wirz.
- General This is the Washington Hiking Advisor website, a good all-around hub for hiking trail info. No clutter, quick clickthroughs to helpful info.
- General -- Seattle Area Here's the website of a group called the Thursday Night Afterburners, who meet in the parking lot by a local Albertson's and then do some pretty brisk hikes. Routes include Bandera, Mt. Defiance, Mailbox Mountain, McClellan's Butte, Pratt Mountain, Rattlesnake Ridge,
Lake Serene, Mt. Si, Snoqualmie Mountain, Mt Teneriff, Tiger Mountain, Mt. Washington, West Defiance, West Granite and others. Interesting group; good source for photos and some info about various local hikes.
- General -- Seattle Area This is a resource for maps, GPS waypoints, directions, descriptions, all sorts of stuff, related to and associated with the Thursday Night Afterburners site above. Whereas the link above to TNAB has some interesting narratives and promotes that group, this one has the down and dirty details about doing the hikes. When you first click on it says "under construction," but don't let that sway you -- scroll down, there's lots of good stuff here.
- Gray Wolf River -- Olympic National Park 3-day trek along this less prolific of the Olympic river courses. Nice narrative and photos by William Chamberlain.
- Mason Lake This is a build-it-yourself hike connecting any of 8 or 9 Alpine Lakes. Narrative and photos by Steve Leroux
- North Cascades National Park -- General One of the few NPS hiking sites we've actually found to be helpful. We've drilled down through all the pages, so this link will take you right to the hiking sub-site. Well worth it! For all we know, every NPS unit may have a hiking page as good as this one, we've just never been able to find them.
- North Cascades National Park -- Cascade Pass Too poor to visit Switzerland? Try Cascade Pass instead. You may be hard pressed to leave the parking lot...it is jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring beautiful. If you are planning to propose to your sweetheart, bring her to Cascade Pass. If you are trying to convert an atheist, bring them to the parking lot at Cascade Pass. If you need to be humbled -- reminded how tiny you really are in the grand scheme of things -- well, you get the point. The road can be a grind, but it is minimal effort for the reward at the end. Even if you don't do the hike, at least do the parking lot. (You'll do the hike). Anyway, this site is maintained by the National Park Service, and it tells you what you need to know about the trail.
- North Cascades National Park -- Easy Pass This is the penultimate NCNP hike, after Cascade Pass. The Cascade Pass hike wins because the trailhead is drop-dead gorgeous. Easy Pass is great, but be warned that "Easy" is a bit optimistic; the trail immediately requires fording a nasty, cold stream. This site is maintained by the National Park Service, and it provides all the details you'll need.
- Old Robe Canyon (Snohomish County) here's an in-depth trip report on a 7.5 mile Robe Canyon hike on the south fork of the Stillaguamish River. Excellent narrative with outstanding photos, on the Metatropo Computer Products website.
- Pacific Crest Trail Fairly in depth PCT site by the author of Dances with Marmots, George Spearing. Helpful pack list; state-by-state narrative links at bottom of page. Fun, informative website.
- Queets River Rain Forest good personal page by Luke Danielson gives a good intro and some "inside tips" if you will. Click around the site; lots of good WA & OR hikes here.
- Rainbow Lake This is a build-it-yourself hike connecting any of 8 or 9 Alpine Lakes. Narrative and photos by Steve Leroux
- Mt. Rainier backpacking trip Excellent photos and narrative of group climb from base at Paradise, through Camp Muir, to summit. By Steve Leroux. We ought to just have this whole page redirect to Steve's site.
- Mt. Rainier Climb via the Emmons Glacier route, excellent and very thorough narrative by Kent Kersten.
- Mt. Rainier slackpacker hike Excellent photos and narrative of day hike in Paradise area. This is a page I made, so it must be good.
- Mt. Rainier this is a geological site, not hiking exactly, from the USGS site mentioned above. This is such an info-filled page we drilled down and bookmarked it. This won't really tell you where to walk, or where to camp, or any of that stuff...but it will help you comprehend the geological action around Rainier.
- Mt. Saint Helens Hiking trip on the NaturalBornHikers.com website; great narrative and photos...positively a must-click if you're headed to St. Helens (assuming she's not rumbling at the time).
- Sauk Mountain -- Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest A key hiking trail, located to the west of North Cascades National Park. This page is on LocalHikes.com, and has a ton of information if you use the various buttons on the side. Topo maps, directions, elevation charts, reviews, commentary, you name it. Very thorough.
- Sauk Mountain article from the Seattle Post Intelligencer written by Karen Sykes, paints a nice quick intro to this popular hike.
- Slide Lake Trail -- Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest is slightly more than one mile long maintaining a gentle grade for its entire length. This makes it a pleasant, easy family hike. The trail winds through dense old growth forest and huge boulder patches to Slide Lake, elevation 3100 feet. The lake was formed when a portion of the surrounding mountainside slid across the Otter Creek drainage forming a dam. Good site by the USFS.
The Bluest Skies You've Ever Seen...
To date I've traveled to over 150 different National Park Service sites. Believe it or not, Olympic National Park is one of the most challenging to visit. It's easy enough to get to it, but you can't possibly take in the beauty and diversity of Olympic during the average vacation. Unless you plan to move to Seattle, I recommend a book written by Erik Molvar, a well-respected trail guide:
Hiking Olympic National Park.... This link to Amazon will enable you to save about four bucks off the store price; you'll save ten if you're willing to take a used copy. I managed to squeeze in a mini visit on the tail end of a two-week tour of North Cascades, Rainier, and St. Helens. While it certainly wasn't enough time, I was glad I had this guidebook so that we didn't miss the highlights. If you'd like to read about one of my hikes, please click here and join me on a climb of Mt. Angeles.
I've mentioned the above book to a couple of locals, because I always try to find out what the locals use for reference. As is usually the case, I've found that the popular book (Molvar's) is great for the visitor new to the area or short on time, but the locals tend to look askance at it. The book they use is Robert L. Wood's
Olympic Mountains Trail Guide: National Park & National Forest. I checked both out, and it appears that if your emphasis is the coastal hiking, you want Molvar's; if your emphasis is on the mountains, you want Wood's. So there.
Alright, if you recognized the bluest skies... from the song Seattle, give yourself three slackpacker trivia points. If you thought of Perry Como's version, give yourself two extra points just for thinking of one of the greatest vocalists of all time. If you thought of Bobby Sherman's version, that's ok too, but only worth one point. If you remembered that it was the theme song to the TV show Here Come the Brides, give yourself an extra four points.
A few people have e-mailed me, asking what the trivia points are all about...how can they win, etc. Well, it's all about nothing, and you can't win anything. It's just for fun. Sorry, decision of the judges is final; nothing I can do about it.
-- Rick Bolger
Want to add YOUR Washington hiking page? It's free, it's easy, and there are no strings attached. Please click the "Submit a Site" button, above left, for instructions and complete information.
Please click here for the Slackpacker web site
PS: Have a dinner invitation? Instead of bringing a bottle of humdrum wine or some meaningless flowers, consider bringing a copy of Smile by Brian Wilson. This is the holy grail of "lost" rock albums, the masterpiece that supposedly would've eclipsed Sgt Pepper. That will never happen, but if you listen to this, you can imagine that it might have if it's release hadn't been delayed by almost 40 years. As it is now, it is simply incredible music, and what's more incredible is that this resulted in Brian Wilson's first Grammy Award. Smile will never receive the accolades of anything even remotely close to Sgt. Pepper or Pet Sounds in our lifetime. But I believe that this is one of the pieces music students will study 200-300 years from now, just as we study Bach and Beethoven today. If you click on the link (to Amazon) you can listen to samples of a few of the selections.