Lauren Braden

Q: How to Stay Organized for Spontaneous Camping Trips?

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  Dear TripFinder, Q: Hello!  I want to get into camping more but my work schedule makes it difficult to plan trips in advance. I have your car camping checklist and guide to finding last-minute campgrounds, but I think I need tips for getting out the door in a hurry. A few weeks back we took […]

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DAY TRIP: Hiking in Paradise at Mount Rainier

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Explore the Paradise region of Mt. Rainier on one of these hikes that are bursting with wildflowers right now, plus where to stay if you make it a weekend.   Do you hear a mountain calling your name? It’s the most recognizable icon of Washington state’s landscape. It has three of our state’s best campgrounds […]

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Northwest Bucket List: August

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When you’re a hiker and it’s August, the days are just packed. Blooming wildflowers carpet alpine meadows of nearly every peak in the Cascades and Olympics, and their window of peak beauty is only open for a few weeks. But it’s not just trails of the high country competing for attention on your days off. […]

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Great County Fairs in Oregon

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  I grew up in a small town in southern Illinois that had been settled by Swiss/German Catholic farmers a few centuries ago. Instead of a county fair, we had a fair every August called Kirchenfest on the sprawling church parking lot, and my Dad was in charge of making the funnel cakes. He usually let […]

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Five Great County Fairs in Washington State

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It’s August, otherwise known throughout the USA as Fair Season! My childhood memories from the county fair where I grew up in rural Illinois are coated in sugar. Puffs of blue cotton candy, popsicles colored like the American flag, a plate of funnel cakes dusted with a heavy coat of sweet powder. Go to any county […]

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Hold the S’mores! Campfire Restrictions in the Northwest – 2018

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Taking a camping trip this weekend?  Pack your gear using our handy Car Camping Checklist and you won’t forget anything, ever.   UPDATED July 27 2018 Going camping? It’s dry out there. There are lots of campfire restrictions in place. In fact, 2018 marks the sixth summer in a row that has seen restrictions on campfires in the Northwest. […]

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High Country Hikes: Epic Northwest Trails for Blooms and Views

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The Pacific Northwest isn’t just a mecca for great hiking, but great year-round hiking. Even in the depths of winter when backcountry trails in the Cascades are buried under many feet of snow, there are glorious lowland trails to hike along raging rivers and through mossy green forests. But while some epic hikes can be thoroughly enjoyed year-round […]

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Quick Escape: Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula

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Most people think the Olympic Peninsula town of Sequim (pronounced Skwim) is a retirees’ enclave with year-round sunshine set in a rural landscape dotted with fragrant fields of purple lavender. And indeed, it is. But Sequim is slowly changing, and offers more to its visitors than sunshine and lavender (not that there’s a single thing wrong […]

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Northwest TripFinder’s Amazon Prime Day Watch List

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When I decided to purchase a massive, palatial Coleman Weathermaster Tent for car camping last summer that would fit our family, our dog, our gear and even a few accompanying cousins, I waited for Amazon Prime Day.  And it paid off! I picked up the tent and a few Coleman cots for around 40% off. […]

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Northwest Bucket List for July

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When I was a kid, we always had lots of sparklers. I couldn’t imagine a 4th of July without them. But we set off loud, dangerous things, too. Bottle rockets and cherry bombs and black cats. One year my brother and I pooled our cash for a roman candle, and we were so excited to […]

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