STAY & PLAY: Spring Desert Hikes in Washington’s Canyon Country

STAY & PLAY: Spring Desert Hikes in Washington’s Canyon Country

Head to Washington’s desert canyons for colorful blooming wildflowers, musical birds and mild springtime temps. Check out these trails, inns and campgrounds. Both Washington and Oregon have large swaths of desert steppe country on the east side of the Cascades. Colorful in places and intensely stark in others, these canyons and sagelands have lightly-treaded trails […]

GO: Carbon River Rain Forest at Mt. Rainier

This guest post is by Kim Brown, photographer and naturalist. See more of her great finds at exploringpacnw.net. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – […]

Hike: Leque Island in Snohomish County

This hand-picked excursion comes from Craig Romano at hikeoftheweek.com.   Where do you go for a short, easy day hike when the winter blues are creeping up on you? We live in Seattle and keep a running list of the easy, accessible trails within an hour of town. I’m thrilled to add a hike at Leque […]

Q: Best Hike in North Cascades National Park?

Dear TripFinder, Q: Help! What one hike should we do in North Cascades National Park? – Brian  Schmidt, @BWandering Dear Brian, If I had only one day to hike in North Cascades National Park, I’d make it count. Cascade Pass to Sahale Arm is considered by many to be the most spectacular day hike in Washington […]

Day Hikes and Cheap Sleeps in the Methow Valley

The North Cascades Highway twists and turns around granite peaks before dipping down into Washington’s glacial-carved Methow Valley. Here, open meadows are dotted with ponderosa pine trees that reach for a blue sky, and cast shadows across raging rivers. Early summer is a marvelous season to visit here for outdoor recreation, as it tends to […]

Q: Old Growth Hikes Near Seattle?

Dear TripFinder, My son is only five and he is already obsessed with forest ecosystems. He can identify several trees, mosses and ferns! I’d love to take him on some local hikes through old-growth forests. Can you recommend some old-growth hikes near Seattle? -Lara in Seattle Dear Lara, I remember the first time I hiked […]

GO: Spencer Island Refuge in Everett

Looking for an easy day trip from Seattle that’ll get you up close and personal with wildlife? Go north, to Spencer Island Park in Everett. Whatever the weather, this short hike combines nature with fun. The Snohomish River near Everett splits here and braids there, creating a tangled estuary. Over time, the brackish waters have […]

The Windy Edge at Ebey’s Landing

Whidbey Island has got to be close to the top of my list for Pacific Northwest getaways. To tell you the truth, it feels like more than just a getaway destination to me; it’s like I’m destined to live there or something. Is that weird? Do you ever get that feeling when you go somewhere, […]

To the Lighthouse: Be a Lighthouse Keeper for a Week

Q: What is tall, stately, and often found atop a rocky shore that gets pounded by waves?  A: A lighthouse! Lighthouses dot the Pacific Northwest coastline and shores of Puget Sound. Most were constructed as navigational aides for ships at sea in the late 1800s. For nearly a century, these lighthouses were manned by lighthouse keepers to tend […]

HIKE IT: Colchuck Lake

Icicle Canyon near Leavenworth is such a treat in September after Labor Day. Summer draws crowds of hikers, campers and climbers to this area, but in fall you’ll have a little solitude on the trail and much less of an issue snagging a campsite. Birds and other wildlife become more active in fall as they prepare for hibernation or […]