Could Grizzlies Make Good Neighbors?

For 20,000 years, grizzly bears padded over Washington’s North Cascades, foraging for berries and plants, hunting small prey, and fishing for salmon in frigid streams. Then a few centuries ago, white settlers showed up and starting shooting, and driving the bears out. Today only a handful of grizzlies remain in these mountains. Documentaries and fictional films, from...

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Missing mailbox replaced on Washington’s Mailbox Peak

Eric Piggott of Washington hiked to the top of Mailbox Peak for his birthday this week – to replace a missing, legendary mailbox with a new, donated one. “The last time I saw the previous box was three weeks ago on my last hike there,” Piggott said. “In my talks with various people, I’ve learned that there have been as many as eight other mailboxes over the...

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A massive climate march is coming to Washington in April

The People’s Climate March will descend on D.C. with an intersectional coalition of green and environmental-justice groups, indigenous and civil-rights organizations, students and labor unions. The march will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2017, exactly 100 days into Trump’s presidency. In January, the Women’s March gathered half a million demonstrators in D.C. alone....

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County in Washington approves trail plan for new 8,844-acre Lake Whatcom parkland

Building the first 27 miles of proposed trails in new Whatcom County parkland that straddles Lake Whatcom will cost about $2.3 million. That’s one of the details in the recreational trail plan for the parkland, which was created by the transfer of 8,844 acres of forest land around Lake Whatcom from the state to the county in 2014. The County Council approved the plan,...

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What Happens When You Demolish Two 100-Year-Old Dams

Can the largest river restoration project in history serve as a template for other waterways across the country? “A river is never silent…Reservoirs stilled my song.” Narrated from the point of view of Washington’s Elwha River, a new documentary about the largest dam removal project in U.S. history starts off on a somber tone before building toward the best...

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New bridges open access to Washington’s 23-mile-long Willapa Hills Trail

The Willapa Hills Trail keeps getting better — and longer. It’s now possible to walk or even ride a bicycle for 23 miles from Chehalis in Southwestern Washington to Pe Ell without getting stopped by a washed-out bridge. The State Parks Commission will hold a public dedication to several new bridges on the trail at 10 a.m. June 18, 2016 in Adna. On June 25, the Willapa...

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Hiking community fights to save popular North Sound trail from logging

Near Seattle, WA, one of the North Sound’s most popular and scenic hiking trails is in danger of being logged. Unless the state can allocate $7.5 million, the 100-year-old trees that cover Oyster Dome — between Mount Vernon and Bellingham – will be cut down by the Department of Natural Resources. Craig Romano tackles the popular hike off Highway 11 on a...

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Deal Nears On Southeast Washington Candy Mountain Land & Hiking Trail

Conservationists in Washington’s Tri-Cities are nearing a deal to secure a trail right-of-way on a scenic peak. That would get closer to the goal of establishing a 20-mile trail that could offer sunny, dry hiking at times of year when most trails elsewhere in the Northwest are muddy or snow covered. This 200-acre purchase would secure a trail up the southeast flank of...

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Washington Wildfires: How and Where To Hike Safely

As August winds down into September, summer days in Seattle, WA are still long but the temperatures have cooled off, making it the perfect time to get outside for one last hurrah before summer officially comes to a close. The only problem? It’s also prime wildfire season—and this year is no exception. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know by now that the...

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5 great day-hikes around Mount Rainier

Hiking author Mickey Eisenberg still treks eight to 10 miles on weekends at age 69, often with his buddy Gene Yore, a young 76. Their knees aren’t that creaky, and they still can tread some serious miles, so why not, Eisenberg said. “When people think of Mount Rainier National Park, they typically think of Mount Rainier itself,” said Eisenberg, a physician. Most don’t...

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New shuttle planned for popular North Bend, WA hiking trails

Officials in North Bend, Washington, hope a new shuttle service will ease traffic congestion at some of the area’s most popular hiking trails, including Mount Si. The city has teamed up with the state Department of Natural Resources, the Washington Trails Association and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to offer the shuttle, which will run every half-hour on...

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Five best hikes on Washington side of Columbia River Gorge

Which side of the Columbia River Gorge do you like best for hiking? Flip a coin, hem and haw, pick one and change your mind . . . they are both great. Typically the Washington side better in spring, because it faces south and gets more sun. That gives it more openings in the forest and more room for dense concentrations of wildflowers to grow, though you could say that...

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Volunteers, forest service crews rebuilding trail linked to century-old Mount Baker Marathon

An overgrown trail with a link to the Mount Baker Marathon, a storied race that occurred a century ago, is being cleared out and rebuilt as part of a Bellingham ultra-runner’s dream of launching a new version of the competition. Daniel Probst knows first-hand why the Ridley Creek Trail needs a makeover. He and other runners attempting an epic run, hike and climb from...

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Should Grizzlies Be Restored to the North Cascades?

The grizzly bear looms large in the traditions of Pacific Northwest Indians, a creature both revered and almost human. It was a fixture of the natural world: a powerful predator and a source of food and stories. Today the grizzlies of the Northwest exist mostly in legend. The few fleeting glimpses in the woods are so rare, some suspect there are no bears left in the...

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Washington seeks plan for 1,000 miles of recreation trails

Perhaps you’ve heard of the war between cars and bicycles in Seattle, WA. Another battle is being waged on recreation trails across the state. If you’ve ever been startled by a speeding mountain bike while hiking or angered about a trail rutted by horse hooves or off-roaders, you have a chance to do something about it. The state is developing a trail policy...

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Olympic National Park is a gem, rain or shine

The far side of the Olympic National Park, on the west coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, is indeed rain forest. Its Hoh River Valley is drenched with a dozen feet of rain a year. Think 50 shades of green in a wondrous tangle of trees, moss, ferns. Yet Olympic National Park is so vast – almost 1 million acres of mountains, forest and ocean beaches – that you can...

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The old-fashioned way: Mules to move Enchanted Valley Chalet

Mules will be employed to move the Enchanted Valley Chalet away from the East Fork Quinault River in a wilderness area of Olympic National Park. The work is tentatively set to for the first two weeks of September, as long as weather, visibility and trail conditions allow. Once the materials and personnel are on the site, moving the building will take about one week. The...

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A short drive from Seattle, the hiking is spectacular

This summer’s devastating wildfires in eastern Washington have cast a smoky pall over some of the state’s premier hiking destinations, but those trails have been largely untouched by flames. So “best days” can be had in abundance throughout the Cascade Mountains, on trails within easy driving distance of the city. And you don’t have to...

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National Forest Service asking the public which roads should be saved in Olympic National Forest

The National Forest Service in Washington will be holding local meetings in June, July & August to find out which of the approximately 2000 miles of Olympic National Forest roads will need to be closed. Currently, 1,400 miles of road are currently open to vehicles, but 600 miles of the roads are closed, but may be opened intermittently to provide access for resource...

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14 must-do wilderness hikes in Washington’s North Cascades

It’s a little-known-fact that the some of the most spectacular wilderness lands in the country are in the North Cascades of Washington state. This area, stretching from just north of Mt. Rainier to the Canadian border, is anchored by a network of ten wilderness areas encompassing more than 2.5 million acres of the most pristine wild lands in the state. These areas...

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Pacific Northwest Trail offers lesser traveled trek through Idaho, Washington

About 20 people hike the length of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail each year, starting at Glacier National Park and trekking 1,200 miles to the Pacific Ocean. The trail doesn’t have the cachet of the Pacific Crest or Appalachian trails, which attract hundreds of hikers who go the whole distance, said Matt McGrath, the trail’s program manager. But the Forest...

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Senior ranger talks of change in Olympic National Forest management

A change from timber management to a more environmentally sensitive process for Washington’s 628,000-acre Olympic National Forest has caused an economic setback while it has enriched the culture, a senior ranger said. “We really did a great job of harvesting timber,” Dean Yoshina, who manages Olympic National Forest’s Hood Canal Ranger District, told a dozen people...

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April is a delicious time for Northwest hiking

April may be the most delicious month of the year for taking a hike near Spokane, WA. Ski resorts are closing because even skiers are losing their appetite for snow. It’s time to feast on colors bursting from the winter-weary lowlands in the window before summer bakes the landscape to a golden brown. Hikers who relish the mountains this early in the season will...

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Moses Coulee: Dramatic tales of the land and its people

A whole lot of us, at one time or another, have tickled the midsection of one of the true wonders of our natural world without ever knowing it. It happens on Highway 2, about halfway from Seattle to Spokane. Busting across the flat, wide Waterville Plateau in Douglas County, you’re interrupted from your reverie when the road plummets about 600 vertical feet down into a...

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National Forest recreation pass now sold online

Getting ready to head to the hills as the snow melts? The U.S. Forest Service now sells its one-day recreation pass for Washington and Oregon national forests online — and a pass is required for parking at many trailheads and Forest Service sites. The National Forest Recreation ePass is being sold online, as of April 1, through a partnership of the Forest Service...

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Friends of the Columbia Gorge key hiking season to ‘Histories & Mysteries’

Beginning Saturday, March 15, the Friends of the Columbia Gorge will lead 67 educational hikes and outings, with a summer-long theme of discovering the “Histories & Mysteries” of the gorge. The guided-hike season continues to Sunday, July 20, but the themed-hiking season continues until Friday, Oct. 31. The Friends’ fourth annual hike challenge,...

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Bill would expand wilderness area at Olympic National Forest

For the second time in two years, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is taking a stab at greatly enlarging the portion of Olympic National Forest that would receive highest federal protection as a designated wilderness. Murray and fellow Washington Democrat Rep. Derek Kilmer, of Gig Harbor, on Friday introduced a bill to put logging, dams and other development off-limits on 126,554...

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Cut your snowshoe teeth at Snoqualmie’s Commonwealth Basin

If you’re one of the thousands of people who got snowshoes for Christmas, you’re now probably wondering if you’re going to actually use them, or if they’ll soon occupy the same closet space as your old Rollerblades. The obvious draw of the Commonwealth Basin is access. It begins within sight of the Summit at Snoqualmie’s Summit West ski area in Washington (in fact, many...

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5 Washington trails to keep you hiking even in winter

The snow is piling up in the mountains, but that’s no reason to leave your hiking boots in the closet for the winter. Craig Romano, a guidebook author and expert on the trails of Washington, recommends five hikes for winter adventures. These trails should be hikeable all year, except in extreme weather. Romano also shares his tips for making sure you have a safe,...

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Hiking in your own backyard

You don’t need a car or a state Discover Pass to go for a great fall hike in Seattle. The City of Seattle has 60 parks with trails in them, totaling 120 miles of hiking in the city. Seattle Parks and Recreation trails coordinator Chukundi Salisbury said hiking was the No. 1 most-popular activity on a recent survey of activities in Seattle parks. The survey was done in...

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