Stories & News
|Get local news, how-to advice, and feature articles about our trail community, the current hiking season in Washington and issues impacting trails you love.|
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Help Hikers! WTA Needs Volunteers at Trailheads This Summer
Jun 09, 2023
WTA is teaming up with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to help with welcoming and educating hikers and other outdoor recreationists. We're looking for volunteers in Central and Northern Washington to help us out.
Hiker Headlines: Join WTA for Hike the State, Free Days, Mountain Loop Closures
Jun 08, 2023
Join WTA for Hike the State and get recommendations for a summer of hiking. This weekend, parking fees will be waived in some areas. A bear got human food in North Cascades National Park, and the Park Service has closed some areas and asked visitors to be careful. We have info on trail and road closures — and openings — that could affect your hiking plans.
Know Before You Go: Trails That Will be Closed this Summer
Jun 07, 2023
Heads up, hikers! A fair number of popular trails will be closed for all or part of the 2023 summer hiking season, due mostly to construction and much-need improvements (yay!) To help you plan better, here’s a roundup of closures we know about right now.
How Golden Bricks Events is Building Joy and Inclusivity in the Outdoors
Historically, social and institutional barriers have prevented many Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) from safely and comfortably getting outside. Golden Bricks Events counteracts those barriers by bringing together a diverse group of outdoor enthusiasts, from cyclists to birders to climbers. By Chrisha Favors
How to Plan a DIY Thru-hike
If you’d like to create your own longer hike, here are tips to get you on the right path on a lesser-known route. By Lauren Lake
A Landslide Closed Johnston Ridge Observatory. Here's Where to Hike Mount St. Helens This Summer
Jun 02, 2023
On May 14, a landslide South Coldwater Slide, caused significant damage to the road leading up to the Johnston Ridge Observatory northwest of Mount St. Helens. Several popular trailheads will be closed for the season, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy this area this summer.
Hiker Headlines: National Trails Day, Spokane Hike Ideas, Closures
Jun 01, 2023
National Trails Day is this Saturday! Join WTA and Spokane Libraries for some hike suggestions in the Spokane area from a local expert. Make sure to check in with Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest rangers on forest road conditions before heading out. And, be aware of upcoming road and campground closures.
From the Backcountry to Birdwatching: The Evolution of One Photographer’s Definition of Outdoor Adventuring
The outdoors has always been important to Matt Leaman, but his relationship with it has changed over the years. A single hike sparked an interest that led to new passions and a much deeper connection to the wildlife of the Pacific Northwest. It even led to a new career. | By Tiffany Chou
5 Reasons Why Local Trails are Essential to Mental Health
May 30, 2023
When nature is in reach, so are its healing benefits.
Scrolling Trip Reports Might be the Best Time I Spend Online
May 26, 2023
Trip reports are so much more than just a record of trail conditions. (Although they're great for that!) Trip reports are a great way to share your adventures with the people you love. And a way to leave a tremendously helpful record for yourself.
Hiker Headlines: Speak Up For Eightmile Lake, Passes Reopening, I-90 and Lake Quinault Area Construction
May 25, 2023
Chinook and Cayuse passes are reopening tomorrow. Expect I-90 delays and closures, including closures of the Franklin Falls and Denny Creek trails, as well as some construction projects in Olympic National Forest and National Park. Submit a public comment about the proposed plan to rebuild Eightmile Dam in the Enchantments area. And, join Golden Bricks Events for Sundaes outside this Sunday at Be’er Sheva Park.
Speak up for Eightmile Lake in the Enchantments
May 24, 2023
Eightmile Lake is high in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and part of the Enchantments. The dam at the end of the lake needs to repaired. We're asking hikers to speak up to ensure the plan will protect hiking and backpacking opportunities in the area.
WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training Helps Communities Spend Nights Under the Stars
May 24, 2023
For nearly a decade, WTA’s Outdoor Leadership Training program has been working to increase access to outdoor experiences by reducing barriers to support educators and group leaders with training and gear for camping and backpacking trips. We wanted to look back and see how those experiences have made an impact.
WTA’s Emerging Leaders Program is Creating a Welcoming Space to Learn and Grow in the Outdoor Community
Charlie Lavides faced hurdles entering the outdoor industry. WTA's Emerging Leaders Program granted them an opportunity to foster and find community on Washington trails. By Charlie Lavides
Trails Make Space for New Memories
May 23, 2023
WTA marketing manager Linnea Johnson reflects on outdoor memories with family while making space for new ones. By Linnea Johnson
Hiker Headlines: Trails & Ales, Openings and Closures, Mount St. Helens Road Closure
May 18, 2023
Join WTA at our Trails & Ales event in Ellensburg next week! Some trails and roads are reopening after the winter season, including Ape Cave and Stevens Canyon Road. Be aware of some temporary trail and vehicle access closures. And, a large landslide has closed part of the road to the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
The Stories Behind the Cover Photos
May 16, 2023
One of the many joys of hiking is the people we get to share the trail with. For our most recent issue of Washington Trails magazine, we wanted to illustrate that feeling. Thanks to many talented photographers, we had plenty of beautiful images to illustrate the beauty and power of the hiking community. Here are the stories behind some of those photos.
Hike the State 2023 -- Join Us!
Join us on June 22 for Hike the State to hear from five WTA staff about 15 of their favorite hikes!
Get WTA's App Now for a Summer of Great Hiking
May 15, 2023
WTA's latest app updated gives you a better browsing experience and more offline information at-a-glance. Check it out.
"C'mon, Let's Do It." — Our Outdoor Mentors: Mothers, Aunties and Grandmothers
May 12, 2023
As Mother’s Day approaches, we asked Washington Trails Association staff how the strong women in their lives — their mothers, aunties, grandmothers — were their outdoor role models and mentors, inspiring and cultivating a love of spending time outside.
Hiker Headlines: Trailhead Direct, North Cascades Highway Opens, Fire at Hurricane Ridge Lodge
May 11, 2023
Trailhead Direct is returning for another summer of transit to trails. The North Cascades Highway is open after being closed for the winter. The Heart O’ The Hills campground is partially reopening. The Hurricane Ridge day lodge was destroyed in a fire. And, a plan has been approved to help restore Puget Sound and protect Tribal treaty rights.
Local Transit, National Action: Trailhead Direct is Back for 2023
May 10, 2023
Trailhead Direct is starting its 2023 season this weekend. The service provides transit access to nearby trailheads from Seattle. Nationally, WTA is working to improve transit options to trails for the future.
The Low Down on Insulation
Understanding down and synthetic options for will help you dial in your gear and stay warm on trail. By Sandra Saathoff
Gear Review: Keep Warm With Some of Our Favorite Insulated Pieces of Gear
Understanding down and synthetic options for staying warm on trail. By WTA staff and volunteers.
5 Ways to Get Involved With WTA this Summer
May 09, 2023
While it's not officially summer yet, at WTA we're getting excited for warm days on trail. With that in mind, we have been planning events all summer long. We're looking forward to talking about trails (including some great hiking recommendations from WTA experts!) and helping hikers build a better future for Washington's trails. We hope you can join us!
The Greg Ball Trail: Bridging Past, Present and Future
May 08, 2023
WTA volunteers help cement longtime WTA leader, Greg Ball, by renovating a bridge in his honor at Wallace Falls State Park.
Follow Major Changes Proposed for Visiting Mount Rainier
May 08, 2023
Mount Rainier National Park has released a draft plan proposing significant changes to how people visit popular areas of Mount Rainier National Park. Sign up with WTA to stay up to date and share your feedback.
Will Hike for Donuts: WTA's Favorite Bakeries and Donut Shops
Has all that hiking left a hole in your stomach? Fill it with some of Washington's most delicious baked goods! By Joseph Gonzalez
A Crew Leader’s Story of Woodinville’s New Trail Next Door
May 05, 2023
Volunteer Micki Kedzierski shares her account of a new trail that creates easy access to nature for locals in unincorporated King County. The Greenbrier Trail (and the story of its development) are full of surprises.
Hiker Headlines: GiveBIG Thanks, Mountain Loop Closures, Volcanoes
May 04, 2023
It's May 4. We're so thankful for our WTA community for the support during GiveBIG. Some trails, trailheads, roads and campgrounds are going to be closed this season for upgrades. And May is both Mental Health Awareness Month and Volcano Preparedness Month. A good time to check out a volcano near you or to take a relaxing hike. Here's some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.