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Halloween on Trail: Sith Lords and Zombies and Bears, Oh My!

Posted by cwakenshaw at Oct 28, 2019 08:36 AM |

As autumn rolls in, our favorite summertime forests and lakes turn moody with moss and mist. What better way to celebrate this holiday than to swap out your usual trail attire with a quirky costume.

As autumn rolls in, our favorite summertime forests and lakes turn moody with moss and mist. This change in weather coincides with Halloween, a time to embrace the weird and mysterious. And what better way to celebrate this holiday than to swap out your usual trail attire with a quirky costume?

A costume can provide the opportunity to get into character and experience a favorite place through new eyes. In anticipation of Thursday night's festivities, enjoy these delightful on-trail costumes, and our tips on how to enjoy your next hikes.

Tip #1: Next time, wear a costume and file a trip report featuring a photo of it!

Wildlife Sighting: A rare (Fleece) Bear Cub

It is always a thrilling experience to come across wildlife while hiking. “How lucky we were to come across a bear in its natural state!” said Chelsie Burden, who snapped this photo.

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Fleece bear in the wild. Photo by Chelsie Burden. 

Normally, we would never condone offering food to wildlife, but in this case, we're willing to make an exception, particularly if this little cub said: 'Trick or Treat!'

Live it up: costumes and cocktails  

What could make a hike with friends even more of a blast? Why, costumes and cocktails of course. On their annual women’s backpack in the North Cascades, these hikers classed up camp by dressing up and sipping cocktails in a beautiful alpine backdrop.

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Costume and cocktail hour during annual women's backpack. Photo by Janine Griggs. 

You may not be able to access your favorite alpine destination right now, but you could do worse than bringing a warm drink or a special snack on your next hike. 

Zombies on Trail: trick or treat

After Halloween, you'll have lots of chocolatey, sugary, rainbow-colored confections within arm’s reach. And what better way to indulge than with some special trail treats after a long hike? But some hikers want a different sort of treat...

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A berry picking zombie girl. Photo by Carl Gronquist. 

This little hiker has a particular kind of sweet tooth. If you are out on trail and hear the droning refrain of, “berries… berries … berries”, you better hope there's a loaded blueberry bush nearby to satisfy her hunger. If the (real) bears have eaten all the goodies, offer her a handful of leftover Halloween candy, or even a bit of your trail mix, and run for your life.

Layer up: rare animal sightings in the cascades

Though their existence has long been debated, these photos proves that the elusive Cascade unicorn is a real resident of these mountains, and a new cryptid is on the scene: the fluffy mountain flamingo. Thanks to its thick, pink coat, the Cascade Unicorn is able to withstand harsh Washington winters. The flamingo just wears a sweater. 

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Unicorn spotted on Mount Ann, flamingo on St. Helens. Photo by (left) Mike Helminger, (right) Liana Robertshaw.

Unless you've got a pink coat of your own, you might need a little help to stay warm on trail this winter, but maybe you'll be lucky enough to spot one of Washington's resident cryptids out there

Water crossings: Take it slow

The streams, creeks and rivers that slow to a trickle during the dry months of summer start to roar again with the onset of fall, and by winter, they're covered by not-always-stable snow bridges. 

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Flagging the Teanaway River. Photo by Matt Sellars. 

During fall hiking, some choose to walk across rocks and logs, while others splash through in waterproof boots. Whatever your style, always take your time to ensure that you can make it across safely. And if you’re not sure, brush up on your water crossing (or snow hiking) skills. 

Keep it Local: Hiking on Hoth sucks

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Darth Vader taking a meditative walk at Peshastin Pinnacles State Park. Photo by Melody Saltzgiver. 

Winter snows lock up a lot of the high country. Maybe more than you realize. Trails that are safe in summer might have sketchy avalanche chutes, or the snow might just be too deep to navigate. And hiking in a snowstorm is no fun anyway. 

Use the onset of wintertime to explore low-land or local trails. Darth Thaddeus does, and finds that there's nothing like a walk in his local park to settle his mind after a stressful day monitoring his generals. 

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