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Upcoming Hiker Events

Posted by Crystal Gartner at May 10, 2021 12:30 PM |
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Hiking can often be a solitary experience, but when you're looking to engage with the outdoor community, there is no shortage of opportunities in Washington.

Connect with WTA

Our website, is a place for you to find information about local green spaces, updates on trails and moments of joy and inspiration. We hope you can connect with each other and to us on our social channels. Read past trip reports or share your own with the community.

In Person Events    

Autumn Ambles
Sept. 29th, Oct. 7th, Oct. 15th, Oct. 20th, Oct. 28th, Nov. 5th — 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. 
Join the Wenatchee River Institute for a two-hour autumn amble with one of our knowledgeable naturalists. Walk through Waterfront Park as the air begins to cool and the leaves turn gold. You will learn about the natural and cultural history of Leavenworth with many scenic views along the way! What are plants and animals doing to prepare for winter? Can we find all 5 types of salmon that are spawning in the fall? This is an easy hike, but it is not fully ADA accessible due to gravel trails. Registration is required, and is $10 for the general public, $5 for those ages 5-16 and free for children under 5. 

Chelan Ridge HawkWatch
Oct. 1st — 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Each fall thousands of hawks, eagles, and falcons fly along a high ridge above Lake Chelan on their way to winter territories. Join Wenatchee River Institute for a field trip to the Chelan Ridge Hawkwatch International (HWI) observation point to witness this amazing spectacle! You’ll hear from local biologists and have the opportunity to help gather data with the biologists! Participants will carpool in the WRI Otter Van. Field Trip Cost: $35 for WRI Members and $50 for non-members. Please register.

Book Launch: Molly Hashimoto’s Trees of the West
Lake Forest Park
Oct. 4, 2022 — 7 p.m.
Celebrate trees with Molly Hashimoto! She will be discussing her new book Trees of the West: An Artist’s Guide. This event will take place at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Free to attend, but reserve your place now.

Cougar Mountain Trail Run

Oct. 5, 2022 — 6 p.m.
Join Trail Mixed Collective for an after work trail run on Cougar Mountain. Meet at the Sky County Trailhead, and run at a social pace for about 6-7 miles. This event is best suited for intermediate runners. Trail Mixed Collective is a space designed for Women of Color, including trans and non-binary people of color with an affinity to women. Please respect this by only attending if you identify as such. Learn more here. This event is free, but please register to attend! 

WTA Intro to Hiking in Partnership with Pierce County Libraries
South Hill Library
Oct. 8, 2022 — 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Join Washington Trails Association staff and volunteers to learn about hiking in the PNW, best practices, gear and much more! This in person, outdoor workshop is free, and will teach participants the basics of hiking, the 10 essentials and Leave No Trace principles. Resources and fun activities will be provided that are family and kid friendly. We do plan to be outside, so please dress accordingly. If weather forces us inside the library, masks will be required. One will be provided for you if you do not have one. This workshop is limited to 30 participants living in Pierce County, and requires registration. 

Responsible Outdoor Travel Summit
Oct. 13, 2022 — 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Registration is now open for the inaugural Responsible Outdoor Travel Summit. Join travel, outdoor recreation, and conversation thought leaders for this first-of-its-kind event. Presented by State of Washington Tourism with initiative and foundational support from the Port of Seattle, the summit will focus on promoting responsible travel to ecologically and culturally significant regions in Washington while protecting those assets and enhancing the traveler and host experiences. Register by Sept. 23 and receive early bird pricing of $100 per ticket. After Sept. 23, standard registration is $120 per ticket. Registration includes full-day summit program, breakfast reception, and closing reception. Follow the link to learn more and register.

Family Hike in the Dishman Hills Natural Area
Spokane Valley
Oct. 16, 2022 — 10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Bring the family and join Peggy Goodner of Dishman Hill Conservancy on a hike in the Dishman Hills Natural Area.  Meet at Camp Caro Lodge at 9:45 to begin a two mile hike through the Enchanted Ravine, on The Pinecliff Trail. Children are also welcome! Time will be taken to explore the forest, rocks, and caves, and look for signs of wildlife.  This trail loops back to Camp Caro, offering great views along the way.  Please wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots, bring water, snacks, and extra clothing for wind, rain or colder temps if needed.  Hiking polls are recommended. Follow the link to register.

Climate Crisis: Finding Hope in Action and Community
Seattle Town Hall
Oct. 18, 2022 — 6:30 p.m.
Faced with countless environmental crises, it can be difficult to see a path to a better world — but change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We can find hope in the relationships we build, the communities we forge, and the power we share when we act together. Join the University of Washington College of the Environment’s 2022 Doug Walker Lecture as we explore these topics and more with environmental advocate and educator Jamie Stroble ’10. This live discussion will be moderated by Maya Tolstoy, Maggie Walker Dean of the UW College of the Environment. Registration is required and the cost is $8.

Virtual opportunities

A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World
Oct. 26, 2022 — 6 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
Join this virtual event to hear from Katherine Hayhoe, author of the book, Saving Us - A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World. Katherine Hayhoe is a climate scientists and chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy. This event is $10 and is put on by North Cascades Institute.

Ongoing Activities

Walk With a Doc
Walk With a Doc is a global community where doctors go on short walks with patients and members of the public. Each walk kicks off with a short presentation on a health topic followed by a short walk through a local park. Currently these walks are virtual due to social distancing measures, but will return to in-person meet-ups as soon as it's safe to do so. Walks are held in Everett, Olympia, Yakima, Spokane and St. Helens Oregon. 

Personalized Outfitting with an REI Expert
Get expert advice from the comfort of your home with our virtual outfitters. Video chat with our team to get the next great piece of gear, advice for an upcoming adventure, or explore the possibilities of a new outdoor activity. Book a live appointment today and connect with our team right from your home. Appointments are available 7 days a week from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST. Free. 

Self-guided Forest Bathing
The Washington Park Arboretum has several great resources for visitors to practice forest bathing, an approach to mindfully enjoying nature. Learn about the practice, find resources and share your experience with others. 

Volunteer as an Adventure Scientist
Help collect tree samples for a database that will be used to catch illegal timber harvests. Volunteer hikers collect leaves, seeds and wood samples and send them in to be tested, then the timber industry is able to check the wood that comes through their mills against this data to determine if it was harvested from an area where logging is permitted. 

Participate in Bird Counts in Your Backyard or Beyond
Community science programs are central to the efforts of Audubon scientists. You, too, can be a volunteer scientist and help save populations of bird species around the world. Programs in which you can participate include Hummingbirds at Home, Christmas Bird Count, and the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Be a Citizen Archivist for the National Archive 
Add tags to photos from America's Scenic Byways to make this resource more searchable for the public. First you must register, then you can pick the type of archiving you want to do and get started. There are more opportunities here as well, like transcribing historical documents about the first U.S. roads and trails to be built in Alaska. 

Environmental Film Festival
Explore the collection of current and past festival films now available for streaming. The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films.

Patagonia’s new film They/Them is a documentary that follows climber and guide Lor Sabourin into the sandstone canyons of northern Arizona, on a journey to piece together one of the hardest and most inspiring routes of their life. By embracing the strength in vulnerability, Lor has found the space to thrive and build a climbing community that others like themself can call home.

Mapping Seattle's Historic Orchards 
Help identify historic fruit trees in your neighborhood that may be remnants of historic orchards. This project aims to identify and preserve these heirloom varieties still growing in Seattle. 

Living Snow Project
The Living Snow Project mobilizes volunteers to collect and submit samples of pink snow so researchers at Western Washington University can study the microbiome of creatures living in these environments. Anyone in the mountainous US can participate with a simple phone app and a sample kit that can be picked up or mailed to you. 

Story Time at the Miller Library
The Miller Library at UW's Botanic Garden presents monthly stories about gardens, plants and nature. Tune in anytime to watch a virtual reading of a new book each month. 

Monthly eBird surveys at Wenatchee River Institute
Join WRI's knowledgeable naturalists on a birding survey around the WRI Campus! eBird is the largest biodiversity-related community science project in the world. Participants will be utilizing it to record observations of local wild birds. Each event includes four 15-minute stationary bird counts for an hour of birding. Total walking distance is a half mile, over a gravel path with two moderate hills. All skill levels are welcome!

The Great Spokane Parks Challenge
Now through October 6, 2022
Visit 24 eligible parks by the deadline and document your trips for a chance to win a prize. The first 70 people to complete the challenge will receive a daypack, and a donation will be made on your behalf to the Parks Foundation. Register in advance. 

OTHER Local & Amazing hiking communities

We also keep a list of many other local meet up groups and networks. While you might not be able to connect in person, you might find their online community is someplace you'd like to spend some time.

Explore these accounts and podcasts

  • by land podcast - Hunter and backpacker Emory Wanger began By Land as a way to share his personal journey in the outdoors so others can learn from his time in the field, and to bridge gaps between outdoor communities.
  • Cascade Hiker Project podcast - inspiring you to get out on the trail. Interviews make the show feel like a radio channel dedicated to hikes and backpacks.
  • Dirtbag Diaries podcastClimb. Ski. Hike. Bike. Paddle. Run. Travel. Whatever your passion, we are all dirtbags. Outdoor writer Fitz Cahall and the Duct Tape Then Beer team present stories about the dreamers, athletes and wanderers.
  • For the Wild podcastan anthology of the Anthropocene; focused on land-based protection, co-liberation and intersectional storytelling rooted in a paradigm shift away from human supremacy, endless growth and consumerism.
  • Outdoorsy DivaTraveler, foodie, outdoor lover, & single mom featured in Huffpo Travel, BBC Earth Podcast, and listed as one of the top Black travel bloggers on the planet. 
  • Outside Voices - inspired by one idea: the outdoors belongs to all of us. We all have a relationship to nature, whether through hiking, gardening, sacred ceremony or gathering at the local park. We aim to celebrate and amplify those who don’t always see themselves reflected in the “Great Outdoors” narrative.
  • She Explores podcast - interviews, in-the-field recordings and listener submissions make up a tapestry of episodes covering themes such as solo hiking and camping; entrepreneurship; aging; diversity, equity and inclusion; conservation; motherhood; chronic illness, and feminism as they intersect with outdoor experiences.
  • The Joy Trip Project - James Edward Mills' ongoing search to discover how to lead a harmonious life in balance with the natural world and the rest of humanity. 
  • THE WILD podcast - explores how nature survives and thrives alongside (and often despite) humans. Taking listeners across the Pacific Northwest and around the world, host Chris Morgan explores wildlife and the complex web of ecosystems they inhabit. He also tells the stories of people working in and protecting the wild around us.
  • thewildpod on InstagramGet back to nature with surprising stories of wonder and resilience from the world of wildlife with ecologist @chrismorganwildlife

If you have a suggestion for the Hiker Events Calendar, please email the details and a link to Nicole Masih-Theberge at