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.|
Learn more about: WTA member magazine | Signpost blog
Tales from the Trail: Trip Reports With Stories We Love
Mar 28, 2023
Trip reports are a big part of what WTA is known for. Every week, dozens of people like you tell us what conditions they came across on trail. We also see a lot of lovely life stories in trip reports: birthday celebrations, anniversaries, getting engaged and sharing Washington with a first-time hiker. Check out some of the highlights from last year.
14 Family-Friendly Hikes to Do Over Spring Break
Looking to hit the trail over spring break? We've got some hike suggestions that'll be great for the whole family.
What You Need to Know about How to Pick and Use Your Stove
Food tastes so good after a day of hiking, but first you need to cook it. Here's everything you need to know about picking a stove for your hiking adventures. By Sandra Saathoff.
How to be Your Own Best Hiking Resource – Your Brain is the Most Important Tool
Planning hikes and having rewarding, safe outdoor adventures takes a variety of skills and knowledge. WTA provides you with many of these resources. The most important tool to keep you having the experiences you want to have though, is your own brain.
The Wisdom of Crowds
How WTA's crowd-sourced information makes us all better hikers. By Anna Roth
Backcountry Response Teams: Seven Trips to Sign-up for in 2023
WTA's BCRTs combine backpacking and trail work for volunteer trips that range up to 8 days at a time! These trips have opened up trails across Washington in recent years. Here are a few of those trips for 2023 and what makes them special.
Hiker Headlines: WTA’s March Madness, Closures, Waterfall Corridor Permit System Ends
Mar 23, 2023
Join in on the fun for our annual March Madness, Washington Wildlife Edition! Be aware of some road and area closures in Olympic National Park and the Skagit Wildlife Area. The Oregon Department of Transportation is ending its “Waterfall Corridor” permitting program. And, the Forest Service has invested nearly $25 million in wildfire risk mitigation and response projects.
Crew Leader College 2023
We are back and we can’t wait to continue to build our skills together.
From Mud to Magnificent: How WTA Helped Transform a Neighborhood Park
Mar 21, 2023
WTA, in partnership with other groups, helps transform the muddy trails in Whipple Creek Park into a neighborhood greenspace fit for year-round use by hikers, bikers, equestrians and more.
Trekking by Transit: Tips from a WTA trip reporter
Mar 17, 2023
Kim Huntress Inskeep is a Seattle-based writer and transit and active-transportation advocate who writes trip reports under the name TransitTrekker. When we noticed how far afield she had gotten using transit systems, we had to know more about her approach. So we called her up and asked her a few questions.
Hiker Headlines: Hiker Rally Day, Fee-Free Day, Closures and Openings
Mar 16, 2023
Thank you to everyone who joined us for Hiker Rally Day this week! This Sunday is Washington State Parks’ birthday, and parking fees in some areas will be waived. Several trails are closed, and one state park has reopened after the winter season. And, Skyway Park has some new local artwork.
What Hiker Rally Day Meant to 5 Participants
Mar 16, 2023
Every 2 years, WTA’s Hiker Rally Day brings together outdoor enthusiasts from all across Washington to advocate for trails with our state lawmakers. This week, more than 70 people joined us from 40 state legislative districts to speak up for reliable funding for trails and equity in outdoor career. We talked to some participants to hear what the experience meant to them. Here’s what they had to say.
WTA Loves Local Trails
Mar 13, 2023
Check out this roundup of local hike trip reports across the state from our February #LoveLocalTrails giveaway.
Trail Pantry: How to turn your Picnic from Ghastly to Gastro
Food doesn't just supply us with energy on trail: it shapes our experience. All because it's prepared and eaten on trail doesn't mean it can't be enjoyable. We have tips for how to take your next on-trail picnic to the next level! By Joseph Gonzalez.
Where Does Your Gift to WTA Go?
Mar 13, 2023
Donations to WTA go toward moving forward our vision of Trails for Everyone, Forever. We checked in with WTA staffers to see what donations of different amounts actually look like when helping WTA accomplish our goals.
Spring Cleaning: How to Spark Joy With These Gear Organization Tips and Tricks
Do rainy days in winter and spring have you feeling blue? Spark joy and get ready for summer by organizing your gear closet with these tips and tricks! By Joseph Gonzalez.
Trip Report Roundup: And the Oscar Goes to…
Mar 10, 2023
The WTA Oscars are here! These seven award-worthy trip reports highlight hiking etiquette, demonstrate inclusiveness and inspire the trail community to get outside.
Hiker Headlines: Mount Rainier Entry Goes Cashless, State Park Work, REI Inclusivity and Sustainability
Mar 09, 2023
Mount Rainier National Park is going cashless for its fee collection, starting May 26. Sunset Beach at Lake Sammamish State Park is getting some improvements later this year. East Larch Mountain Road near the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon is closing for the rest of the year. The House passed a bill to support communities most at risk during wildfire season. And, REI updated their standards for their brand partners to be more inclusive and more sustainable.
5 Items You Need to Survive ‘The Last of Us’ (Hiking Edition)
Mar 08, 2023
All the info you need to endure and survive a fungal takeover. (Hint: As a hiker, you're most of the way there.)
Dreaming about Camping This Summer? Why (and How) to Start Planning Right Now
Mar 06, 2023
Camping is one of the great joys of a Washington summer — and because of that, it’s also popular. Finding a campsite to reserve can be challenging. You may want to start planning your summer (or spring or fall) now. Here are some tips to get you started. And if your schedule or personality calls for a last-minute approach, we have some ideas for that, too.
Hiker Headlines: Last Call for Hiker Rally Day, Free Day, North Cascades Permits, New Trail Bypass
Mar 02, 2023
It’s your last chance to sign up for Hiker Rally Day! March 9 is Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday, and some areas will have their parking fees waived. The North Cascades early access lottery opens March 6. Some state park campgrounds may be closed due to weather conditions. And a new bypass trail between Ralson and Marengo along the Palouse to Cascades Trail has opened.
How to Embrace a Beginner’s Mindset for New Outdoor Skills
Whether you’re expanding your outdoor skill repertoire, recently moved to Washington, or are new to the outdoors as a whole, these eight tips can help bolster your self-confidence, bring you closer to your companions and create space for maximum fun. By Linnea Johnson.
Shared Stories: Show us Your Snowy Adventures
Mar 01, 2023
We put out a call to our Instagram community to hear about your snowy adventures. Our community answered! These stories were featured in the spring edition of our Washington Trails Magazine.
WTA Partner Profile: Y.E.T.I. Gets Kids Outside While Building Community
Feb 28, 2023
Since 2015, WTA has been collaborating with the Youth Experiential Training Institute (Y.E.T.I.), which works to make it easier for young people in South King County to get outdoors. Building community is at the heart of their work. WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training program provides gear and resources for Y.E.T.I.'s outings.Their work fits in well with our vision of Trails for Everyone, Forever, and we're so excited to see the program keep growing.
Dog Mountain Permits for 2023: Get 'Em While You Can
Feb 28, 2023
Permits for Dog Mountain in 2023 will be available soon. In addition to a parking pass, hikers will need a permit if they are visiting Dog Mountain Saturday or Sunday between April 23 - June 12 and on Memorial Day.
Five Reasons to Take a Winter Hike Next Door
Feb 24, 2023
Winter hikes close to home offer new perspectives during the colder months.
Hiker Headlines: WTA in D.C., Dog Mountain Permits, Closures, Freezing Temps
Feb 23, 2023
WTA went to Hike the Hill in Washington, D.C., last week to advocate for our trails! Dog Mountain permits go on sale starting March 1. The Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge is closing some of its visitor services for the season. Heart O’ the Hills campground and trail are closing for construction. Be prepared for water at some campgrounds to be turned off due to freezing temperatures. And expect more snow and freezing temperatures at low elevations across the state.
Five Tips from WTA for Gourmet Meals in the Backcountry
Customize your meals and get more calories-per-ounce with these tips.
Bring These Comforts on Your Next Backcountry Trip
Pack smart for your next backcountry volunteer trip with WTA.
Leaving a Legacy: Trails Give to Me — Here’s How I Want to Give Back
Craig Romano is an avid hiker and runner who has participated in WTA's annual Hike-a-Thon for the last decade. As his physical abilities change with age, his perspective on the outdoors and how the hiking community can preserve it has also shifted. By Craig Romano.