Washington Trails Association is a nonprofit organization that relies on volunteers to help us be the number one hiking resource for people in and around Washington state. Thanks in part to this team of contributors to the website and the magazine, WTA is able to offer you the most up-to-date information on your favorite hike, or suggestions for a new trail you can explore.
Learn a little more about the people who help us bring you this valuable information. To see their most recent trip reports or connect with them online, click on their names or photos.
Tami Asars is a writer, photographer, and career hiker. She has spent her lifetime exploring the trails and backcountry in Washington, from the Olympic Coast to the Okanogan, and all points in between. In addition to working on her second Washington hiking guidebook, Tami is a regular contributor to Washington Trails hiking and nature sections. Tami lives in North Bend with her husband and their dog, Summit.
Nate and Jer Barnes
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, their enthusiasm for the outdoors was cultivated at a young age. After college we sought out a new challenge: explore all the hikes in Harvey Manning and Ira Spring’s 55 Hikes around Snoqualmie Pass. Before long, this hobby developed into hikingwithmybrother.com. A website chronicling their hikes – and exploring beyond Snoqualmie pass. They have written for Backpacker Magazine, Seattle Times, Washington State Parks, and WTA.
Anne was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but migrated west on her 24th birthday. Now, content and happy in the beautiful state of Washington in Spokane. Anne is a geologist by BS, and an archaeologist by MS, and an adventurer by ME. Anne likes the last of the trio the best! She loves hiking and exploring, and in the past few years, she's climbed a few mountains in the Cabinets, and, for the past 2 years has spent at least 3/4 of her Saturdays hiking, XC skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking or thinking about the next adventure.
After three years as a feature writer, gear team member and photographer for Washington Trails magazine, Eli Boschetto took on the editor position in November 2011. He's an avid backpacker and outdoor photographer, with an education in journalism and geology, and comes to WTA with a strong publishing, design and marketing background. Adding to his outdoors resume, Eli has also a been a Trail Correspondent for Backpacker magazine since 2008. While his hiking range is far and wide – from California's Sierras to the Canadian Rockies - his favorite hikes in Washington are Maple Pass in the North Cascades and the Snowgrass Flats in the Goat Rocks Wilderness.
Kim loves all areas of Washington state; from the coast to the Cascades, to the coulees of central Washington down to Washtucna and up to the Pend Oreille and over to Republic and North Cascades. Her favorite place is Glacier Peak, Henry M. Jackson and Wild Sky Wildernesses. And the coast. And ... well, everywhere.
Conor Dempsey is a Chicagoan, who in a moment of questionable logic, decided to move farther north to escape winter. He currently resides in Seattle, where there is less winter. For reasons unknown, he still remains a Cubs fan. Conor works as a freelance writer and can often be found wandering the mountains, where he can sometimes be heard quietly cursing the old Mailbox Peak trail.
Alan grew up many years ago in tiny Weaverville, California. At an early age, he became a hiker, backpacker, snowshoer and occasional fisherman in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Alan was a member of the Inter-Mountain Alpine Club (I-MAC,) and he recalls week-long backpack trips to the Wind Rivers, Sawtooths, Mt. Assiniboine, and many shorter backpacks and hikes. He managed to climb Mount St. Helens while it still had a summit, plus a few other Cascade peaks. He has also done some hiking in Hawaii and Australia. Today, he mostly does day hikes in the Cascades. He has contributed hundreds of trip reports to WTA signed by his trail name "Quantum Guru." The nickname, Alan explains, is not to be taken seriously. It was suggested by an artist friend who learned that he once had taken a course in quantum mechanics.
"I did take the course," Alan says, "but I was never a guru."
Ken is a northwest native with 40 years of hiking and backpacking experience, a survivor from the days of cotton clothing and no water treatment. A self-proclaimed failure at ultralight hiking, Ken still carries his ridiculously heavy pack on trips up to a weeklong. Ken prefers going to places that he's never been before, to enjoy the new scenery (and capture it on camera). For this reason, Ken's trip reports and hiking guide submissions include a few less popular trails. He hopes his photos inspire you to try a new trail.
David was born and raised in Seattle. As a child of long-time Seattle Mountaineers, he's been hiking and backpacking in the Cascades for his entire life; in the Columbia Basin for almost 35 years. He became intersted in photography in the 1970s and is largely self-taught. David serves on the board of directors of the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy; he was also president for a time. Now retired, he lives in Yakima.
Lindsey fell in love with hiking as a teenager while on a family vacation to the Grand Canyon and realized, after returning home, how many great trails were in her own backyard. Over the years she spent as much time in the woods as she could, learning about the local ecology and native species of the northwest. In the spring of 2015, she set out on a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail and was inspired every day by her fellow hikers. She now plans to give back to the community that has provided so much for her over the years. She can be found anywhere with thick blankets of moss underfoot or jagged peaks overhead. In her second life, she hopes to return as a marmot so she can live a life of sunbathing in the middle of the wilderness.
If the trail goes up (way up), Paul's there! Paul hikes and writes about one and two-day trips that are equal parts pain and gain, especially those that climb 5,000 feet or more. Paul was born and raised in the Seattle area, and loves the high places of Washington. Ever since a fateful jaunt up Crater Peak in the North Cascades, he's been one third endurance nut, one third nature geek, and one third mountain goat. Paul don't care what it takes to get "up there". He will do it and bring back photos and a GPS track to share! Most any weekend you'll find Paul and his wife somewhere in the Cascades, busting a lung.
Jay has always enjoyed the outdoors. In 1970, his dad first took him backpacking at the age of 9 to Barclay Lake off Highway 2, spurring many more backpacking trips in the early '70s. When Jay was 11, he went to a kids summer camp at Lake Becharof in Alaska for a week, the only way to get there was by small airplane. It was pristine wilderness with abundant wildlife. It gave Jay a love for remote wilderness areas here in Washington, hence his attraction to the Glacier Peak Wilderness area. Jay lives in Skagit County and goes hiking any chance he can get.
As an elementary school teacher, Lindsay has the summers off to hike her favorite trails throughout the Cascades. She volunteers as a Mountain Steward with the Mount Baker Ranger District of the National Forest Service, serves as the North Cascades Regional Correspondent for Washington Trails magazine, and is an active member of Washington Trails Association.
Since moving to Washington in 2012, Maura and her husband spend almost every weekend finding adventure in the mountain ranges within the state. Their hiking companions include their son Jack, born July 2014 and their Golden Retriever, Latigo.
Ashley is a Pacific Northwest Native who lives to hike. She enjoys poring over maps and guidebooks to create her hiking to-do list almost as much as the hikes themselves. Ashley has taken courses in alpine geography, ecosystems and environmental issues, as well as volunteered for wildlife tracking programs throughout the Cascades. She lives in Vancouver with her family, cat, dog, turtle and chickens.
Avid hiker, photographer, writer and videographer of Puget Sound's Islands, Central, North Cascades and Olympic National Park. Mike has hiked most trails on the west side of the Cascades of Washington State north of I-90 to the Canadian Border. His favorite hike is The Enchantments, above Leavenworth, Washington which Mike tries to do once each year. His favorite area is The Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Mike lost his favorite hiking partner (his wife) to six back surgeries so she now follows along from Google Earth with a GPS Spot Tracking Device and enjoys Mike's videos and pictures after his hikes.
Claire is a lawyer in Seattle where she works primarily with regional and national food and beverage companies, counseling them on a variety of business, intellectual property and regulatory compliance issues. Having never hiked or camped before, Claire cut her teeth on the urban trails around Discovery Park, Lake Union and Myrtle Edwards Park. She quickly graduated to more challenging hikes and backpacking trips and eventually found herself retreating to the wilderness as often as possible. In her spare time, Claire is an avid hiker, snowshoer, backpacker, mountain climber, outdoor photographer, and lover of all of Washington’s natural places. On a typical weekend you’ll find her either volunteering with The Mountaineers, sharpening her outdoor skills at a Navigation course, scoping out the latest gear sale, identifying wildflowers in her field guide or exploring a new trail.
Melissa hails from the east coast, where she studied music and earned her masters degree from Cornell University. After stints in Texas and Arizona, she drove north with her cat, Bubba, to Washington State in search of snow and seasons. She has since made her home here with her husband, Onur, and continues to be an avid hiker, writer, and photographer, setting foot on many breathtaking summits from Mount St. Helens to the Swiss Alps. Melissa currently enjoys volunteering with the WTA communications team while pursuing her Editing Certificate at the University of Washington. Aside from hiking to summits, Melissa enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities, playing piano, and experimenting with different recipes, especially for energy bars to enjoy at summits.
Ryan Ojerio - Southwest Regional Manager
Ryan is, in and of himself, a WTA microcosm in Southwest Washington. He manages volunteers, scouts projects, advocates for trails and promotes hiking in Southwest Washington. Armed with a Masters in Community and Regional Planning and several years of experience managing crews for the Northwest Youth Corps, Ryan is more than up to the task of handling all these different parts of the program in the Southwest. Although these days his hiking pace is set by his daughter, there was a time when he solo backpacked through Yosemite National Park and mountaineered in Peru. One day, Ryan would like to take a summer-long motorcycle tour to visit all the trails he's ever worked on.
Wes first fell in love with Washington's trails and wilderness areas after he took a summer job in the Sol Duc Valley. He returned year after year to explore deeper into the Olympic and Cascade ranges. Called by the mountains and their infinite views, Wes began to find a world of wonder in the approach through lowland forests. He is particularly fond of Sitka spruce, and delights in tramping through the terraces of the Olympic valleys. His favorite hikes include the High Divide and Hoh Rain Forest.
Linda is a retired horticulturist, having spent 20+ years in garden retail. When hiking through a wildflower filled meadow, Linda will be hiking slow indeed! Every flower calls out for a picture! Her hiking partners joke "you can never have too many pictures of paintbrush". Linda may be a slow hiker, but she loves a good tough, challenging hike. Linda likes hiking with others, and finds that hiking friends, with their individual little quirks, make for the best hiking stories! Linda is 'locally grown' having spent her childhood in Woodinville in the days when it was dairy farms and logging trucks rumbled down the roads. Linda went to WSU (Go Cougs) and is a total Seahawks fan. She's married with two grown children and recently became a hikin' grandma.
Anna Roth - Hiking Guide Manager
Anna came back to Washington after two years in Colorado and not enough coastline. She joined a WTA work party on National Public Lands Day in 2012, and less than a year later started at WTA. Now, she researches hikes and works with a team of correspondents who help her improve WTA's hiking guide. She’s happy to hike anywhere, whether it's the mile-long commute to the bus stop or a multi-day backpack in the Gifford Pinchot, but she really loves a day in outdoors when the payoff is a view from a mountain top, ridge, or pass. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob has more than 35 years of experience in technology and investments, most recently investing in high tech start-ups as Managing Partner of Divergent Ventures. At WTA, he's been a driving force behind the website, blending his interest in technology with his passion for hiking. He especially likes to scout trails with out-of-date trip reports, filing updates under the pseudonym of Shadowdad. Look for Rob on the trail with his family, friends and dog Shasta, particularly near Lake Wenatchee. Rob has been on the WTA board since 2008 and served two years as president from 2010 to 2012.
John is a father, husband, adventurer, and hacker. John grew up in the Pacific Northwest and never considers leaving, even when it rains for 100 days straight. He dreams of the days when he can turn off the computer and explore our amazing world with his family. You can find them where the road heads up into the mountains, tucked against the river, at the end of a dirt road. John writes at moosefish.com and is on twitter as @moosefish and instagram as @mrmoosefish.
Born and raised on the East coast. Austin lived and climbed in Washington since 1993. Although every trip isn't a WTA trip, neither is every trip entirely a Cascade Climber's trip. Austin hopes by adventuring outside of the box, he can help others reach some special spots.
Aaron is a Spokane based freelance writer and photographer specializing in the wild places of the Inland Northwest. Among Aaron's many hats, he is the editor of the Friends of the Columbia Highlands website, works with the Washington Native Plant Society and is one of Washington Trails' top regional contributors, in addition to his primary job as a stay-at-home father to his young son.
Holly Weiler - Eastern Washington Regional Coordinator
Holly’s passion for trails has its roots in trail running, but over the years she has transitioned into a seasoned backpacker who loves her time in the backcountry. When she’s not running or backpacking, you can find her doing trail maintenance. An early introduction to trail work through Conservation Northwest turned into a bit of an obsession, and she's now the proud owner of four crosscut saws and two pulaskis. After several seasons of volunteer trail work and Hike-a-Thoning for WTA, she's excited to be doing outreach and leading trail work in the Spokane area--that is, when she’s not working on her MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University.
Mason is a longtime crosscut sawyer and WTA chief crew leader - mostly leading Backcountry Response Teams in the Olympic Peninsula. During the winter he has led the Mount Rainier Nordic Patrol and stays active in the mountains snowshoeing and back country skiing. His favorite hikes include the Salmo Loop in the Colville and combining the Upper Lena Lake and Putvin Trails in the Olympics. He has also been a WTA board member since 2013.
Other Magazine and Online Contributors
- Jeff Anderson - Magazine
- Bruce Bjornstad - Hike the State Expert
- Buff Black - Photographer
- Martin Bravenboer - Hiking Guide Correspondent
- John Brink - Hiking Guide Correspondent
- Patricia Coulthard - Hiking Guide Correspondent
- Kelsie Donleycott - Magazine
- Whitney Dygert - Magazine
- Dawn Erickson - Magazine
- Kathleen Foley - Hike the State Expert
- Randall Hodges - Photographer
- Walter Henze - Hike the State Expert
- Rebecca Jensen - Magazine (illustrator)
- Jim Kuresman - Hike the State Expert
- Pam and Paul Kaperick - Hiking Guide Correspondents
- Charlie Lieu - Magazine
- Darryl Lloyd - Photographer
- Meagan Mackenzie - Hike the State Expert + Photographer
- Brittany Manwill - Magazine
- Ken Peterson - Hiking Guide Correspondent
- Craig Romano - Magazine + Hike the State Expert
- Kristin Sapowicz - Magazine
- MikeOnAHike - Hiking Guide Correspondent
- Douglas Scott - Hike the State Expert
- Gwen Tollefson - Hike the State Expert
- Janice Van Cleve - Magazine
- Isaac Zinda - GPS track converter developer
Feeling inspired by these volunteers? Get involved with WTA!