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A SPECIAL SECTION THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington


So much to explore this season

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estern Washington is an outdoor playground. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy a multitude of outdoor recreation opportunities, visit any number of destinations, take in a concert at an outdoor venue and enjoy a summer’s day at a local festival. For the outdoors enthusiast, you can fish for chinook salmon in salt and fresh water or cast a line for a rainbow trout in a local lake. Hikers will find no shortage of trails, from short loops tailor-made for young legs to long sojourns that make many a backpackers’ bucket list. Folks looking to pitch a tent or park their RV have hundreds of campsite from which to choose. The more adventurous can test their mettle taking on the 14,411-foot summit of Mount Rainier or get their adrenaline rush paragliding off Tiger Summit. For the youngsters in the family, there are places near and far to learn, explore, get a little dirty and have fun. If you prefer to approach the outdoors in a more leisurely manner, destinations such as Long Beach and Port Angeles are an easy drive away and offer a weekend’s worth of events and attractions. Perhaps your idea of a great day outdoors is one spent at a fair roaming among vendor booths or listening to a favorite band. Don’t worry, Western Washington has you covered as well. In this special section, we explore just some of the options readily available to residents and visitors in the South Sound.


nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

WHAT’S INSIDE Wet a line. From the Pacific Ocean to small alpine lakes, the waters of Western Washington are teeming with fish, some of which are fairly easy to catch. PAGE 4

Hit the road. We offer five suggestions — from the sea to the forest — when it comes to finding a town to call home for a weekend and also have plenty to do. PAGE 6

Take the kids. Exploring a beach at low-tide or taking a day to visit Mount Rainier are just some of the alternatives for introducing a young child to the outdoors. PAGE 12

Grab your boots.The trails that crisscross the region range from rugged tracks to smooth paths and from skyscraping adventures to lowland jaunts. PAGE 16

Go camping. The number of camping options close to the South Sound is stunning. Try a weekend in a platform tent at Dosewallips State Park. PAGE 18

A carpet of Lupine, Sitka Valerian, and Pasque flowers lures hikers along the Golden Gate Trail at Mount Rainier National Park.

Celebrate State Parks.There are 117 state parks in Washington, many within a short drive of the South Sound. We tell you the best these parks have to offer.

DEAN J. KOEPFLER/ Staff photographer, file

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ON THE COVER A hiker takes a break during a trek through the meadows above Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park. DEAN J. KOEPFLER/ Staff photographer, file

EDITOR’S NOTE Northwest Summer is a premium section available only to subscribers of The News Tribune and The Olympian. Because of our press deadline, some locations had not set their prices for the summer season. You might encounter prices that differ from what is listed here.

ON THE WEB You can read Northwest Summer online at thenewstribune.com. You also can stay up-todate on outdoors news at blog.thenewstribune. com/adventure.

AND SO MUCH MORE

CONTRIBUTORS Adventure editor: Jeffrey P. Mayor Adventure writer: Craig Hill Features editor: Dusti Demarest Photographers: The News Tribune and The Olympian staffs Copy editors: Katie Dorsey, Kerry Tsukamoto, Audra J. Stephens and Mike Lang Graphics and section design: Jessica Randklev


nwsummer

BEFORE YOU FISH

Get a license The state Department of Fish and Wildlife (fishhunt.dfw. wa.gov) has information on fishing licenses. All anglers ages 15 and older are required to have a Washington state fishing license with them while fishing. There are plenty of options, ranging from an annual freshwater-saltwatershellfish combination license for $54.25 to a oneday combination license for $11.35.

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

Area waters are an angler’s paradise

Hordes of fishermen flock to the Puyallup River in search of their limit of pink salmon. DEAN J. KOEPFLER/ Staff photographer, file

Check the regs For details of the state’s fishing regulations, which can be complicated, download the rules pamphlet at wdfw.wa.gov/ fishing/regulations or pick up a copy at retailers.

Fish for free If you don’t want to buy a fishing license, there is one weekend each year you can still legally fish. On June 8-9, the state will hold its annual Free Fishing Weekend. A fishing license will not be required for anyone to fish in Washington. Also not required on Free Fishing Weekend are: vehicle access pass (which comes with a fishing license), Discover Pass, Columbia River salmon/steelhead endorsement or a two-pole endorsement.

BY JEFFREY P. MAYOR Staff writer

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estern Washington abounds in fishing opportunities for South Sound residents. You can chase chinook salmon in the Pacific Ocean, steelhead in rivers across the region, fish for trout in dozens of stocked lakes or tangle with a toothy tiger muskie in a large reservoir. “If you live in Western Washington, you are truly blessed with the ample opportunities given to you this summer,” said Terry Wiest, longtime angler and author. “Chinook, coho, sockeye and pinks will be abundant this summer, making Western Washington a world-class destination, and this is just for salmon.”

He also pointed out there are seasons for crab, shrimp, sea bass and halibut among other saltwater species, while trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass and walleye keep those seeking freshwater species busy. Oysters and clams also are available for those wanting to comb the beach. “There’s something for everyone,” Wiest said. “Western Washington is a beautiful place to be.”

Salmon T

he charter boat fleets in Westport and Ilwaco give the land-based angler the chance to fish for salmon each summer. Both communities also have boat ramps for private boats. The charter boats based in Westport, at the mouth of Grays Harbor, will take eager anglers out in the Pacific in pursuit of chinook salmon. The largest and most prized of the five Pacific salmon species, chinook put up a good fight and can quickly fill a freezer. It’s not unusual for fishermen to come back to port with a limit of 25-pound chinook. The action might be best when the season opens in June, Wiest said. You can get details on trips and costs from the Westport Charter Association. charterwestport.com

Fishing out of Ilwaco, just inside the mouth of the Columbia River, offers anglers a chance to fish for the smaller, but more plentiful coho salmon. Anglers also can catch chinook, halibut and rockfish, or fish the Columbia for sturgeon as well as salmon. The Ilwaco Charter Association (360642-3495) is a clearinghouse for information on the charter fleet there. The rivers that feed Puget Sound provide freshwater fisheries for salmon. A large return of coho is expected this year, Wiest said. Some of the rivers worth noting are the Puyallup, Skokomish, Nisqually, Skagit, Snohomish and Green. When the salmon are moving upstream, it’s not unusual for anglers to be standing shoulder to shoulder in the hot spots. A bonus this year will be the return of more than 6 million pink salmon to Puget Sound rivers. Waters with the biggest runs are the Green (1.35 million), Puyallup (1.24 million) and Skagit (1.23 million). They also are easily caught from beaches along the Sound, including Alki, Dash Point and Browns Point. A lesser-known option is the pursuit of landlocked salmon. Silver salmon can be caught in waters such as Riffe Lake. Lakes such as American, Clear (Pierce County), Sammamish, Alder and Merwin are home to kokanee, landlocked sockeye salmon.

FISHING


A fisherman seeks a better spot on Ohop Lake near Eatonville.

A bonus this year will be the return of more than 6 million pink salmon to Puget Sound rivers.

Photos by PETER HALEY/ Staff photographer

ABOVE: Taking a look at the catch on Ohop Lake during the first weekend of legal lowland lake trout fishing in Washington.

Steelhead T

here are a number of rivers in Western Washington that attract anglers hoping to hook a summer-run steelhead. A rainbow trout that spends part of its life in the deep open ocean waters off the Aleutian Islands, steelhead are famed for their size and fighting prowess. Best described as rainbow trout on steroids, these anadromous trout return each year bulked up and with a mean disposition. While the typical summer-run steelhead weighs 8-11 pounds, the state record summer-run was a 35.06-pound steelhead caught in the Snake River in Whitman County on Nov. 23, 1973. There are half a dozen rivers within an easy drive of the South Sound that offer good steelhead action, Wiest said. His list includes the Cowlitz, Wynoochee, North Fork Lewis, Klickitat, Skykomish and Green River in King County. Another option is the Sol Duc River near Forks. While many streams open to fishing June 1, the summer-run steelhead will make their way into streams throughout the summer and will remain there until they spawn in the spring. While some anglers prefer to test their skills with a fly rod, others will use eggs, shrimp or artificial lures in hopes of hooking a fish. You can fish these rivers on your own, or hire a guide for a day. There are a multitude of guide services offering fishing trips on these and other rivers.

Warmwater species W

estern Washington is home to three major lakes stocked with these toothy monsters. A hybrid of muskellenge and northern pike, tiger

muskies grow large quickly. The options include close-to-home Lake Tapps, and road-trip worthy Mayfield Lake and Lake Merwin. All three lakes offer the chance to land a keeper muskie — there is a 50-inch minimum in Washington. All three lakes have the weed beds, rocky points and fallen trees in which muskies lurk while waiting to ambush baitfish. These big fish will test the mettle of your gear, your arm strength should you hook one and your patience — after all, there is a reason they’re called the fish of 10,000 casts. Two local tiger muskie clubs would be a good place to learn more: Northwest Tiger Pac Chapter 57 (nwtigermuskies.com) and Cascade Musky Association (cascademusky.com). Waters such as Lake Washington and Tapps are known for their opportunities for anglers to match their skills against smallmouth bass. A number of lakes offer action for both smallmouth and largemouth bass, including Lake Goodwin in Snohomish County, Lake Sammamish in King County, Long Lake in Kitsap County and Riffe Lake in Lewis County.

Trout F

or those who prefer a simpler way to fish, there are dozens of lakes throughout the region that are stocked with rainbow trout. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife (wdfw.wa.gov/ fishing) has information on fishing licenses and stocking schedules. Any local bait and tackle shop will give you tips on where to fish and what the fish are biting. Among the many options are American and Spanaway lakes in Pierce County, Munn and Black in Thurston County, Spencer and Nahwatzal in Mason County, Mineral in Lewis County and Coldwater on the Mount St. Helens

National Volcanic Monument. There are a number of lakes where only children are allowed to fish. They include Mill Creek Pond (Grays Harbor County), Old Fishing Hole Pond (Kent), South Bend Mill Pond, Wapato Lake (Tacoma) and Long’s Pond (Lacey). Go to wdfw. wa.gov/fishing/kids for details.

Shellfish T

here are a many of opportunities to catch shellfish in Western Washington, including crab, shrimp, clams and oysters. A favorite option is setting pots for Dungeness crab in Puget Sound. The season typically opens around the Fourth of July and runs through Labor Day weekend. The state divides the Sound into regions and the seasons will vary by region. Basic rules allow anglers to keep five male Dungeness crab and six red rock crab of either sex. There are a few shrimping options during the summer. Marine Areas 4 (east of the BonillaTatoosh line), 5 and 6 are open daily until the quota is reached or Sept. 15, whichever comes first. Marine Area 7 West is open WednesdaySaturday each week until June 1. After June 1, the area will be open Thursday-Saturday each week until the quota is reached or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.

TONY OVERMAN/ Staff photographer, file

ABOVE: Felicity Zambrana of Olympia marvels at the size of the rainbow trout she caught during the Family Fish-In at Woodland Creek Community Park in 2011.


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A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

CRAIG SAILOR/Staff writer, file

nwsummer

The Westport Marina at dusk.

destination No. 2

Packwood T

MOUNT RAINIER

er

his town at the southeast edge of Mount Rainier 12 National Park is an CRAIG RD. iv outdoor playground. R Gifford itz The surrounding wl Pinchot Co SNYDER RD. forests, hills, river National valleys and mountains Forest Packwood offer hiking, cycling, 1 MILE fishing and camping. Visitors wanting to setup a tent or park an RV can do so at Ohanapecosh Campground inside the park or La Wis Wis Campground, just off U.S. Highway 12 east of town. It is one of a number of campgrounds in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Traveling down Gifford Pinchot National Forest Roads 25 and 26, one can get to Windy Ridge and the east side of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. During the summer, rangers offer interpretive programs at that location. Anglers will have plenty of options, including more than 1,360 miles of streams and more than 100 lakes within the national forest. For fly-fishing anglers, Leech Lake at White Pass offers the chance to hook brook and rainbow trout. Skate Creek is one of the few Western Washington streams stocked by the state with rainbow trout. The town also is known for its flea markets, one Memorial Day weekend (Friday-Monday) and one Labor Day weekend (Aug. 30-Sept. 2).

HIT THE ROAD

Y

Westport

Westhaven ou can State Park climb the Observation South Bay Tower in town, offering views of 1 MILE surfers in action off the South Jetty, 105 fishing boats coming and going, the southern end of Ocean Shores across the mouth of Grays Harbor and the Olympic Mountains. The 2.2-mile trail from the Grays Harbor Lighthouse to the viewing tower is a great place to ride a bike (especially with kids) or take a walk and maybe get an ice cream treat while in town. You also can visit the Westport Maritime Museum, featuring a lens from the Destruction Island Lighthouse, and walk the docks when the charter fishing boats return and watch the anglers unload their catch of salmon. At the end of Neddie Rose Drive is a boardwalk, a great spot to fish or watch boats enter and exit the marina. If your drive south toward Tokeland, you will come to Washaway Beach. It earned its name and reputation from the natural forces that cause the surf to eat away at the beach, sending some homes into the water. For wine lovers, stop at Westport Winery just off state Route 105. If you like seafood, but don’t want to catch your own, there are several locations in town to buy crab and salmon. Sometimes, you can buy items right off the boat.

MORE INFO: westportwa.com

MORE INFO: destinationpackwood.com PETER HALEY/Staff photographer, file

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hile there are countless travel destinations within Western Washington, a number of towns make for great weekend escapes. They offer a mix of outdoor recreation, history, amazing scenery, a chance to unwind and a place to rest your head. They serve as the hub for a multitude of activities and attractions. Here are some of our favorites:

Westport FOREST ST.

BY JEFFREY P. MAYOR Staff writer

destination No. 1

MONTESANO ST.

A quintet of towns that make for great escapes

Elk can be found roaming in the Packwood area.

INSIDE > If you head to Packwood, check out Page 22 for info on things to do in and around Mount Rainier National Park.


TONY OVERMAN/Staff photographer, file

JEFFREY P. MAYOR/Staff writer, file

Adventurous visitors can explore tide pools (where crabs can be found, inset) at the Salt Creek Recreation Area near Port Angeles.

destination No. 3

Ilwaco/Long Beach C

ape Disappointment 103 State Park should Long 1 MILE be your first stop in Beach this area. A must101 see is the Lewis and PACIFIC OCEAN Clark Interpretive 101 Center. The North Ilwaco Baker Cape Bay Head Lighthouse Disappointment offers great ocean State Park vistas, and from Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, you can watch ocean-going ships entering and leaving the mouth of the Columbia River. You also might see boats from the nearby U.S. Coast Guard National Motor Lifeboat School training in the high surf. At the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, you can paddle out to Long Island and camp, or just hike to the grove of ancient cedars. You can walk the short Willapa Interpretive Art Trail, featuring works from the University of Washington Public Arts Program. At Leadbetter Point, at the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula, you can go birding. One of the best times is at high tide on the ocean side of the point. If you bring your bikes, ride the Discovery Trail, an 8½-mile paved path connecting Long Beach and Ilwaco. Along the way, you can see a gray whale skeleton at the south end of the Long Beach Boardwalk; Clark’s Tree, a 19-foot bronze sculpture noting the most northwest point the Corps of Discovery reached on its journey; and Beard’s Hollow, named after a ship captain whose body washed ashore when his ship sank offshore in 1853. You also can take a chartered salmon fishing trip out of Ilwaco. If you opt to bring your own boat, there is a launching facility in the state park, complete with a fish-cleaning station.

The Island Whaler, the 38-foot catamaran run by Deception Pass Tours, makes its way into Canoe Pass. The company has partnered with Deception Pass State Park to offer wildlife viewing tours.

destination No. 4

Port Angeles

Oak Harbor Strait of Juan de Fuca

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AULT FIELD RD. hile it remains a military town, thanks to nearby Naval Air WHIDBEY AVE. Station Whidbey Oak Island, Oak Harbor Harbor FORT NUGENT RD. is surrounded Oak by a multitude of Harbor 5,000 FT. parks and outdoor 20 recreation opportunities on the north end of the island. There are a number of state parks, including Joseph Whidbey, Ebey’s Landing and Fort Casey. The gem is Deception Pass, one of the most visited of the Washington’s 117 state parks. There also is Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Taking a boat tour offers a unique view of the area. One-hour trips with Deception Pass Tours (deceptionpasstours.com, 888-909-8687) start at $24.95. You’ll go under the Deception Pass Bridge and see birds and marine life. Fly anglers will want to try their luck at Pass Lake within Deception Pass State Park at the north end of the island. One of the best lakes on the west side for fly fishing, the lake holds rainbow and brown trout. Take the drive up Mount Erie on Fidalgo Island for some great views. The vistas from the top offer breathtaking views of the San Juan Islands and the Olympic Mountains. On the east side of the peak, you can go hang gliding or just watch.

MORE INFO: portangeles.org

MORE INFO: oakharbor.org

HELLER ST.

hile this city on the Strait of Juan de Fuca is W. E. 8T a gateway to the H S 1ST S T. T. western side of the Port Angeles 101 Olympic Peninsula 101 or the starting 1 MILE point for a ferry ride to Victoria, B.C., it HURRICANE also serves as a hub RIDGE for many close-to-town attractions and activities. To get a sense of the city’s history, take a tour with Heritage Tours (portangelesheritagetours. com). Recent renovations to the old downtown, underneath the existing buildings, offer a look at past living conditions. The city also serves as the front door to the northeast corner of Olympic National Park, including the Hurricane Ridge area. In town is the Olympic National Park Visitor Center with hands-on exhibits, information displays and kids activities. To the west is Salt Creek Recretion Area, a great destination to explore at low tide. The nearby, wood-floored Joyce General Store is a good stop after beachcombing, offering treats and trinkets. Located north of nearby Sequim, the 5½-mile walk along the Dungeness Spit leads you to the Dungeness Spit Lighthouse. Be sure to time your trek to coincide with the tides.

MORE INFO: funbeach.com CRAIG SAILOR/Staff Writer, file

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destination No. 5

The North Head Lighthouse is one of two lighthouses at Cape Disappointment State Park.


nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

BIKING

2 EVENTS NOT TO MISS

Cyclocross Cyclocross, a sport that combines elements of mountain biking and road riding, is a sport that starts in late summer. The Northwest has a reputation as one of the best cyclocross scenes in North America. The first MFG Series race is Sept. 8, and the Seattle Cyclocross Series has yet to announce the date of its first race. For more information, check mfgcyclocross. com or seattlecx. com.

Kidical Mass The Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club and Tacoma Bike Ranch are sponsoring a series of rides for families with kids this summer. The rides, called Kidical Mass, are short, flat and designed to be kid-friendly. The first ride was May 4, and more are in the works. Visit tacomabikeranch. blogspot.com and kidicalmass.org for more info.

Miles of trails, paved or rugged, call to cyclists of all kinds BY CRAIG HILL Staff writer

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here’s good reason Western Washington has a reputation for being one of the nation’s best locations for recreational cycling. Want narrow, winding trails to explore by mountain bike? Prefer wide, smooth paved trails to coast on your cruiser? Want to race or try something new? Or are you itching to sign up for an organized ride that might push you to go a little farther than you’ve ever pedaled? There are plenty of opportunities for all of the above. The route into Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park near Sammamish from the north includes a boardwalk. PETER HALEY/ Staff photographer, file

10 MULTIUSE TRAILS

Olympic Discovery Trail: Only 53 miles of the 126.2-mile trail between Port Townsend and the Pacific Ocean are complete, but those comfortable riding along highways can link all of the finished sections. The longest stretch of completed paved trail stretches between Sequim and Port Angeles. olympicdiscoverytrail.com

Chehalis Western Trail: This trail runs 22 miles from Woodward Bay through Lacey and along the Deschutes River to the Yelm-Tenino Trail. co.thurston.wa.us/parks

Foothills Trail: Ride 14.5 paved miles between Puyallup and South Prairie or 2 miles in Buckley. The trail can be extended in Puyallup by linking the 5-mile Riverwalk Trail. co.pierce.wa.us

Interurban and Green River Trails: Ride more than 34 miles from Sumner to Tukwila by linking the Interurban (14.7 miles) and Green River (19.6) trails. kingcounty.gov


» BIKE CLUBS ● PETER HALEY/Staff photographer, file

Bootcamp is a popular loop at Duthie Hill’s bike park near Sammamish.

Cycling clubs are a great way to learn about bikes, find riding partners and discover new routes. Carole Bernhardt of the Capital Bicycling Club once said people are nervous about joining a club, but insisted, “There’s something for everybody.” Here’s a look at the local bike clubs: Capital Bicycling Club: Olympia, capitalbicycleclub.org Harmon Bike Club: Tacoma, find it on Facebook Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club: Tacoma, twbc.org Tacoma Bike: 309 Puyallup Ave., offers a Saturday ride at 9 a.m. The group hasn’t missed a ride for almost three years. tacomabike.com » EVENTS ●

SIX MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS 1

Duthie Hill

» This Disneyland for mountain bikers features smooth cross-country trails, jumps and features designed to challenge the most skilled riders.

trails.evergreenmtb.org

Banner Forest

2 » This small park packed with trails is easy to get to, easy to get temporarily lost in and filled with trails for all skill levels. Check kitsapmtb.com for maps and info on the trail and work the Kitsap Mountain Bike Club does to help Kitsap County Parks maintain the trail system.

Capitol State Forest

3 » Capitol Forest has more than 160 miles of single-track trails and considerably more miles of gravel roads. For more information on the forest, its trails, events and Friends of Capitol Forest, visit capitolforest.com. 4

Tiger Mountain

» An easy access system of trails and the home of Wednesday night work parties led by the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. trails.evergreenmtb.org 5

Mount St. Helens »

The Plains of Abraham is one of Washington’s most coveted rides. Climb and descend hills, roll under tall timber and ride slack-jawed through the blast zone.

5

Stevens Pass

» Lift-accessed

4 90

Mount Rainier National Park

101

stevensbikepark.com

5

5

Cushman Powerline Trail: This 5-mile trails rolls through scenic wetlands and Gig Harbor, and can be linked to the Scott Pierson Trail. penmetparks.org

6

1

2 3

downhill mountain bike trails at one of Washington’s most popular ski areas.

Yelm-Tenino Trail: Keep a safe distance from state Route 507 on this 14.5mile trail between Yelm and Tenino. co.thurston.wa.us/parks

101

Olympic National Park

fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens

6

North Cascades National Park

25 MILES

Peninsula Metric & Gran Fondo: June 2. Start at Gig Harbor or Southworth to ride this classic Tacoma Wheelmen’s ride. Pick a route from 30-100 miles and tour Gig Harbor, Purdy and South Kitsap County on rural roads. twbc.org Flying Wheels Summer Century: June 8. An ideal ride for training for something a little longer later in the summer. Routes from 25-100 miles offer some good climbs as they visit Snohomish, Monroe and Carnation. The ride starts at the Marymoor Park Velodrome, where there are some entertaining races by costumed participants after the ride. cascade.org Cannonball: June 22. Only the uberfit should bother attempting this 276-mile one-day ride that follows Interstate 90 from Seattle to Spokane. redmondcyclingclub.org Two-county Double Metric: June 23. Explore the back roads of Thurston and Lewis counties in the Capital Bicycling Club’s most popular ride. Routes are 23-125 miles. capitalbicycleclub.org Red-Bell 100: June 29. In the event’s second year, participants ride from Redmond-Bellingham on a 100-mile route that uses plenty of bike trails. Participants must raise at least $150 for World Bicycle Relief. cascade.org Seattle 2 Spokane: July 6. Was the Cannonball too easy? Then try riding 284 miles along state Route 2. You must be a Redmond Cycling Club member to participate. redmondcyclingclub.org Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic: July 13-14. If you haven’t registered already, you’re out of luck. Make a note for next summer. Spots fill in early February. cascade.org RAMROD: July 25. Sorry, if you didn’t win the April lottery, you aren’t doing this ride around Mount Rainier, either. The waiting list exceeded 1,000 riders this year. Check the ride website next May to enter the 2014 lottery. redmondcyclingclub.org Tour de Kitsap: July 28. This popular ride celebrates its 20th year by offering routes of 32-100 miles that visit

BPA and West Campus Trails: These Federal Way trails link for less than 5 miles of riding, but they connect some of the city’s best recreation opportunities: the King County Aquatic Center, Celebration Park, the Madrona Park Playground and the Federal Way Community Center. cityoffederalway.com

Scott Pierson Trail: Pedal over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on this 5-mile trail that follows state Route 16. wsdot.wa.gov

Seabeck, Port Gamble, Poulsbo and Keyport. westsoundcycling.com Courage Classic: Aug. 3-5. Three mountain passes (Snoqualmie, Blewett and Stevens) in three days, and you’ll eat like a king (or queen). Participants must raise $750 for the Rotary Endowment for the Intervention and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. courageclassic.com Ride The Hurricane: Aug. 4. Climb 12 or 18 miles up 3,300 or 4,300 feet through Olympic National Park. Sign up quick. Participation is limited to the first 700 people. www.portangeles.org Obliteride: Aug. 9-11. A new ride this year with routes ranging from 25-180 miles designed to raise money for research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Riders spend a night on the University of Puget Sound campus. obliteride.org RAPSody Ride: Aug. 24-25. A two-day journey around Puget Sound, starting and finishing in Tacoma. Despite 9,600 feet of climbing over 170 miles, the event continues to carve out a spot as one of the South Sound’s top rides. Perhaps rest-stop food such as yogurt parfaits and calzones help. rapsodybikeride.com Ride the South Sound: Sept. 8. The Capital Bicycling Club’s newest ride is making a strong case to become an Olympia tradition, thanks to scenic routes of 10-100 miles and a postride meal at the Harbor House. capitalbicycleclub.org High Pass Challenge: Sept. 8. This beast of a ride climbs 7,500 feet over 114 miles and challenges riders to pedal from Packwood to Mount St. Helens and back by 2 p.m. Meet the challenge and you get a gold ribbon on your finisher medallion. cascade.org Tour de Blast: Sept. 21. If you swore off this ride when it was held in the rain in June, now is the time to give it another try. It has moved to a traditionally sunny weekend. Climb as many as 6,240 vertical feet over as many as 82 miles as you ride from Toutle to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. tourdeblast.com Kitsap Color Classic: Sept. 29. Technically summer is done by the time this ride rolls around, but for many, the summer riding season doesn’t really end until they finish one, two or all three loops on the Kitsap Peninsula. cascade.org » ●

RACING

Tuesday Night Race Series: The Pacific Raceways Road Race Series every Tuesday night is a good place to race or learn how to race. The series started April 16 and continues until Aug. 27. $16 men, $11 women and juniors. 7 p.m. 31001 144th Ave. SE, Kent. buduracing.com Capital Stage Race: Olympia, June 1-2, capitalstagerace.com Tacoma Twilight Criterium: June 29, tacomatwilight.com

Soundview Trail: This 3.3-mile loop (which includes the Grandview Trail) around University Place’s Chambers Bay Golf Course is a short ride with views of Puget Sound and 12 percent grade hills. co.pierce.wa.us


nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

TRY A ZIP-LINE

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hether flying through the trees, between aerial obstacles or over an amusement park, there are several opportunities to try zip-lining in Western Washington. Here are a few:

Canopy Tours NW: Kristoferson Farm, Camano Island. $95 for adults, $65 for children and an “optional $5-$10” tip for your guide. 8 years and older, 65-300 pounds. canopytoursnw.com

Zip San Juan: San Juan Island. $78, $68 for children 8-14, plus “it is customary to tip your guide 10 percent,” according to the company website. 65-300 pounds. zipsanjuan.com

Zip Wild: Northwest Trek, Eatonville, $29.95, $39.95 or $49.95 depending on course plus park admission ($8.25$17.75 for Pierce County residents and military, $9.25$19.75 general admission). 10 years and older, at least 4-foot-7 and weigh no more than 275 pounds. nwtrek.org

Soaring Eagle Zip Line: Wild Waves, Federal Way. $10 for one person, $15 for two plus admission ($15-$40). Single riders must weigh no more than 175 pounds (to keep the chair balanced), but tworider loads can’t exceed 450 pounds. wildwaves.com

ADVENTURE

Lots of options for those seeking a thrill BY CRAIG HILL Staff writer

T

here’s plenty positive to say about a peaceful hike or quiet camping trip, but sometimes what you really want is a shot of adrenaline — the type of fun that comes from activities that often require a helmet, elbow pads and really good rope. There’s something to be said for stepping out of your comfort zone. Once you conquer that initial fear of the unknown, you just might find you’re not really that uncomfortable after all.

» SKYDIVING ●

Skydive Kapowsin moved to Shelton several

years ago but kept its name. It offers various skydiving opportunities, including tandem jumps, its most common first jump, according to its website. Jump from 13,000 feet and fall for about a minute at speeds approaching 120 mph before the instructor opens the chute. Prices start at $185. skydivekapowsin.com

If jumping out of a plane sounds too scary, maybe indoor skydiving is a good compromise. No experience is necessary to sample the feeling of skydiving in the wind tunnel at Tukwila’s iFly Seattle. Rates start at $59.95 for two jumps, and reservations are suggested. seattle.iflyworld.com » PARAGLIDING ●

Take a flying leap off Tiger Mountain, and glide through the skies near Issaquah during a tandem flight with Seattle Paragliding. Tandem flights are $175 on weekdays and $195 on weekends. seattleparagliding.com

» PARASAILING ●

Pacific Parasail lets customers soar with the gulls above Commencement Bay. Flights depart from the Ram Restaurant and Brewery, 3001 Ruston Way, Tacoma. Prices start at $79. pacificparasail.net

» SOARING ●

The Puget Sound Soaring Association offers demo flights in their gliders at Bergseth Field in Enumclaw. Flights are $100 and come with a one-month association membership that allows you to take additional flights at club rates. The weight limit is 240 pounds. There also is a soaring club in Toledo, Wave Soaring Adventures.

pugetsoundsoaring.org, wavesoaringadventures.com

» CLIMB A MOUNTAIN ●

For many, it’s hard to look upon the beauty of Mount Rainier without wondering what it’s like to stand on top of the 14,411-foot volcano. Getting up and down this mountain is an endeavor that


Photos by PETER HALEY/ Staff photographer, file

AT LEFT: Wendi Mello, a zookeeper for Northwest Trek, gets her chance to ride a zip line in Zip Wild, a new zip and obstacle course at Northwest Trek.

Photo by MIKE SALSBURY, file

ABOVE: Joshua Barnet, a course instructor, shows off his skill as he navigates a zig zag bridge in Zip Wild.

shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re not an experienced mountaineer, hire a guide. Three companies guide on Rainier. Alpine Ascents, International Mountain Guides and Rainier Mountaineering Inc. employ some of the nation’s most accomplished guides offering a variety of adventures on the mountain. alpineascents.com, mountainguides.com or rmiguides.com

While Rainier might be taller, Mount Adams has more girth. And unlike Rainier, this 12,281foot peak doesn’t require expert skills to get to the

Paragliders float above the signature landscape that surrounds Mount St. Helens.

top. While the north side is technical, from the south side you can hike to the top with crampons and an ice axe (and the skills to use them properly). fs.usda.gov/giffordpinchot » INDOOR CLIMBING ●

You’ll find one of the region’s favorite rock climbing destinations at Exit 38 off Interstate 90. But you better know what you’re doing before taking on these basalt walls. First, learn the skills at a local rock gym. Edgeworks Climbing: 6102 N. Ninth St., Suite 200,

Tacoma. $16, $12 students 24 and younger, $9 children 12 and younger, $7 belayer only. Rentals: $10 shoes, harness, belay device and chalk bag. 253-564-4899,

edgeworksclimbing.com. Climb Tacoma bouldering gym: 102 S. 24th St.,

Tacoma, $14. Rentals: $5 for shoe rentals. 253-683-4791,

climbtacoma.com. Warehouse Rock Gym: 315 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia,

$12, $10.80 military, $10 youth 7-17, $5 children 4-6. Rentals: $10 for shoes, harness, belay device and chalk bag. 360-596-9255, warehouserockgym.com. Another spot: Spire Rock, an outdoor climbing rock at Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 C St. S., Tacoma, is available for free climbing. All climbers must provide their own gear. » BUNGEE JUMPING ●

Bungee Masters lets people jump off a 200-foothigh private bridge near Amboy and stops them just before they hit the river. Make reservations online. The first jump is $99, or jump twice and

Photos by TONY OVERMAN/ Staff Photographer, file

ABOVE: Chas Walters of Olympia crosses a doorway opening as he traverses the outer wall of the Warehouse Rock Gym in downtown Olympia.

AT LEFT: The gym offers a large amount of vertical climbing space.

score a “Dangerous Sports Club” shirt for $129. There is a $10 spectator fee. bungee.com » LONGBOARDING ●

Longboarding doesn’t have to be an action sport. For some people, these longer skateboards with larger, softer wheels are just a way to commute or cruise the neighborhood. But head to Five Mile Drive at Point Defiance Park or Chambers Bay’s Soundview Trail, and you might get a glimpse of something entirely different. Longboarders can reach speeds exceeding 30 mph (sometimes much faster) while still showing precise control. Want to see the world’s best? The Maryhill Festival of Speed, longboarding’s Super Bowl, is June 26-30 near Maryhill. maryhillfestivalofspeed.com


nwsummer

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A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

WITH THE KIDS

MUST DO

Explore Titlow Beach

One of the best low-tide spots is the beach at the west end of Sixth Avenue in Tacoma. Turning over the larger rocks will expose euphausiids, gunnels, sea cucumbers, sea stars and more. You also can come across moon snails, crabs of all colors and sizes, and perhaps a small octopus. Metro Parks Tacoma offers free low-tide programs. metroparks tacoma.org ABOVE: Visitors to Titlow Beach check out ochre sea stars that were exposed during a low tide. Many beaches along Puget Sound are good spots to explore for marine life during a low tide.

DEAN J. KOEPFLER/ Staff photographer file

Mountain, beaches, trails open door to the outdoors for youngsters

Ocean and Puget Sound

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hat child doesn’t like playing at the beach? With acres of soft sand to play on, ocean beaches are a sand castle-building dream. Constant onshore breezes seem to make kite flying a mandatory experience. Puget Sound beaches offer quick and easy access to a saltwater adventure. Here are some of our favorite reasons and places for taking young children to the coast and Sound:

BY JEFFREY P. MAYOR Staff writer

Explore at low tide

ntroducing a child to the outdoors is as easy as a visit to Tolmie State Park or Point Defiance Park. Countless families share stories of summer camping trips to Millersylvania State Park or building sand castles at Pacific Beach. But there are so many more choices. In fact, your young child might be a retiree before you can explore all the possibilities. Here are some of our suggestions for making that first connection with the outdoors:

With so much access to Puget Sound, there are a wealth of good places to explore when a low tide exposes the rocky beaches. Salt Creek Recreation Area: West of Port Angeles, this spot offers lots to see when the low tide exposes the rocky expanse of Tongue Point. There are chitons, welts, mussels, anemones and more. There is a campground if you want to spend the night. Alki Beach: This beach in West Seattle has

I


BRIDGET BROWN/Staff photographer file

AT LEFT: Mount Rainier National Park ranger Curt Jacquot leads a Junior Ranger group through a campsite near Cougar Rock Amphitheater. The program is a way to get kids to learn about the park and all it protects.

plenty of room to explore. The drive to the beach from the West Seattle Bridge offers great views of downtown Seattle.

Hunt for sand dollars

Hike to Second Beach

This destination, just outside of La Push on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula, is for those who want more than a drive-up experience. The ¾-mile hike through dense forest is easy even for small legs. And when you reach the beach, there are plenty of wide swaths of sand for playing. There are great views of the sea stacks and tide pools to explore. Its location within Olympic National Park also means you won’t have to contend with people on scooters or cast a wary eye on passing vehicles. This is an easy trek that will give your young child a good first experience on hiking into a somewhat remote beach. Note that the trailhead is on Quileute tribal land, so be respectful.

Hike Cape Flattery

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his is a very doable hike for all but the youngest children. The 0.75-mile trail is well maintained, and there are long expanses of boardwalk to carry you over the wet spots. For the first half-mile, the trail winds through coastal forest before offering peeks at the Pacific Ocean. As you get closer to land’s end, there are four overlooks. Each offers a different view. Some

look into small bays, while the main platform looks toward Tatoosh Island and the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Give yourself enough time to spend at the various overlooks. Not only is there plenty to see, but it’s also a good way to let the children rest a bit before making the return hike to the trailhead. Sea birds, bald eagles, seals, fishing boats and oceangoing ships offer plenty to watch. The trail is on the Makah Indian Reservation. The tribe requires nonmembers to purchase a $10-per-car recreation permit, good for one year. While on the reservation, a stop at the Makah Tribal Museum is a must. On display are artifacts 300-500 years old, including some of the 55,000 items found at an old Makah village uncovered by waves at Ozette. Hobuck Beach Resort, also on the reservation, has a number of beachfront cabins, should you want to spend the night. hobuckbeachresort.com

Trip to Mount Rainier

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enerations of parents have used Mount Rainier National Park as the gateway to a lifetime of outdoor adventure for their children. The drive from a South Sound home creates a sense of adventure you don’t get on a visit to a local park. It’s also is a chance to stand on the mountain, albeit at a much lower elevation, of the 14,411-foot peak kids might see from home. Here is a simple itinerary for parents with young children (think the preschool set) who want to experience the park. The drive can seem like a long one, especially for little bladders. There are public restrooms in Elbe, or the Ashford County Park has a playground and restrooms. Once inside the park, look for the Twin Firs Loop trail about 4 miles from the Nisqually entrance. This half-mile trek will lead you and your young explorer through old-growth forest, over small creeks and past some large trees that have fallen to the ground. Afterwards, there are pit toilets at Kautz Creek. The trail along the bridge also offers good views of the mountain.

JEFFREY P. MAYOR/Staff writer file

No collection of sea shells would be complete without a dried sand dollar. You can find them at most locations along the coast. The area south of the Chance le Mar beach access in Ocean Shores is a good place to start. A favorite game for kids, and adults, is seeing how far you can roll a sand dollar along the hard-packed sand. Just remember that sand dollars are living creatures — they are actually burrowing sea urchins. The sand dollars that are dark, almost purple in color, are still alive and should be left on the beach. The ones to collect are the bleached skeletons of dead sand dollars. Kopachuck State Park is another good spot.

AT RIGHT: A series of tidepools can be seen from one of the viewing overlooks at the end of the Cape Flattery trail.

Farther up the road is Longmire. Here, you can visit the Longmire Museum. While there, pick up a Junior Ranger booklet that challenges children to take part in a variety of activities that, when completed, will earn your child a Junior Ranger badge. You also can hike the 0.7-mile Trail of the Shadows that leads past a replica homestead cabin, bubbling hot springs and beaver dams. Travel up the road until you reach the Paradise Picnic Area. This is a good spot to take a break, get under some shade if it’s a sunny day, and recharge those young batteries with lunch. Just be sure not to let any critters – such as Stellar jays or Clark’s nutcrackers – steal a morsel. It’s a good opportunity to teach your child about the importance of letting wildlife be wild. Finish the drive to Paradise and spend some time looking through the exhibits at the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center. There’s also a gift shop. The hike up the Myrtle Falls Trail is uphill but short. The cool spray from the falls serves as a natural air conditioner on a hot afternoon. Just be sure to keep your child back from the edge. Also, keep to the path, explaining how stepping on the fragile alpine plants would harm them. The trail leads you back to Paradise Inn. Here, you can have a sit-down meal at the restaurant. Or get an ice cream cone at the snack bar, go out on the side porch and enjoy the view of the mountain while enjoying your treat.

JEFFREY P. MAYOR/ Staff writer file

A good way to end a trip to Mount Rainier National Park is with an ice cream cone at Paradise Inn


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estern Washington is home to a number of wildlife parks and zoos, including small private operations and regional gems involved in worldwide conservation efforts. Here is a look at some of the options in the region:

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

Courtesy photo

Parks and zoos show off their wild side

LUI KIT WONG/Staff photographer, file

nwsummer

2 » Tacoma Nature Center ● The center offers hiking trails around Snake Lake, nature education programs, a nature-based preschool, exhibits on local flora and fauna, and an outdoor play area. There are more than 2 miles of trails at the center. Highlight: This is a great urban escape in the middle of Tacoma. Discovery Pond, the outdoor play area that opened in 2010, is a hit with the kids. There are places to hide, a water pump with which to play and a shallow pond to explore.

» Cougar Mountain Zoo ●

Created in 1972, the zoo focuses on endangered species and education. Highlight: The magic forest blends interaction with animals and art. There are plenty of photo opportunities, a chance to feed animals and the largest bronze animal collection of any zoo in the country. Where: 19525 SE 54th St., Issaquah.

Where: 1919 S. Tyler St., Tacoma.

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Info: 360-683-4295, 800-778-4295 or olygamefarm.com.

Cost: General (13 years and older) $11.50; seniors (62 and older) $10.50; children (ages 2-12) $9; and free for younger than age 2 and zoo members.

» Pioneer Farm Museum ●

Info: 425-392-6278, cougarmountainzoo.org.

» Northwest Trek Wildlife Park ●

Visitors can walk through the park to observe a number of animals native to the Northwest, then take a tram ride through the large-animal enclosure. Highlight: The park is big enough where the circle of life sometimes unfolds. On one trip, we saw a bald eagle trying to chase down a mallard duck on the pond in the large-animal area, but the duck kept escaping the eagle’s talons by diving under the surface.

GET OUT

Take a 90-minute tour through a late 19th-century farm. Participants can help with barn chores, including gathering eggs and milking a cow or goat. You also can visit all the animals in the barn. The museum also offers a separate tour of a replica Ohop Indian village. Highlight: The tour includes a visit to two homestead cabins built in the 1880s. Young visitors have the chance to do the chores that pioneer children would have done, including grinding grains, churning cream, scrubbing laundry and carding wool. Where: 7716 Ohop Valley Road E., Eatonville. Cost: For farm tours, adults, $9; and children and seniors (61 and older), $8. Hours: Tours are offered from 11:15 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

Where: 11610 Trek Drive E., Eatonville.

Info: pioneerfarmmuseum.org.

Hours: Through June 30, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays-Sunday. From July 1-Sept. 2, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

» Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium ●

Cost: Adults (13-64), $19.75; seniors (65 and older), $18.25; youths (5-12), $12.25; tots (3-4) $9.25; and 2 and younger, free. Discounts for Pierce County residents. Info: 360-832-6117, nwtrek.org.

» Olympic Game Farm ● This privately run game farm gives visitors the chance to interact with a number of large animals. Highlight: Bring plenty of stale bread and you’ll get the chance for an up-close encounter with some of the creatures. Where: 1423 Ward Road, Sequim. Cost: Adults (15 and older), $12; seniors (55 and older) and children (6-14), $11; and children ages 5 and younger, free.

Hours: The center is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. MondaysSaturdays. Discovery Pond is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 30 minutes after sunset.

Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Memorial Day; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays-Fridays and 9 a.m.-6 p.m Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays.

Info: 253-591-6439, tacomanaturecenter.org.

» Wolf Haven International ●

3 (1) Berani, a Malayan

tiger cub, is on display at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. (2) Kids ‘n’ Critters at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. (3) Shadow, a Gray Wolf at Wolf Haven International sanctuary near Tenino. (4) A hollow tree at Discovery Pond at the Tacoma Nature Center is a favorite.

Started in 1982, Wolf Haven offers a place for captiveborn wolves to live. For more than 30 years, Wolf Haven has been home to more than 170 animals. Highlight: Docent-led tours offer the public a chance to see the area’s wolves. The tours last 45-50 minutes and cover a variety of topics, including wolf biology, recovery programs and conservation. Where: 3111 Offut Lake Road SE, Tenino. Cost: Adults, $12; youth (4-12), $7; seniors (62 and older), students, active-duty service members, $10; children (3 and younger), free. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays and WednesdaysSaturdays, and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Tours start at the top of every hour. Info: 360-264-4695, 800-448-9653, wolfhaven.org.

» Woodland Park Zoo ● The exhibits include almost 1,100 animals representing almost 300 species. A key part of the zoo’s mission is wildlife and habitat conservation. Zoo officials try to accomplish that through species preservation, habitat protection, local capacity building and community livelihood.

The zoo features five animal exhibit areas, with most of the animals being from the Northwest. The zoo plays a key role in the recovery effort of the red wolf. The South Pacific Aquarium is a 24,000-gallon exhibit that mimics a lagoon. Highlight: The Kids’ Zone is a bright, colorful area meant to help children learn about animals through touch, exploration and playing.

Highlight: In 2003, the zoo created its Partners for Wildlife program. It takes a comprehensive approach to wildlife conservation, with projects in the Pacific Northwest, AsiaPacific and Africa.

Where: 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma. Cost: Adults (13-64), $17; seniors (65 and older), $16; youth (5-12), $13; tots (3-4), $8.75; children (2 and younger) free.

Where: 750 N. 50th St., Seattle. Cost: Adults (13-64), $18.75; children (3-12), $11.75; and toddlers (0-2), free. Seniors (65 and older) and disabled discount of $2 off regular admission.

Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through June 27; 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily June 28-July 18; 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. July 19; and 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily July 20-Sept. 2. Info: 253-591-5337, pdza.org.

Cost: Free.

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Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Info: 206-548-2500, zoo.org.


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rom Nisqually Reach in the South Sound to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a variety of marine science centers offer visitors a chance to see and touch some of the creatures that live in our marine waters. Some, such as the Seattle Aquarium, can be full-day destinations. Others, such as the Olympic Coast Discovery Center serve as a great starting point for a day of exploring marine habitat along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Here is a look at what they have to offer:

STEVE BLOOM/Staff photographer, file

Come face to fin with marine life

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Where: Fort Worden State Park, 532 Battery Way, Port Townsend Cost: $5 adults, $3 ages 6-17, free ages 5 and younger and members Information: 800-566-3932, ptmsc.org

» Feiro Marine Life Center ●

» Poulsbo Marine Science Center ●

The mission of the center is to foster an understanding of and a commitment to the marine environment and related watersheds of the Olympic Peninsula, and how important they are to surrounding communities.

Highlight: The school-age docents are knowledgeable and willing to spend the necessary time to answer all the questions a young visitor might ask. There are a multitude of touch tanks and aquariums.

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Labor Day

Hours: Noon-4 p.m. Fridays-Sundays through June 9, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Mondays June 14 through Sept. 2.

GET OUT

Where: Port Angeles City Pier, 315 N. Lincoln St., Port Angeles

Cost: $4 adults, $1 ages 4-17, free ages 3 and younger

Info: 360-417-6254, feiromarinelifecenter.org

» Nisqually Reach Nature Center ●

The center is run by a nonprofit organization and promotes the understanding, appreciation and preservation of the Nisqually Estuary through education, interpretation and research. The center has five active tidal aquariums and activities for visitors of all ages. Highlight: The center also has great views of the Nisqually Reach and Olympic Mountains. Hours: Open to the public noon-4 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Where: 4949 D’Milluhr Drive NE, Olympia Cost: Free Information: 360-459-0387, nisquallyestuary.org

» Olympic Coast Discovery Center ● The displays and exhibits are part of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. The center has informa-

The center’s goal is to instill an appreciation for the marine environment and underwater technology. It does so through hands-on learning and conservation. The center has a number of touch tanks, play areas and a small theater with movies. LARRY STEAGALL/Kitsap Sun, File

tion for the whole family about work being done by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in marine conservation, as well as the animals and habitats of the Olympic Coast. It is staffed by trained docents during summer months. Highlight: A replica minisub cockpit and series of videos give young visitors the feel of exploring the depths of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It also is just a short walk from the Feiro Marine Life Center. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day Where: The Landing, 115 E. Railroad St., Port Angeles Cost: Free Information: 360-452-3255, tinyurl.com/bnmrtno

(1) A delta tide offered

contrasting topography between the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and the neighboring Nisqually Reach Nature Center, (2) where marine life can be observed. (3) As part of it’s conservation work, Poulsbo Marine Science Center released a giant Pacific octopus back into the waters of Puget Sound. (4) The Seattle Aquarium showcases many types of aquatic life.

» Port Townsend Marine ●

Science Center

The center fulfills multiple roles. It is a place where citizens conduct research in partnership with scientists, kids learn about science, teachers increase their skills and passion for teaching science, and families can develop a deeper connection with Puget Sound. Highlight: On the pier are touch pools and aquariums where visitors can learn about and touch some of the fish and invertebrates living below the surface in Port Townsend Bay and Admiralty Inlet.

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Highlight: An underwater camera offers visitors a view of marine life living just offshore. A short walk down the street leads to Sluys Poulsbo Bakery, a good spot to grab a post-center treat. Then walk down to the waterfront park to enjoy baked goodies. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays Where: 18743 Front St. NE, Poulsbo Cost: Free Information: 360-598-4460, poulsbomsc.org

» Seattle Aquarium ● The aquarium uses a variety of exhibits to promote conservation of the marine environment The museum is home to marine animals such as a giant Pacific octopus, wolf eels, jellyfish and lingcod. A large touch area gives visitors a chance to feel sea stars, urchins and other creatures. The Pacific Coral Reef exhibit is filled with colorful tropical fish. Highlight: The 120,000 gallon Window on Washington Waters exhibit is filled with more than 800 fish and invertebrates that can be found in the waters of the Northwest. Dive shows are at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; closed June 7 Where: 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle Cost: $19.95 ages 13 and older, $13.95 ages 4-12, free ages 3 and younger Information: 206-386-4300, seattleaquarium.org

Jeffrey P. Mayor, jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com


nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

HIKING

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AN EXTRA CHALLENGING HIKE Mount Rainier looms while hiking toward the Tahoma Glacier on the 93-mile Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park.

Mud Mountain Dam DISTANCE: Up to 10 miles. ELEVATION: Mostly flat. Bring your boots because this trail can be pretty muddy in the early season. What else would you expect from a place called Mud Mountain Recreation Area? The trail travels along the White River, taking you away from the recreation area. The trail takes you through trees and offers occasional views of the river. The Rim Trail is 5 miles each way. The short Vista Trail leads to a deck with a view of the river and dam.

Theler Wetlands

Green Mountain

DISTANCE: 2-4 miles. ELEVATION: Minimal. Not far from downtown Belfair, in the place where Hood Canal meets the Union River, sits the perfect place for an easy stroll. A series of short nature walks accented with interpretive signs cut along the marshes and past more than 800 kinds of plants. While hikers never get more than a mile from downtown Belfair, they’ll feel as if they’re far from the two highways that bound most of the area. It’s also a good place to watch birds. Pets are not permitted on these trails.

DISTANCE: 4 miles. ELEVATION: 1,000 feet. You can get up and down Green Mountain with just a 4-mile hike, but the payoff at the top is so spectacular you might feel guilty the hike wasn’t a little longer. No problem. If you want to tack on some mileage, it’s easy to do at Green Mountain State Forest. From the 1,639-foot top of Green Mountain, you’ll look over Bremerton and across Puget Sound to Seattle. You can see south to Tacoma, and on a clear day you can might even see Mount St. Helens.

Info: thelercenter.org

High Rock

Poo Poo Point

Map: Green Trails 237-Enumclaw.

Map: Available at the trailhead.

Directions: Follow state Route 410 about four miles past Enumclaw to Mud Mountain Road. Turn right and continue two miles to the recreation area.

Directions: Follow state Route 3 to Belfair and the trailhead at the Theler Community Center.

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Leave no trace

MODERATE HIKES

Duckabush River Trail DISTANCE: 10.6 miles. ELEVATION: 2,300 feet. A lonely path along the Duckabush River in Olympic National Forest, it offers plenty of green scenery and opportunities to see wildlife. This trip can be shortened by turning around after 2.5 miles, lopping most of the elevation off the hike. Or extend the hike into Olympic National Park. Map: Green Trails 168 - The Brothers.

BY CRAIG HILL Staff writer

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rom coastal beaches to the mountain tops, our region is packed with a variety of hiking options. Some are easy, some will cause your thighs to consider a rebellion. Some are more scenic than others, but they all offer a path for you to walk away, briefly as it may be, from the stresses of daily life. Here are a few recommendations for this summer. Be sure to check conditions before you go. Some of the more challenging trails will still be covered with snow into June, July and maybe August.

DREW PERINE/Staff photographer

No shortage of places for hikers to stretch their legs CHECK THIS OUT

Northwest Hiking Guide Get details on more than 100 Western Washington hikes in our Northwest Hiking Guide produced in conjunction with The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/ Backpacking Committee. wwwb.thenewstribune.com/ hikes

Directions: Follow U.S. Highway 101 for 15 miles south of Quilcene and turn west on Duckabush River Road (Forest Road 2510) and drive about 6 miles to the trailhead.

DISTANCE: 3.5 miles. ELEVATION: 1,400 feet. This hike is a South Sound classic because it offers one of the best views of Mount Rainier from outside the national park. The trail also ends at a fire lookout that offers a view of many other peaks, including Mount St. Helens. Don’t get too close to the north edge of massive High Rock. The last step drops about 600 feet. Map: Green Trails 301-Randle. Directions: From Ashford, head south on Kernahan Road, then go right on Forest Road 85. Drive about 6 miles, then turn on Forest Road 8440 for about 5 miles to the trailhead at Towhead Gap. Info: fs.usda.gov/giffordpinchot.

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Mount Townsend DISTANCE: 8.4 miles. ELEVATION: 2,880 feet. At 6,280 feet above Hood Canal, the panoramic view seems to stretch forever, making it easy to figure out why this is one of the most popular trails on the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a view you’ll definitely have to earn considering the trail doesn’t really offer any flat stretches other than the gradual final push to the summit. Map: Green Trails 136-Tyler Peak. Directions: From U.S. Highway 101 south of Quilcene, drive west on Penny Creek Road as it becomes Forest Service Road 27. Follow the road 14 miles. Signs mark turns onto short spur roads to the two trailheads. The first trailhead will add about a mile each way to your hike. Info: 360-877-2021

Info: 360-825-1631.

DISTANCE: 7.4 miles. ELEVATION: 1,650 feet. Not much chance you’ll have this popular trail to yourself during the summer, but you’re likely to experience something you won’t see on most other trails — paragliders. Poo Poo Point is a popular launching point for paraglider pilots. Couple this scene with views of Lake Sammamish and Issaquah and it’s not a bad place to pause for lunch. Want to keep going? Tiger Mountain offers many additional trails. Map: Green Trails 204S - Tiger Mountain. Directions: Take Exit 17 on Interstate 90, and drive south to East Sunset Way. Turn east, and then turn right on Second Avenue. Park south of the school. Info: dnr.wa.gov

Info: fs.usda.gov/olympic.

CHALLENGING HIKES

Map: USGS Wildcat Lake. Directions: From state Route 16 take state Route 3 north to Chico Way. Turn left, then right on Northlake Way. Turn right on Seabeck Highway and continue three miles to Holly Road. Turn left and continue to Tahuya Lake Road. Turn left and continue to Gold Creek Road, which will lead you to the trailhead.

Info: 360-825-3211.

NEED TO KNOW

Backcountry travelers have a responsibility to respect the environment they are visiting. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recommends seven principles for minimizing the impact people have on these natural areas. Read more at lnt.org 1. Plan ahead and prepare. 2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces. 3. Dispose of waste properly. 4. Leave what you find. 5. Minimize campfire impacts. 6. Respect wildlife. 7. Be considerate of other visitors.

EASY HIKES

Mother Mountain Loop

Tatoosh Ridge

DISTANCE: 17.1 miles. ELEVATION: Almost 5,000 feet. Hundreds of day hikers trek to Mount Rainier’s Spray Park each summer and some continue on to Seattle Park, but few keep going. This is understandable because hiking around Mother Mountain makes for a long, hard day. But if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be well-rewarded. In addition to the wildflowers and in-your-face views of Rainier at Seattle and Spray parks, you’ll enjoy quick and easy side trips to view the snout of the Carbon Glacier and Spray Falls. You’ll experience the thick forest and interesting root formations of the trees near Ipsut Creek. Too much for one day? There are campsites along the way, reservations are needed.

DISTANCE: 8.4 miles. ELEVATION: 2,600 feet. You’ll find many steeper and tougher hikes in Washington, but this one still has a reputation as a challenge. The trail climbs through thick woods before reaching the ridge with a sweeping view that includes mounts Rainier, Adams and St. Helens. A short side trip along the way offers a 1.4-mile round trip to Tatoosh Lakes. This will add about 400 vertical feet to your trip.

Map: Green Trails 269-Mount Rainier West. Directions: The easiest access point to this loop is Mowich Lake. Follow state Route 410 to Buckley, then head south on state Route 165 to the lake. Info: nps.gov/mora.

Map: Green Trails 302-Packwood. Directions: From Ashford turn south on Skate Creek Road and continue to Forest Road 5270. Turn north and continue about 7 miles to the trailhead. Info: fs.usda.gov/giffordpinchot.

NEED TO KNOW

The 10 essentials Having the appropriate gear and the knowledge of how to use it is important to ensure a safe backcountry trip. “The biggest problem we see with day hikers is that they are only prepared to be out there for the day,” said Chuck Young, chief ranger at Mount Rainier National Park. “The weather changes or something goes wrong, and they have to spend the night, and they don’t have light or an emergency shelter or rain gear. “Hikers really need to prepare and take the 10 essentials.” Here’s The Mountaineers version of the 10 essentials: 1. Navigation (map and compass). 2. Sun protection. 3. Extra clothes. 4. Flashlight or headlamp. 5. First-aid supplies. 6. Fire starter. 7. Repair kit. 8. Extra food. 9. Extra water. 10. Emergency shelter.


nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

HIKING

3

AN EXTRA CHALLENGING HIKE Mount Rainier looms while hiking toward the Tahoma Glacier on the 93-mile Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park.

Mud Mountain Dam DISTANCE: Up to 10 miles. ELEVATION: Mostly flat. Bring your boots because this trail can be pretty muddy in the early season. What else would you expect from a place called Mud Mountain Recreation Area? The trail travels along the White River, taking you away from the recreation area. The trail takes you through trees and offers occasional views of the river. The Rim Trail is 5 miles each way. The short Vista Trail leads to a deck with a view of the river and dam.

Theler Wetlands

Green Mountain

DISTANCE: 2-4 miles. ELEVATION: Minimal. Not far from downtown Belfair, in the place where Hood Canal meets the Union River, sits the perfect place for an easy stroll. A series of short nature walks accented with interpretive signs cut along the marshes and past more than 800 kinds of plants. While hikers never get more than a mile from downtown Belfair, they’ll feel as if they’re far from the two highways that bound most of the area. It’s also a good place to watch birds. Pets are not permitted on these trails.

DISTANCE: 4 miles. ELEVATION: 1,000 feet. You can get up and down Green Mountain with just a 4-mile hike, but the payoff at the top is so spectacular you might feel guilty the hike wasn’t a little longer. No problem. If you want to tack on some mileage, it’s easy to do at Green Mountain State Forest. From the 1,639-foot top of Green Mountain, you’ll look over Bremerton and across Puget Sound to Seattle. You can see south to Tacoma, and on a clear day you can might even see Mount St. Helens.

Info: thelercenter.org

High Rock

Poo Poo Point

Map: Green Trails 237-Enumclaw.

Map: Available at the trailhead.

Directions: Follow state Route 410 about four miles past Enumclaw to Mud Mountain Road. Turn right and continue two miles to the recreation area.

Directions: Follow state Route 3 to Belfair and the trailhead at the Theler Community Center.

3

Leave no trace

MODERATE HIKES

Duckabush River Trail DISTANCE: 10.6 miles. ELEVATION: 2,300 feet. A lonely path along the Duckabush River in Olympic National Forest, it offers plenty of green scenery and opportunities to see wildlife. This trip can be shortened by turning around after 2.5 miles, lopping most of the elevation off the hike. Or extend the hike into Olympic National Park. Map: Green Trails 168 - The Brothers.

BY CRAIG HILL Staff writer

F

rom coastal beaches to the mountain tops, our region is packed with a variety of hiking options. Some are easy, some will cause your thighs to consider a rebellion. Some are more scenic than others, but they all offer a path for you to walk away, briefly as it may be, from the stresses of daily life. Here are a few recommendations for this summer. Be sure to check conditions before you go. Some of the more challenging trails will still be covered with snow into June, July and maybe August.

DREW PERINE/Staff photographer

No shortage of places for hikers to stretch their legs CHECK THIS OUT

Northwest Hiking Guide Get details on more than 100 Western Washington hikes in our Northwest Hiking Guide produced in conjunction with The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/ Backpacking Committee. wwwb.thenewstribune.com/ hikes

Directions: Follow U.S. Highway 101 for 15 miles south of Quilcene and turn west on Duckabush River Road (Forest Road 2510) and drive about 6 miles to the trailhead.

DISTANCE: 3.5 miles. ELEVATION: 1,400 feet. This hike is a South Sound classic because it offers one of the best views of Mount Rainier from outside the national park. The trail also ends at a fire lookout that offers a view of many other peaks, including Mount St. Helens. Don’t get too close to the north edge of massive High Rock. The last step drops about 600 feet. Map: Green Trails 301-Randle. Directions: From Ashford, head south on Kernahan Road, then go right on Forest Road 85. Drive about 6 miles, then turn on Forest Road 8440 for about 5 miles to the trailhead at Towhead Gap. Info: fs.usda.gov/giffordpinchot.

3

Mount Townsend DISTANCE: 8.4 miles. ELEVATION: 2,880 feet. At 6,280 feet above Hood Canal, the panoramic view seems to stretch forever, making it easy to figure out why this is one of the most popular trails on the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a view you’ll definitely have to earn considering the trail doesn’t really offer any flat stretches other than the gradual final push to the summit. Map: Green Trails 136-Tyler Peak. Directions: From U.S. Highway 101 south of Quilcene, drive west on Penny Creek Road as it becomes Forest Service Road 27. Follow the road 14 miles. Signs mark turns onto short spur roads to the two trailheads. The first trailhead will add about a mile each way to your hike. Info: 360-877-2021

Info: 360-825-1631.

DISTANCE: 7.4 miles. ELEVATION: 1,650 feet. Not much chance you’ll have this popular trail to yourself during the summer, but you’re likely to experience something you won’t see on most other trails — paragliders. Poo Poo Point is a popular launching point for paraglider pilots. Couple this scene with views of Lake Sammamish and Issaquah and it’s not a bad place to pause for lunch. Want to keep going? Tiger Mountain offers many additional trails. Map: Green Trails 204S - Tiger Mountain. Directions: Take Exit 17 on Interstate 90, and drive south to East Sunset Way. Turn east, and then turn right on Second Avenue. Park south of the school. Info: dnr.wa.gov

Info: fs.usda.gov/olympic.

CHALLENGING HIKES

Map: USGS Wildcat Lake. Directions: From state Route 16 take state Route 3 north to Chico Way. Turn left, then right on Northlake Way. Turn right on Seabeck Highway and continue three miles to Holly Road. Turn left and continue to Tahuya Lake Road. Turn left and continue to Gold Creek Road, which will lead you to the trailhead.

Info: 360-825-3211.

NEED TO KNOW

Backcountry travelers have a responsibility to respect the environment they are visiting. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recommends seven principles for minimizing the impact people have on these natural areas. Read more at lnt.org 1. Plan ahead and prepare. 2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces. 3. Dispose of waste properly. 4. Leave what you find. 5. Minimize campfire impacts. 6. Respect wildlife. 7. Be considerate of other visitors.

EASY HIKES

Mother Mountain Loop

Tatoosh Ridge

DISTANCE: 17.1 miles. ELEVATION: Almost 5,000 feet. Hundreds of day hikers trek to Mount Rainier’s Spray Park each summer and some continue on to Seattle Park, but few keep going. This is understandable because hiking around Mother Mountain makes for a long, hard day. But if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be well-rewarded. In addition to the wildflowers and in-your-face views of Rainier at Seattle and Spray parks, you’ll enjoy quick and easy side trips to view the snout of the Carbon Glacier and Spray Falls. You’ll experience the thick forest and interesting root formations of the trees near Ipsut Creek. Too much for one day? There are campsites along the way, reservations are needed.

DISTANCE: 8.4 miles. ELEVATION: 2,600 feet. You’ll find many steeper and tougher hikes in Washington, but this one still has a reputation as a challenge. The trail climbs through thick woods before reaching the ridge with a sweeping view that includes mounts Rainier, Adams and St. Helens. A short side trip along the way offers a 1.4-mile round trip to Tatoosh Lakes. This will add about 400 vertical feet to your trip.

Map: Green Trails 269-Mount Rainier West. Directions: The easiest access point to this loop is Mowich Lake. Follow state Route 410 to Buckley, then head south on state Route 165 to the lake. Info: nps.gov/mora.

Map: Green Trails 302-Packwood. Directions: From Ashford turn south on Skate Creek Road and continue to Forest Road 5270. Turn north and continue about 7 miles to the trailhead. Info: fs.usda.gov/giffordpinchot.

NEED TO KNOW

The 10 essentials Having the appropriate gear and the knowledge of how to use it is important to ensure a safe backcountry trip. “The biggest problem we see with day hikers is that they are only prepared to be out there for the day,” said Chuck Young, chief ranger at Mount Rainier National Park. “The weather changes or something goes wrong, and they have to spend the night, and they don’t have light or an emergency shelter or rain gear. “Hikers really need to prepare and take the 10 essentials.” Here’s The Mountaineers version of the 10 essentials: 1. Navigation (map and compass). 2. Sun protection. 3. Extra clothes. 4. Flashlight or headlamp. 5. First-aid supplies. 6. Fire starter. 7. Repair kit. 8. Extra food. 9. Extra water. 10. Emergency shelter.


RESOURCES

Campground information

NATIONAL PARKS Mount Rainier: 360-569-2211, nps.gov/mora North Cascades: 360-854-7200, nps.gov/noca Olympic: 360-565-3130, nps.gov/olym

STATE LANDS Washington State Parks: 888-226-7688, parks.wa.gov Department of Natural Resources: 360-902-1000, dnr.wa.gov

TACOMA POWER Tacoma Power Parks: 888-226-7688, mytpu.org/ tacomapower/ parks-rec

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

CAMPING

Platform tents are a good compromise for families BY CRAIG HILL Staff writer

I

f my math-hating teenage daughter had to choose between algebra and camping with me, I’m pretty sure she’d say “A+B = C you later.” My son, on the other hand, loves camping so much he once drew a self portrait with a tent depicting his nose. As I loaded them into a car this spring for some quality family time, it was clear a compromise was in order. We found it in the form of a platform tent tucked away at Dosewallips State Park near Brinnon. While the state park website compares these platform tents with those used by early pioneers, they feel more like canvas hotels. (Nothing as glamorous as a two-star hotel, but a hotel nonetheless.) pit and utility hookup. Both kids were thrilled. It was very With my daughter’s camping concerns obviously still a tent, meeting our squelched and my son’s needs met, it 101 minimum requirements to classify was time to explore. They hiked the Halfway House this as a camping trip. 5-mile Steam Donkey Trail, walked Restaurant But at 14 feet by 16 feet, these to the beach on the Hood Canal, tents (all three in the state park played football, spotted wildlife system are at Dosewallips) such as the rough-skinned newt Dosewallips State Park offered much more than a and watched as I tried to move Geoduck 1,000 FT. standard car-camping trip. It them along before they realized it Restaurant Hood Canal had a wood platform floor, a rug, was newt mating season. a futon, a bunk bed and a desk. Too late. Brinnon Also included was a lamp, a heater “Dad, those newts are giving 101 and an electrical outlet just like the inappropriate piggyback rides,” my ones early pioneers used to recharge son said. their iPads. And there it was. A story that would Just outside the front flap were the standard assure this camping trip would be a fond family car-camping accoutrements: A picnic table, fire memory for years to come.

IF YOU GO

Dosewallips Platform Tents Photos by CRAIG HILL/Staff writer

NATIONAL FORESTS Gifford Pinchot: 360-891-5000, fs.usda.gov/ giffordpinchot Mount BakerSnoqualmie: 206-470-4060, fs.usda.gov/mbs Olympic: 360-956-2402, fs.usda.gov/ olympic

nwsummer

TOP: Dosewallips State Park’s platform tents offer camping with modern amenities like bunk beds, electricity and wood floors. ABOVE: Steam Donkey Trail at Dosewallips State Park is a 5-mile loop with benches to stop and soak in the serenity.

Where: Dosewallips State Park, Brinnon Cost: $59 per night through Sept. 15. $47 Sept. 16May 14. Other fees: $6.50$8.50 reservation fee. Your camping reservation stub or camping fee receipt is your vehicle access permit, in lieu of a Discover Pass, for the duration of your stay in the park where you have paid for a campsite, vacation house, yurt or cabin. Otherwise, a Discover Pass is $10 per day or $30 per year. Info: 888-226-7688, parks.wa.gov


A dozen places worth pitching a tent in Western Washington:

12 CAMPGROUNDS

» Blake Island ●

The highlight of any camping trip: A s’more, cooked over a campfire.

BLAKE ISLAND, NORTH OF VASHON ISLAND

Explore: Blake Island offers trails open to hikers and mountain bikers, nearby Tillicum Village and, of course, easy access to Puget Sound. You’ll need a boat to reach the island. Blake Island is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail. State Park officials hope to repair storm damage and reopen the three marine trail campsites this spring or summer. Cost: $12-$37. RV: No, but there’s dock space for your boat. Info: parks.wa.gov.

AT LEFT: Daniel Braun and his son Oliver, stay warm by the fire at their campsite with a view of the water at Bowman Bay Campground at Deception Pass State Park. BETTINA HANSEN/ The Seattle Times

» Cape Disappointment ● LONG BEACH

Explore: Visit this state park’s famous lighthouses, hike and explore the beaches. Nearby Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is worth a visit. Traveling by bike is a fun way to tour the Long Beach Peninsula. Cost: $12-$37. RV: Maximum site length is 45 feet. Info: parks.wa.gov. » Dalles Campground ● NEAR GREENWATER

Explore: This often bypassed campground on state Route 410 and its neighbor, Silver Springs Campground, offer access to great hiking and mountain biking (Skookum Flats and Sun Top can be accessed from camp). Mount Rainier National Park is just minutes away. Cost: $18-$30. RV: Maximum site length is 40 feet. Info: recreation.gov » Deception Pass ● WHIDBEY ISLAND

Explore: With beautiful scenery that includes the trademark bridge linking Whidbey and Fidalgo islands, miles of trails and opportunities to fish and play in the water, it’s easy to see why this is one of Washington’s most popular campgrounds. Cost: $12-$37. RV: Maximum site length is 60 feet. Info: parks.wa.gov. » Ohanapecosh ● MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

Explore: Perhaps Mount Rainier National Park’s most beloved campground. Visit nearby hot springs, Silver Falls and the Grove of the Patriarchs, a stand of massive trees. Play along the Ohanapecosh River or head deeper into the park for more recreation opportunities. Cost: $12-$15. RV: Maximum site length is 32 feet. Info: nps.gov/mora

» Kalaloch ● OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK

Explore: One of the Olympic Peninsula’s most coveted coastal camping destinations in the summer, Kalaloch has 170 campsites. Reservations for stays between June 19-Sept. 2 are welcome, but sites are first-come, first-served the rest of the year. Cost: $14-$18. Vehicle entry to some parts of the park is $15 for seven days, $30 per year. RV: Maximum site length is 35 feet. Info: nps.gov/olym » Penrose Point ● KEY PENINSULA

Explore: Penrose Point State Park on the Key Peninsula is a quick trip, but feels like it is much farther than just 13 miles (as the gull flies) from downtown Tacoma. Two miles of the 152-acre marine park border Mayo Cove and Carr Inlet, giving visitors easy access to swimming, boating, fishing and other recreation. The park also has trails for hiking and biking and is located near Joemma Beach State Park, which also offers camping. Cost: $12-$37. RV: Maximum site length is 35 feet. Info: parks.wa.gov. » Salt Creek ● WEST OF PORT ANGELES

Explore: Forest, tide pools, a sandy beach, marine life and views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and two countries are packed into this 196-acre county park. Not enough? Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park and the Elwha River are a short trip away. Cost: $22-$27 plus a $7 reservation fee. Discounts available for Clallam County residents. RV: Full utility RV camp sites are available. Info: clallam.net » Skokomish Park ● LAKE CUSHMAN

Explore: The park is located on Lake Cushman, east of Hoodsport, and is just a short drive from Olympic

National Forest and the popular Staircase area of Olympic National Park. If you can’t get a reservation, the national forest’s Big Creek Campground is less than two miles away. Cost: $25-$32. RV: There are 30 full utility RV sites. Info: skokomishpark.com » Taidnapam Park ● GLENOMA

Explore: Located at the east end of Riffe Lake, the park is loaded with aquatic recreation opportunities. There is a boat ramp at the campground and bridge that is a popular spot for anglers. Cross the bridge into Gifford Pinchot National Forest for access to nearby hiking trails. Cost: $16-$31, plus $7 reservation fee. RV: Full utility campsites are available. Info: mytpu.org » San Juan Islands ● Whether arriving by plane, ferry or private boat, the San Juan Islands are one of Western Washington’s top camping destinations. View whales, bike the roads, find short hikes, kayak, fish and comb the beaches. You can find a bevy of beds and breakfast, but it’s a camping adventure worth experiencing at least once. Consider Moran State Park on Orcas Island, San Juan Island’s Lakedale Resort and Odlin County Park on Lopez Island. Info: visitsanjuans.com » Takhlakh Lake ● GIFFORD PINCHOT NATIONAL FOREST

Explore: At the foot of Mount Adams, this quiet campground is a good place to launch daily adventures. Kayak or fish in the lake (no motorized boats), hike the trail around the lake and relish the beauty of Washington’s second highest volcano. Cost: $18-$30. RV: Maximum site length is 40 feet, but portions of the road to the campground aren’t paved. No utility hookups. Info: recreation.gov

Something different Looking for something a little different than your standard campground? Some ideas: Go glamping in the San Juan Islands. Glamping takes platform tent camping to new levels of opulence with queen-size beds, luxury sheets and hot showers. Prices start at $249. camps anjuan.com Stay in a yurt, a circular tent with hardwood floors, heat and locking doors at several Western Washington state parks including Cape Disappointment, Grayland Beach, Kanaskat-Palmer, Pacific Beach, Paradise Point and Seaquest. There’s room for six, and prices start at $49 per night. parks.wa.gov Stay in the officers’ quarters at Fort Worden or Fort Flagler state parks. $88-$503. parks.wa.gov Rent the lighthouse keeper’s residence at Cape Disappointment State Park. $231-$437. parks.wa.gov Paddle to tiny Ben Ure Island for a secluded stay in a rustic twoperson cabin at Deception Pass State Park. $100. parks.wa.gov


nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

PARKS

5 PHOTO OPPS Great backgrounds for your next Facebook cover pic:

» The Canoe ●

At 100 years, state parks reflect best of the state’s outdoors

Pass and Deception Pass bridges connecting the Whidbey and Fidalgo island portions of Deception Pass State Park.

» The 77●

year-old stone tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps at Moran State Park.

» A gun battery ●

at Fort Flagler State Park. (For more details, See Page 26).

» The plummet● ing waterfalls at Wallace Falls State Park.

» The light●

houses of Cape Disappointment, Lime Kiln, Fort Worden and Fort Casey state parks.

CRAIG HILL/ Staff writer, file

The Nichols family walks along the rocks on West Beach at Deception Pass State Park near Oak Harbor.

BY CRAIG HILL Staff writer RESOURCES FOR RESERVATIONS: 800-226-7688, secure.camis.com/wa DISCOVER PASS: discoverpass.wa.gov MORE INFO: parks.wa.gov

O

ther than the future, there wasn’t much to be excited about when the Washington State Parks program was born in 1913. Not only did the state not have any parks, but it didn’t have funding to buy land, according to “Washington State Parks” (The Mountaineers Books, $17.95), a 2004 guidebook written by Marge and Ted Mueller.

BETTINA HANSEN/The Seattle Times

Shortly after Bellingham businessman Charles Larrabee died in 1914 that started to change. His family donated 20 acres to the state in 1915 and eight years later Larrabee State Park was unveiled. This year, as the state parks department celebrates its centennial, much has changed. With 117 parks, there is plenty to be excited about, but now the future is uncertain. The state parks operating budget has been slashed and its Discover Pass program is generating less revenue than projected. While it’s unclear what the next 100 years hold, it’s clear when it comes to exploring the state’s best parks that there’s no time like the present. Here are some highlights worth checking out in Western Washington:


BEST FIRE LOOKOUT Take in the spectacular view from the lookout atop the 5,324-foot summit of Mount Pilchuck. On a clear day you’ll see the Cascades, the Olympics and Puget Sound. Check conditions before you go (snow typically covers the trail into July) and expect the hike to be tough (5.4 miles roundtrip, 2,200 vertical feet) and crowded. BEST BOATING Many of Western Washington’s state parks offer boating access to lakes or Puget Sound, but at the state’s newest state park they even build boats. Cama Beach State Park, opened in 2008, is home to a Center for Wooden Boats outpost. The center offers various programs for youth, some that include building boats, said center manager Shane Bishop. The center also rents wooden kayaks, row boats sailboats and canoes. BEST SKIM BOARDING Skim boarders use small boards to ride over thin layers of water on the beach. This can be the wash left by waves or tidal streams. Dash Point State Park in Federal Way is a popular location for this activity. BEST SURFING Westhaven State Park in Westport is the state’s most popular surfing destination. There are no lifeguards working this beach, but that doesn’t bother the learners and experts who frequent Westhaven. Surfboards and wetsuits are available for rent nearby at The Surf Shop and Steepwater Surf Shop. BEST WATERFALLS You’ll find waterfalls in many state parks, but the biggest of them all can

premier destinations for both sports.

BEST GEOCACHING When two of your rangers are geocaching fanatics, you’re bound to have some cool caches hidden in your park. Such is the case at Cama Beach State Park, where rangers Tina Dinzl-Pederson and Alice Blandin encourage visitors to play this high-tech scavenger hunt game. Participants find hidden containers using GPS handsets and coordinates found at geocaching.com. At Cama Beach, intro to geocaching courses are offered on Saturday mornings and GPS handsets can be rented for $10 per day.

ERIKA SCHULTZ/ The Seattle Times, file

be found at Wallace Falls State Park near Gold Bar. These falls drop 265 feet (just 5 feet shorter than Snoqualmie Falls).

location for a game of hide and seek. Fort Columbia State Park once stood guard over the mouth of the Columbia River.

BEST PARKS FOR HORSES Bridal Trails State Park has 28 miles of trails on 482 forested acres northeast of Seattle. The park hosts regular horse shows in the summer.

BEST ROCK CLIMBING Some of Western Washington’s most popular rock climbing spots can be found in state parks such as Iron Horse near North Bend and Beacon Rock on the Columbia River. The 1,200-foot granite Index Town Wall is also managed by State Parks.

BEST FISHING Flaming Geyser State Park has more than three miles of shoreline along the Green River. Schafer State Park offers fishing for steelhead, cutthroat trout and salmon on the Satsop River. Rasar State Park offers plenty of access to the Skagit River. BEST MILITARY HISTORY A number of state parks were once military forts. The North Puget Sound area includes the “triangle of fire” — Fort Worden, Fort Casey and Fort Flagler State Park — offering a chance to walk amid fortifications, great views, places to run the dog, fly a kite and perhaps the state’s coolest

BEST SECLUDED GETAWAY Deception Pass State Park is a wildly popular

destination and not what most think of when they consider a secluded getaway. However, if you’re lucky enough to secure a reservation, you can rent the rustic two-person Ben Ure Island cabin. The cabin goes for $100 per night and is the only park rental on the tiny island. BEST WINDSURFING While the Columbia River Gorge has a reputation for being an Oregon destination, many locals say the best places to windsurf and kiteboard are on the Washington side. Doug’s Beach, Maryhill and Spring Creek Hatchery state parks are

BEST BAKED SALMON Blake Island can be reached by private boat or Argosy Cruises and offers opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, beach combing and exploring. And if you work up an appetite, Tillicum Village is well-known for its alder baked salmon dinners. Visit tillicum village.com for more information. BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL Mountain bikes are allowed in many state parks, but perhaps the most interesting ride is on the rail bed that now serves as Iron Horse State Park’s John Wayne Pioneer Trail. At the trailhead near Exit 54 on Interstate 90, you can start a ride, long or short, that includes travelling through the 2.3-mile Snoqualmie Tunnel. Bring a light and a jacket.

BEST VIEWS A list of great views in Washington State Parks could go on for pages, but here are few to get you started. Take in the Columbia River Gorge from the top of an ancient volcano core in Beacon Rock State Park. BEST Gaze across the San WHALE Juan Islands from WATCHING their highest point, On the west side of San Juan the top of Mount Island, Lime Kiln State Park is a Constitution in perfect spot to get a glimpse of Orcas Island’s a whale. In addition to orcas, you Moran State might see porpoises, seals, sea lions Park. And look and otters. Prime whale watching over Chuckanut season is May through September. Bay from Cypress Swing by the Lime Kiln Point Gates in Larrabee Lighthouse for interpretive State Park. information.

A baby orca is seen in the Haro Strait in 2009. CENTER FOR WHALE RESEARCH/The Associated Press

Pick your pass Y

ou might need a pass to enjoy a weekend at a national park, bird watch at a national wildlife refuge or have a picnic at a state park. Here are some of the passes you might need:

»

Discover Pass

»

National Forest Recreation Day Pass

»

Northwest Forest Pass

This pass gets you access to almost 7 million acres of state recreation lands managed by State Parks, state Department of Fish and Wildlife and state Department of Natural Resources. That includes more than 100 state parks, almost 700 water-access points, more than 80 natural areas and more than 30 wildlife areas. The annual pass is good for one year from the date of issue or the date of validation. Cost: $10 a day or $30 for one year. There might be transaction and dealer fees. Info: 866-320-9933, discoverpass.wa.gov. This annual pass works at all U.S. Forest Service-operated recreation sites in Washington and Oregon where a day-use fee is required, such as trailheads. It allows the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle use of the recreation facilities, or allows only the pass holder use of facilities at per-person sites. Cost: $5 per day. Info: fs.usda.gov This pass works at all U.S. Forest Service-operated recreation sites in Washington and Oregon where a day-use fee is required. Works in the same manner as the day pass. Cost: $30 per year.

Info: fs.usda.gov

»

Annual park pass

»

America the Beautiful Pass

National parks such as Mount Rainier and Olympic that charge a seven-day entrance fee also sell annual passes. They are good only at the park where it is purchased. Cost: $30 at Mount Rainier and Olympic. Info: See individual park websites. In federal vernacular, it also is known as the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series. It is good at all U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees. It is good for 12 months from the month of purchase. The pass admits the holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. At per-person fee areas, it admits the pass holder and up to three persons. (Persons 15 and younger are admitted free.) Cost: $80. It is free for military and permanently disabled U.S. citizens or permanent residents. A lifetime senior pass for those 62 or older is $10. Info: 888-275-8747, Ext. 1 or nps.gov

Jeffrey P. Mayor, jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com


nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

RESOURCES GENERAL INFORMATION: 360-569-2211, nps.gov/mora

WILDERNESS INFORMATION CENTER: Backcountry camping permits and trail conditions. Longmire: 360-569-6650 White River: 360-569-6670

CLIMBING RANGERS: Climbing permits and climbing conditions. 360-569-6641, mountrainier climbing. blogspot.com CARBON RIVER RANGER STATION: 360-829-9639

PARADISE INN AND NATIONAL PARK INN: 360-569-2275, mtrainierguest services.com

JACKSON VISITOR CENTER: 360-569-6571

SUNRISE VISITOR CENTER: 360-663-2425

No shortage of places to escape Rainier’s crowds Wild flowers blossom in the meadows above Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park .

Carbon River entrance

Wonderland Trail

165

Sunrise Visitor Center

Mowich Lake Mount Rainier

Nisqually entrance 706

BY CRAIG HILL Staff writer

5 MILES

Ipsut Creek

Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center

O

410

White River Info Center

410

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

Paradise

Longmire Gifford Pinchot National Forest

DEAN J. KOEPFLER/Staff photographer, file

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Ohanapecosh Visitor Center

n most summer mornings from the saddle between Eagle and Chutla peaks, you can see the sun reflecting off the windshields in the Paradise parking lot. It’s not the best part of the view. It’s just a nice reminder that you’ve made the right choice. While the masses flock to Paradise and Sunrise, filling the parking lots and packing shorter, better known trails, there are always places at Mount Rainier National Park where you can get away.

people are doing their homework in Florida studying what they want to do when they visit, they aren’t thinking about Eagle Peak.” Eagle Peak isn’t for everybody. The trailhead is tucked away behind Longmire’s buildings and the path is steeper (3,000 vertical feet in 3.6 miles) than most day hikers want to take on. But from the top, you’ll find a peaceful, in-your-face view of Rainier. Turn around and you’ll see Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens. Here are some more ideas for exploring Rainier away from Paradise and Sunrise:

PARKS

As ranger Daniel Keebler once said, “When

» BRING A MOUNTAIN BIKE ●

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he trails at Mount Rainier are closed to bikes, but bikes are permitted on a pair of washedout roads. Riding these roads gives you easy access to some good trails. Carbon River Road: Biking up the Carbon River Road can be a fun trip for waterfall lovers. Make three stops along the 5-mile road for three short hikes to waterfalls. First,


DEAN J. KOEPFLER/Staff photographer, file

» GO AWAY FROM THE MOUNTAIN ●

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ainier’s overwhelming beauty is like a magnet, drawing visitors closer. If it’s solitude you crave, fight Rainier’s pull and hike the opposite direction.

ABOVE: A rotund marmot enjoys the lush foliage and wildflowers near Glacier Vista.

Ranger Falls is a 1-mile uphill hike from the road. Keep going another mile to visit Green Lake. Next, Chenuis Falls is a quarter-mile hike that requires visitors to cross the Carbon River on foot logs. Finally, from the campground at the end of the road, Ipsut Falls is just a short walk away. Westside Road: Shhh. Don’t tell anybody you read this here, but here’s a sometimes overlooked trip that will blow you away. Park at the Westside Road trailhead, then mountain bike nine miles to the North Puyallup Trailhead. Then make the 9.5 mile loop hike that visits the Puyallup River and Klapatche Park. You’ll climb 1,200 feet on your bike and 3,100 on the hike, so you might consider spending a night at the North Puyallup River camp or Klapatche Park camp if you can reserve a spot.

hile most trailheads are busy during the summer at Rainier, the farther you walk the more solitude you’ll find. The Wonderland Trail can be great for this. While many use the trail for short day hikes, it is 93 miles and circumnavigates the mountain, allowing you to push your day hike as far as you’d like.

» GO HIGHER ●

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ust as going farther will help you get away from the crowds, so will going higher. Higher, of course, means more challenging. If you’re up for it, here are some big walks that will help you get above the masses:

Shriner Peak: Climb 3,434 feet in an 8.4-mile round-trip hike to a fire lookout. A small backcountry camp is located on the peak. Crystal Peak: Climb 3,395 feet in a 7.6-mile round trip to get a view that includes Crystal Lake, the backside of Crystal Mountain Resort and Mount Rainier. Camp Muir: Climb 4,800 feet in an 8-mile round-trip trek up the Camp Muir snowfield. Camp Muir is the most popular overnight spot for those attempting to reach the summit. Check the weather forecast before starting on this trip.

» GO OFF TRAIL ●

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on’t dare head off the trails around Paradise or Sunrise. Not only is it unhealthy for the ecosystems, it’s not permitted. However, deeper in the backcountry this type of travel is permitted for experienced hikers. You should carry a map and compass and know how to use them. Check in with the Wilderness Information Center for

● Lake Eleanor offers a peaceful place to pitch a tent for a night near the northern border of the park. If you leave from Sunrise, the hike is 10.2 miles each way and not particularly hilly.

AT RIGHT: The Puyallup River creates a thunderous waterfall near North Puyallup Camp. Tokaloo Spire can be seen in the background.

» CAMPING ●

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DREW PERINE/ Staff photographer

» GO FARTHER ●

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● Keebler once described the 7.3-mile hike to Three Lakes as “a long, uphill slog through the trees to a place with no views.” The primary purpose of the Laughingwater Creek Trail is for hikers, workers and pack mules to access the Pacific Crest Trail just beyond the park boundary. But there is camping at Three Lakes and plenty of quiet. ● The Northern Loop Trail is known as the most secluded backpacking trip in the park. Start from either Sunrise or Carbon River and travel more than 30 miles with very little flat terrain.

conditions and permits before you go. A few ideas: ● Scramble to the summit of Tamanos Mountain from the Owyhigh Lakes Trail. ● Groups of five or fewer with navigation and survival skills can acquire cross-country zone permits to travel and camp off-trail. All visitors must camp at least a quarter-mile from established roads and trails and at least 100 feet away from lakes, streams and wetlands.

Hike an unofficial trail such as the Boundary Trail at the Carbon River Trailhead. The park stopped listing this among its official trails in the 1970s. You’ll climb 3,000 feet in 3 miles to Alki Crest, then have the option to climb another 900 feet up Florence Peak. It’s easy to get lost here, so navigation skills and equipment are a must. ● Take the ultimate off-trail experience and attempt to reach Rainier’s 14,411-foot summit. Guide services are strongly suggested and three service the mountain. Alpine Ascents, International Mountain Guides and Rainier Mountaineering Inc. sponsor various uppermountain trips and training. alpineascents.com, mountainguides.com and rmiguides.com ●

» GO EARLY ●

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et your alarm clock, pack a lunch and breakfast. The earlier you get to the park, the better your chances of beating the crowds. How early should you get there? In time to see the sunrise ought to do the trick. For bikers who enjoy the challenge of Rainier’s roads, the road to Sunrise is often open to cyclists for several days in June before the gates open to automobiles. Call the White River Ranger Station at 360-569-6670 for information.

HIGHLIGHT Gobblers Knob lookout is a 6.2-mile (each way) hike from the Westside Road trailhead. The mountain will be at your back most of the way, but once you arrive, it will dominate the skyline. Camping is permitted along the way at Lake George.

he flood of 2006 closed two drive-up campgrounds at Rainier. Ipsut Creek was converted to a backcountry camp after the Carbon River Road was washed out. And Sunshine Point was erased from the map by the Nisqually River. This leaves Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh and White River as the only car camping sites in the park. Mowich Lake Campground offers 30 walkin sites. These campgrounds are typically quite busy on the weekends. Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh accept reservations, but the others are first-come, first-served. The campgrounds are less crowded during the week, but if you really want to get away you can secure a backcountry campsite the day before you depart at one of the park’s ranger stations. Contact the park Wilderness Information Center for more information. » GIVE IN ●

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es, Paradise and Sunrise are the most crowded spots in the park, but it’s for good reason. Both are packed with stunning views, enjoyable trails, opportunities to see wildlife and interesting interpretive information. So if you haven’t visited these popular park destinations, or it’s been awhile, they’re worth seeing, even if it’s crowded.

Narada Falls: A short downhill walk. Paradise: Summer wildflowers add stunning color to an area that spends much of the year covered by snow. Just arrive early or late in the day. Sunrise: If the altitude (get as much as 7,828 feet above sea level hiking up Burroughs Mountain) doesn’t take your breath away, the view will. Comet Falls: The 3.6-mile round-trip trail is often busy in the summer. But if you have strong legs, you can find more solitude by approaching via the Van Trump Park Trail from Longmire. This makes it an 11-mile hike with a couple of opportunities for quick side trips to see the wildflowers of Van Trump Park. Pinnacle Peak: If you can hike 1.3 miles uphill, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views.


nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

Volcano is still a hot spot

BY CRAIG HILL Staff writer

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hirty-three years after Mount St. Helens blew its top, this sprawling moonscape is still a blast. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is a recreation wonderland with opportunities to explore or just soak in the views. Some of these places are subterranean, some are more than 1½ miles above sea level and some are somewhere in between. Let’s start at the top:

» THE RIM ●

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Vinson Peak

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Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center

Iron Creek

Mount Maragaret

9 NF 9

5 MILES

Iron Creek Falls

uring the summer, only 100 people per day are granted permits to hike to the 8,366-foot crater rim of Mount St. Helens. And unfortunately, if you don’t already have a permit for this summer, you don’t have many options. Climbing permits go fast once the reservation process begins in February. Permits are still available for most weekdays through June; however, the hike is likely to be a bit longer because of snow-related road closures. All permits for July and August are reserved, but permits are available in September and October. They are not required Nov. 1-March 31. Permits are $22 per person. The hike to the crater rim via Monitor Ridge, the standard route, is 5 miles each way and climbs 4,500 vertical feet. mshinstitute.org

ancient lava as you descend 1,600 feet to the lush green bottom of Lava Canyon. Want to log more miles? The Smith Creek and Ape Canyon trails are nearby.

» DAY HIKES ●

» MOUNT MARGARET BACKCOUNTRY ●

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hether you select Johnston Ridge, Windy Ridge or the south side of the mountain for your adventure, there’s no shortage of day hikes. To name five:

South Coldwater Trail: It’s 10 miles round trip to dramatic views at Coldwater Saddle, but just 6 miles to see the remains of a bulldozer deposited here by the eruption. Harry’s Ridge: This 8-mile hike from Johnston Ridge offers views of the crater and Spirit Lake. The ridge is named for Harry Truman, a local man who died in the 1980 eruption after refusing to evacuate. Norway Pass: Get a close-up view of the mountain on this 3½-mile hike. Harmony Trail: Visit Spirit Lake and marvel at some serious eruption destruction on this 1-mile downhill (followed by 1-mile uphill) walk. Lava Canyon: Hike 5 miles round trip passing chunks of

MOUNT ST. HELENS NATIONAL VOLCANIC MONUMENT

Spirit Lake Windy Ridge Viewpoint Mount St. Helens

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Johnston Ridge Observatory

Muddy River

Ape Cave

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Lower Falls Rec. Area Big Creek Falls

Swift Reservoir

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ount St. Helens’ most popular backpacking area is the Mount Margaret Backcountry. Reservations are recommended to secure a campsite, but permits are free. A Northwest Forest Pass ($5 per day, $30 per year) also is required. The trails in this area tour an area directly in the path of the 1980 eruption. There are eight camps in the backcountry. Visitors should expect snow in some areas above 5,000 feet elevation all summer. Contact the monument office or the Cowlitz Valley ranger Station for permitting information.

PARKS

» CAMPING ●

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amping opportunities are scarce in the monument, but dispersed camping is permitted in much of the area. Camp should be

made out of sight of major roads and trails and at least 100 feet from water sources. Kalama Horse Camp ($8-12 per night) has easy access to more than 50 miles of trails and closed roads. Several private campgrounds are available outside the monument. For more information, visit fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens.

ELAINE THOMPSON/ The Associated Press, file

Visitors can view the volcano at the Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

» FISHING ●

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he monument’s Spirit Lake, once a recreation hot spot, is closed to fishing for research purposes, but anglers are welcome on Coldwater and Castle lakes. Anglers must have a current Washington fishing license and are limited to one fish per day. Some higher lakes are open to fishing, too. fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov » OBSERVATORIES ●

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cientists are still closely studying Mount St. Helens as it continues to recover from the 1980 eruption. There are several places dedicated to helping visitors learn more about the mountain. Johnston Ridge Observatory, at the terminus of Spirit Lake Highway. 360-274-2140 Science and Learning Center at Coldwater, on Spirit Lake Highway. fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake, 3029 Spirit Lake Highway. parks.wa.gov » APE CAVE ●

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pe Cave is a 2¼-mile lava tube on the south side of Mount St. Helens. Hike the entire tube, a hardy but manageable feat that sometimes requires scrambling over large rock piles. Or just sample part of the cave Formed by an eruption 2,000 years ago, Ape Cave is the only one of the more than 50 lava tubes around Mount St. Helens that can be visited without special permission. Rangers recommend 2½ hours to explore the entire cave. They also suggest three light sources and spare batteries. Don’t forget sturdy shoes, warm clothes and a helmet.

RESOURCES GENERAL INFORMATION: 360-449-7800, fs.usda.gov/ mountsthelens JOHNSTON RIDGE OBSERVATORY: 360-274-2140 MOUNT ST. HELENS INSTITUTE: mshinstitute.org GIFFORD PINCHOT NATIONAL FOREST: 360-891-5000 COWLITZ VALLEY RANGER STATION: 360-497-1100 VISITOR CENTER AT SILVER LAKE: 360-274-0962


The waves roll on to Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park.

The peninsula playground

RESOURCES OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK: $15 for seven days admission or $30 for an annual pass, nps.gov/olym DREW PERINE/Staff photographer, file

BY JEFFREY P. MAYOR Staff writer

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he Olympic Peninsula is a microcosm — on the scale of 3,600 square miles — of the outdoor recreation opportunities Western Washington has to offer.

You can roam temperate rainforests, where annual rainfall is measured in feet, not inches. You can walk remote miles of ocean beaches. You can stand under canopies of trees that seem to touch the sky. You can climb Mount Olympus, a 7,980foot peak. The peninsula is an outdoor playground, whether you have just a day or a week. For many of us, however, spending a weekend touring the peninsula is more than enough to get a taste of what it has to offer. For this trip, we opted to head clockwise, trying to maximize our time.

Makah Reservation Ozette

10 MILES

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et an early start on your weekend, to avoid traffic on Interstate 5, and make your way to the Kalaloch area first. A word of caution: If you don’t stop for food in Aberdeen-Hoquiam, you’ll have few options once you get to Kalaloch. You can stay at the 170-site Kalaloch Campground or, if you want more creature comforts, the Kalaloch Lodge. The lodge offers motel rooms and multibedroom cabins. The lodge does have a full-service restaurant. The Lake Quinault Lodge farther south also has rooms and a full-service restaurant. Get settled in first, so you can catch the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. And, if the clouds cooperate, you might catch a glimpse of the Milky Way arching overhead when the sky darkens.

» SATURDAY ●

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Mount Olympus Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Cener

DIANE URBANI DE LA PAZ/Peninsula Daily News, file

Hurricane Ridge Visitor Cener

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK Staircase

Quinalt Reservation 101

legs. There are the 0.8-mile Hall of Mosses Trail and 1.2-mile Spruce Nature loop trail that start at the center. These are good choices for families with younger visitors. For those wanting a longer excursion, do an out-and-back for as long as you want on the Hoh River Trail. The 17.3-mile trail leads to Glacier Meadows on the shoulders of Mount Olympus. It is fairly flat for the first 13 miles. After returning to U.S. 101, head toward Forks. “Twilight” fans know all about this little town, but it’s also a good place to grab a snack or a late lunch or stock up on groceries. From Forks, U.S. 101 will bend to the east and you’ll head toward Lake Crescent. Lodging options there include the Lake Crescent Lodge, the Log Cabin Resort or, a little off the main road, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. There also are campgrounds at Fairholm, near the hot springs and farther east along the Elwha River Road. There are a number of campgrounds in the areas as well. If you have time, anglers might want to try fishing for rainbow trout in the cold waters of

PARKS

tart your day with a stop at the Big Cedar Tree, just off U.S. Highway 101, between Beach 4 and Ruby Beach. The Western red cedar has a girth of almost 62 feet and is almost 125 feet high. Your next stop should be Ruby Beach. A 0.2mile walk down a slightly steep path leads to a wide expanse of rocky beach. Kids will love tossing wave-smoothed rocks into the waves. If you are looking for a smoother play area, head south and you’ll find lots of sand. From there, head north to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. Watch for Roosevelt elk grazing along the Hoh River Road. After checking out the visitor center, you have options for stretching your

Angeles

OLYMPIC NATIONAL Forks FOREST

PACIFIC OCEAN

Olympic National Park is home to some 300 mountain goats.

Dungeness Port Rec. Area

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Lake Crescent. These are Beardslee strain fish and are known for putting up a good fight. » SUNDAY ●

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tart the day with the 1.8-mile roundtrip hike to Marymere Falls. The trail to the 90-foot falls starts at the Storm King Ranger Station. Stairs lead to an overlook that provides a good view of the cascade. You’ll want to check out the Elwha River corridor. You can play in the park or take a raft trip down the river with Olympic Raft and Kayak or Rainforest Paddlers. The companies offers whitewater trips and more peaceful excursions. Your main destination for the day should be Hurricane Ridge, high above Port Angeles. The first thing you need to do is check out the amazing views. You can watch the shipping traffic on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, look across the strait at Vancouver Island, or turn your gaze inland at the park’s mountainous interior. There are all sorts of hikes one can take from Hurricane Ridge. For a shorter trek, try the High Ridge Trail. A 0.5-mile loop, it climbs 220 feet and offers 360-degree views. The 1.6-mile (one way) paved Hurricane Hill Trail gains 700 feet, giving hikers views of the mountains. The first 2.8 miles of the Klahhane Ridge Trail are along a ridgetop. Going another mile, and gain another 800 feet, on the Switchback Trail that leads to Klahhane Ridge. In addition to the views, visitors on these trails will see wildflowers and wildlife such as marmots and mountain goats.

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK LODGES: For information on Lake Crescent Lodge, the Log Cabin Resort and Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, call 888-896-3818 or go to olympic nationalparks.com. KALALOCH LODGE: 866-662-9928, thekalaloch lodge.com OLYMPIC NATIONAL FOREST: fs.usda. gov/olympic TRAVEL: olympicpeninsula. org, forkswa.com, portangeles.org, visitsunnysequim. com, explorehood canal.com RIVER TRIPS: Olympic Raft and Kayak, raftand kayak.com, $54 for adults and $44 for children ages 6-12. Rainforest Paddlers, rain forestpaddlers.com, $55 per person. DUNGENESS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: fws.gov/ washington maritime/ dungeness


MORE FUN AT FORT FLAGLER

» Five miles ● of trails open to hikers and bikers.

» A summer ●

outdoor concert series on August weekends at Battery Bankhead.

» Boating ●

on the harbor with summer kayak rentals at nearby Nordland General Store.

» Visit the ●

domestic geese, former pets of the ranger’s children, at a pond near Battery Wansboro.

» Host a ●

reception or concert in the fort’s renovated hospital (with oak dance floor), a project of the Friends of Fort Flagler, an active volunteer group. Or attend a dance or other event in the old theater.

» Take a guided ● tour of historic buildings and gun emplacements offered Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays through mid-September, by donation.

nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

PARKS

Fort Flagler: a hideaway of history BY BRIAN J. CANTWELL The Seattle Times

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hen most people talk about “that fort over by Port Townsend, you know, the big state park,” the usual answer is, “Oh, Fort Worden! I love that place.” And it’s well-known for good reasons: a full palette of arts events, distinguished collection of officers quarters offered for rent, a lighthouse that prompts everyone to reach for the camera phone and eyegoggling vistas of saltwater and mountains.

WHAT MAKES IT A GEM IN OUR BOOK eyond its hideaway nature, there’s sheer variety. Drive in the gate and you’re cruising through a virtual tunnel of cedars, firs and hemlocks, many untouched since the fort’s construction more than 100 years ago. Beyond the forest are broad beaches of sand, cobbles and drift logs, with clam shells as big as your hand and bull-kelp whips that could tame a lion (or a golden retriever, anyway). Waters here are rich, near the corner of Not everyone knows it has a twin sister, of Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a sort, in Fort Flagler, only 3 miles away as the where all the seawater feeding Puget Sound cormorant flies, with many of the same churns in and out with daily tides. fine qualities. Marrowstone Point, named by Hidden at road’s end on Capt. George Vancouver in 1792 Port Marrowstone Island, across the bay for the type of rock and clay in the Townsend from Port Townsend, Flagler’s offisland’s bluffs, is bordered by an Fort the-beaten-path character gives it underwater shelf where nutrients Flagler 20 State an edge. well up and herring swarm. Park It also is bigger than Fort In silver salmon season, anglers Port Worden, with almost double the can be elbow to elbow bordering 101 Hadlock 116 acres (784) and almost twice the the Marrowstone Point light saltwater shoreline (3.6 miles) of its station. “You’ll do better off the better-known sibling. beach than guys out there in boats,” 2 MILES Actually, as siblings go, Fort Flagler said local angler Pete Leenhouts. is a triplet. It’s one of three military forts To the natural wonders add the man– each now a state park – that formed the somade: a broad and pretty parade ground (often called “Triangle of Fire,” whose big guns were grazed by deer) surrounded by old military homes meant to protect the entrance to Puget Sound, you can rent for the night, looking out on views of their construction spurred on by the SpanishMount Baker, Mount Rainier and every big ship American War of 1898. (Fort Casey, home to and little tug entering or leaving the Sound. the Admiralty Head lighthouse seen on some WHAT YOU WON’T FIND EVERYWHERE Washington license plates, is the third.) ilitary history will make you think about Sibling rivalry isn’t the point, though. Fort the pace of change. Flagler is a great park all on its own. Only a few decades before this fort’s 1899 “We’re at the end of the road here, and when activation, men waged war by charging across folks get here, it’s like they’ve hit a new kind of fields with muskets. Within a few years of Nirvana,” said park manager Mike Zimmerman, its opening, Flagler had big state-of-the-art who has been at Flagler 16 years.

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ALAN BERNER / The Seattle Times

“disappearing” guns that could spring out of their bunkers and then hide away for reloading only to be rendered obsolete with the arrival of aircraft and long-range guns on battleships. By World War II, Flagler was primarily a training fort. By the 1950s, it was deactivated and became a park. A small museum chronicles the fort’s history. Watch a short video to learn facts like this: Less than 5 miles apart, with guns that could shoot 6 miles, the three forts could deliver 29 tons of high explosives into the “Triangle of Fire.” (Open weekends in offseason, daily mid-May through September, by donation.) Fort Flagler State Park has about 20 resident deer that often feed on the lawn in front of the 12-bed army hospital completed in 1905.

NOT TO BE MISSED

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ake a lonely walk on the Bluff Trail, with salty views of the Port Townsend ferry scuttling across Admiralty Inlet, and overlooking the redroofed light station (now a U.S. Geological Survey marine research post). You’ll pass a half-dozen old gun batteries looking like ghostly pyramids buried in grass. Rent one of the fort’s old homes, dating from the 1890s-1940s, or hold a group retreat in the old World War II barracks (with barbecue and volleyball net outside). I was happy with a recent stay in the Engineer’s House, the first structure built at the fort at the Parade Ground’s north end. (Fort Flagler rentals are $117-$191 a night April through October.) Or camp at the beachside campground next to a launch ramp and dock on protected Kilisut Harbor, or an upper campground on a bluff with harbor views (117 sites total, plus two group camps, open March through October).


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ne of the best ways to learn about our area is to stop at one of the many interpretive centers. They offer an informative look at the cultural history of popular locations, the science behind volcanoes and the arrival of Lewis and Clark at the Pacific Ocean. The centers range from large facilities that require hours to properly peruse to smaller operations that provide indoor educational opportunities. Here is a look at some of the centers in the region:

» Breazeale Interpretive Center ● 10441 BAYVIEW-EDISON ROAD, MOUNT VERNON

The center is the headquarters for the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which includes some 11,000 acres designated for research and education. Highlight: The center has hands-on exhibits and aquariums that focus on the natural history of area estuaries, coasts and watersheds. A paved trail leads a few hundred yards from the center to an observation deck looking over Padilla Bay. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. WednesdaySunday. Cost: Free. Info: padillabay.gov.

GET OUT

» Cedar River Watershed ●

Education Center

19901 CEDAR FALLS ROAD SE, NORTH BEND

Operated by Seattle Public Utilities, the center helps visitors understand the issues surrounding the future of drinking water, forests and salmon. The Exhibit Hall tells the story of the river’s watershed through handson, interactive exhibits. Decks at the center offer views of the Rattlesnake Lake, accessible via a 1½-mile gravel trail loop that starts at the center. Highlight: Even on rainy days, the center is worth a visit. In the inner courtyard are 21 drums representing different cultures. Each is set up to catch rainfall. When it rains, the raindrops (a computer program makes the sounds on dry days) sound the drums. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. Cost: Free. Info: 206-733-9421, cedarriver.org.

JANET JENSEN/Staff photographer, file

Learn about the nature around you

of the westward journey of the Lewis and Clark expedition using sketches, paintings, photographs and the words of corps members. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Cost: $5 per adult, $2.50 per child ages 7-17 and free for children ages 6 and younger, in addition to park entrance fee. Info: 360-642-3029, parks.wa.gov/stewardship/lewisandclarkcenter.

» Johnston Ridge Observatory ● MOUNT ST. HELENS NATIONAL VOLCANIC MONUMENT AT THE END OF STATE ROUTE 504

Located in the middle of the blast zone, the center has displays telling the biological, geological and human stories of Mount St. Helens. It also serves as the starting point for ranger-led walks and programs. There also is a movie theater inside the center. The center is run by the U.S. Forest Service.

1 » Coastal Interpretive Center ● 1033 CATALA AVE. SE, OCEAN SHORES

This museum offers a look at the natural and cultural history of the Ocean Shores area. Although fairly small, the center is packed with exhibits on the creatures that live on the land and in the water but also offers a peek into the heyday of Ocean Shores. Highlight: Among the exhibits is one looking at the history of the SS Catala, a steamship that was used as a hotel at Ocean Shores. It became grounded on the beach at Damon Point after breaking loose in a storm. Hours: Summer hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. seven days a week through Labor Day. There might be some closures because of staffing. Cost: Free, but donations are welcome. Info: 360-289-4617, interpretivecenter.org.

» Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge ● EAST OF LACEY

The more-than-3,900-acre refuge offers hiking, boating, hunting and educational programs. Surrounding the Nisqually River delta, the refuge protects important habitats for resident and migrating birds. The refuge’s visitor center is small but filled with interesting exhibits on the area flora and fauna. Highlight: The 4-mile round-trip hike to the end of the Nisqually Estuary Trail offers views of the refuge as the tides change, as well as of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. Hours: Trails are open sunrise to sunset. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Cost: $3 admits up to four adults. Info: 360-753-9467, nisqually.fws.gov.

» Lewis and Clark ●

Interpretive Center

CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT STATE PARK, 2 MI. FROM ILWACO

This well-designed museum takes visitors along with the Corps of Discovery, as Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean. There are exhibits on the two lighthouses within the park, the military’s presence, including the Coast Guard, and changes to the natural environment. Highlight: A series of mural-sized panels create a timeline

2 (1) Visitors file through

the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Mount Rainier. (2) Portraits of explorers Meriwether Lewis, left, and William Clark grace the wall in the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. (3) Tidal channels at low tide create a graphic pattern around the boardwalk at the Nisqually Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

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Highlight: Take in one of the interpretive programs at the center’s outdoor amphitheater. If you don’t learn anything, you can enjoy great views of the volcano. Hours: Open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Oct. 27. Cost: $8 per person. Nearby: There also is the Mount St. Helens Forest Learning Center and Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Seaquest, both on state Route 504. Info: 360-274-2140, fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens.

» Henry M. Jackson Memorial ●

Visitor Center

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

This is the place to get information while at the park’s most visited location. There also are movies shown, ranger-led programs and numerous exhibits. The building opened in 2008, replacing the old space ship-style building.

Highlight: Use one of the telescopes to watch the line of hikers and climbers making their way up to Camp Muir on a clear summer day. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through June 14 and 10 a.m.7 p.m. June 15-Sept. 1. Cost: $15 for seven days park admission. Nearby: The park also operates visitor centers at Sunrise (opens in early July) and Ohanapecosh (closed for the summer because of sequestration). Info: 360-569-6571, nps.gov/mora.

» Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center ● ABOUT 17 MILES SOUTH OF PORT ANGELES

Staffers and volunteers provide information on the area, exhibits detail the park’s mountain habitats and there is a film available. Guided walks and talks are offered during the summer. There are a number of short and long trails leading from the center. There is a snack bar and gift shop on the visitor center’s lower level. Highlight: The views from the center are remarkable, looking deep into the park’s mountainous heart or to the north over the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Vancouver Island. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Cost: $15 for seven days park admission. Nearby: The Olympic National Park Visitor Center is located at the southern edge of Port Angeles before you enter the park. Info: 360-565-3130, nps.gov/olym.


nwsummer

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

Seattle’s Macklemore.

GET OUT

T.I. will be at the KUBE 93 Summer Jam.

There’s music in the air this season

W

estern Washington music lovers get a rare treat in the summer months: a chance to hear terrific live performances outdoors at some of the area’s most picturesque locales. Nearly every city in the region sponsors its own summer outdoor concert series. Check with your community to get the lineups. But here, in chronological order, are some of the big names in music and comedy who are coming to some of the biggest and best outdoor venues in the region this summer:

Willie Nelson

DAMIAN “JR. GONG” MARLEY & STEPHEN MARLEY 6:30 p.m. June 19, Marymoor Park, Redmond. $40.50. JOHN PRINE 6 p.m. June 23, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $32.50

Paul McCartney returns to Seattle with a show at Safeco Field on July 19.

PARADISO FESTIVAL with TIESTO and KASKADE, June 28-29, The Gorge Amphitheatre. $100-$500. BARENAKED LADIES, BEN FOLDS FIVE and GUSTER 7 p.m. June 29, White River Amphitheatre, Auburn. $46.50-$86.

AP file photos

JOHN MAYER with PHILLIP PHILLIPS 7:30 p.m. June 29, The Gorge Amphitheater. $46.50-$94. STEVE MILLER BAND, 7 p.m. June 29, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville. $49-$89. OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW 6 p.m. June 30, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $32.50. PAT BENATAR & NEIL GIRALDO, 7 p.m. July 7, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville. $45 and $65. SASQUATCH MUSIC FESTIVAL May 24-27, the Gorge Amphitheater. $337.50 for a four-day pass. KENNY CHESNEY 5 p.m. June 1, CenturyLink Field, Seattle. $40-$247. KUBE 93 SUMMER JAM with T.I., TREY SONGZ, 2 CHAINZ, WALE, J. COLE, MACKLEMORE and RYAN LEWIS June 8, The Gorge Amphitheatre. $50. A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION with GARRISON KEILLOR, 2:45 p.m. June 15, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville. $39 and $65.

Macklemore headlines the Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater Memorial Day weekend

HELL’S BELLES with HEART BY HEART 4:30 p.m. July 7, Snoqualmie Casino-Mountain View Plaza. $19. HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS 6 p.m. July 7, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $39.50. BILL ENGVALL 7 p.m. July 11, Snoqualmie CasinoMountain View Plaza. $41-$90. CHRIS BOTTI, 7 p.m. July 13, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville. $39.50-$49.50. COUNTING CROWS AND THE WALLFLOWERS, 6:30 p.m. July 15, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville. $56-$90.50.


John Mayer

Johnny Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd

Pat Benatar

1964 THE TRIBUTE (Beatles Tribute), 7 p.m. Aug. 25, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville. $20.

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips will headline the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle

JOHN HIATT & THE COMBO with HOLLY WILLIAMS 6 p.m. July 17, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $28.

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Gorge Amphitheatre. $61.50-$90 or $120 for three-day lawn tickets.

DAVID BYRNE & ST. VINCENT 7 p.m. July 18, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville. $75-$91.

CRAIG MORGAN, 9 p.m. Sept. 6, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $40.

PAUL McCARTNEY 8 p.m. July 19, Safeco Field, Seattle. $54-$279. RANDY NEWMAN 6 p.m. July 24, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $28.

KISW PAIN IN THE GRASS with ALICE IN CHAINS, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, JANE’S ADDICTION, AND COHEED AND CAMBRIA 1:30 p.m. Sept. 6 and 7, The Gorge Amphitheatre. Tickets are $74 for a day pass.

LEANN RIMES 6 p.m. July 26, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $32.50. CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY with THE FLAMING LIPS July 26-28, Seattle. Three-day passes are $75. PHISH July 26-27, The Gorge Amphitheater. Two-day passes are $177, one-day-only tickets are $74. GIPSY KINGS, 7 p.m. July 28, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville. $39.50-$69.50. INDIGO GIRLS 6 p.m. July 30 and July 31, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $28.

Dave Matthews Band will take over the Gorge for three days

THE BEACH BOYS 7 p.m. Aug. 25, Snoqualmie Casino-Mountain View Plaza. $41-$90.

WATERSHED FESTIVAL with TOBY KEITH, LUKE BRYAN and BRAD PAISLEY Aug. 2-4, Gorge Amphitheatre. $149 for a three-day festival pass. LYLE LOVETT, 7 p.m. Aug. 2, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville. $47.50-$77.50. PINK MARTINI 6 p.m. Aug. 4, Marymoor Park, Redmond. $45-$75. Dave Matthews

TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE with JJ GREY & MOFRO 6 p.m. Aug. 7, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $26. FRANKIE VALLI 7 p.m. Aug. 8, Snoqualmie CasinoMountain View Plaza. $57-$110. GLADYS KNIGHT & THE O’JAYS, 7 p.m. Aug. 8, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville. $49.50-$79.50. HARRY CONNICK JR., 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville. $57.50-$99.50. TODD SNIDER’S TRAVELING FOLK SHOW with SHAWN MULLINS, HAYES CARLL, and SARAH JAROSZ 6 p.m. Aug. 11, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $24. DWIGHT YOAKAM 7 p.m. Aug. 11, Snoqualmie Casino-Mountain View Plaza. $57-$110. ROGER HODGSON 7 p.m. Aug. 12, Snoqualmie Casino-Mountain View Plaza. $41-$90. DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES 6 p.m. Aug. 13, Marymoor Park, Redmond. $45-$65. TRAIN with GAVIN DEGRAW and THE SCRIPT 7 p.m. Aug. 14, White River Amphitheater, Auburn. $25-$90. STEELY DAN 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15, Marymoor Park, Redmond. $55-$115. LOREENA MCKENNITT 6 p.m. Aug. 15, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $32.50. BRANDI CARLILE 6 p.m. Aug. 22 and 23, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle. $39.50. WILLIE NELSON & FAMILY 7 p.m. Aug. 23, Marymoor Park, Redmond. $45-$65.

Brandi Carlile

CHRIS ISAAK, 7 p.m. Aug. 24, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville. $45-$69.50.

TRACE ADKINS, 9 p.m. Sept. 7, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $40. LITTLE BIG TOWN 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $20-$60. CEELO GREEN 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $20-$60. CARRIE UNDERWOOD 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $45-$95. ALABAMA 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $35-$95. ZAC BROWN BAND 7 p.m. Sept. 14, Gorge Amphitheatre. $66. JEREMY CAMP, TENTH AVENUE NORTH, KUTLESS, and JARS OF CLAY 7 p.m. Sept. 17, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $20-$40. LARRY THE CABLE GUY 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $20-$65. AUSTIN MAHONE & BRIDGIT MENDLER 7 p.m. Sept. 21, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $25-$60. KID ROCK 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22, Washington State Fair, Puyallup. $45-$95. FURTHUR with PHIL LESH and BOB WEIR 6 p.m. Sept. 24, Marymoor Park, Redmond. $59.50. MAROON 5 and KELLY CLARKSON 7 p.m. Sept. 28, The Gorge Amphitheatre. $45.50-$116.

Carrie Underwood


A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

STEVE BLOOM/Staff photographer, file

nwsummer

GET OUT

So many festivals, so little time

L

ooking for a less strenuous way to get outdoors in the summer sunshine? Western Washington communities host a plethora of festivals and fairs you can choose from all summer long. Here are some of the biggest and best.

» Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle ● MAY 24-27, SEATTLE CENTER. A multicultural arts festival dedicated to serving the ethnic, traditional, and folk arts communities of the Northwest United States. nwfolklife.org/festival » Marysville Strawberry Festival ● JUNE 14-16. One of the oldest continuing festivals in the state, it features a grand parade and fireworks show. maryfest.org » Winlock Egg Day Festival ● JUNE 21-23. Egg Days has its origin in the town’s former status as a major egg producer, a history still reflected in the presence of the 1,200-pound fiberglass egg placed on a steel pole in the heart of town. The annual Egg Days parade will kick off at 11 a.m. The battle of the barrels involves downtown businesses who compete for creating the most attractive flower plantings in barrels around the commercial core. winlockwa.govoffice2.com

HARBOR DAYS. Passengers on the tug Cedar King look back as it tries to catch up to the eventual 2012 race heat winner, Maggie B, during the annual races in Budd Inlet.

» Meeker Days, Puyallup ● JUNE 21-23, PIONEER PARK, 330 S. MERIDIAN. Come to Puyallup’s Meeker Days and enjoy the largest street festival in Pierce County. Featuring four live entertainment stages, two food courts, almost 200 vendors and classic car shows. puyallupmainstreet.com/meekerdays.html » Taste of Tacoma ● JUNE 28-30, POINT DEFIANCE PARK, 5400 N. PEARL ST. Taste of Tacoma will have more than 32 restaurants, 19 food booths, four live music stages, a comedy club, beer and wine gardens/tastings, a carnival, more than 100 hand-crafted artisan booths, commercial products, other vendor booths and picnic areas. tasteoftacoma.com » International Festival ● JUNE 29-30, AT ANGLE LAKE IN SEATAC. The festival includes a fun run, craft and food vendors, parade, skateboarding competition, and a variety of ethnic and cultural bands. ci.seatac.wa.us


» Rhubarb Days, Sumner ● JULY 13-14, 1114 MAIN ST., DOWNTOWN SUMNER. Sumner is a lot like rhubarb pie: it’s comfortable, familiar, a little old-fashioned, a little modern, but most of all it’s got a flavor all its own. Come to enjoy a pie walk, antique tractors, a scavenger hunt, and a bake-off. rhubarbtimes.com » SummerFest, Lakewood ● JULY 13-14, FORT STEILACOOM PARK, 8714 87TH AVE. SW. Family festival includes “Kidz Zone,” movie at dusk, vendors in the public market, live entertainment from two different stages, a three-on-three basketball tournament and a free 5k fun run. cityoflakewood.us » Capital Lakefair, Olympia ● JULY 17-21, HERITAGE PARK. Arts and craft booths, a sidewalk sale, battle of the bands, car show, grand parade, half marathon and fireworks. lakefair.org » Lavender Festival, Sequim ● JULY 19-21, DOWNTOWN SEQUIM AND AREA FARMS. Self-guided farm tours, street fair, dinner cruises to Protection Island to see puffins and totem tours. lavenderfestival.com

MINDI LAROSE/Special to the Herald, file

MEEKER DAYS. Go back in time: participants applaud during a reenactment of a 1912 dedication ceremony put on by Meeker Historical Society.

» Kla Ha Ya Days, Snohomish ● JULY 17-21. Annual summer celebration at various locations from town of Snohomish to Harvey Field: carnival, parade, car show, salmon barbecue, frog-jumping contest, bed races, bike rodeo, balloon glow, music, fireworks, 5-mile race, street fair. klahayadays.com

TASTE OF TACOMA. Cassie Chavez enjoys the “Hallie Berry” chocolate dipped strawberries on a stick at Point Defiance Park in 2011.

» Darrington Bluegrass Festival ● JULY 19-21. The 37th annual music festival, plus booths, food, 24-hour jammin’ at campsites, this year featuring Ralph Stanley II, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, and Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa. darringtonbluegrass.com » Northwest Raspberry ●

Festival, Lynden

JANET JENSEN/Staff photographer, file

» Fife Family Affair Car Show ●

» Sandsations, Long Beach ●

JUNE 30, DACCA PARK, 54TH AVE. E., 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Open to all special interest cars. You can either bring your car to exhibit or you can come just to check out the rides. cityoffife.org

JULY 10-14, BOLSTAD AVE. BEACH APPROACH AND VETERANS FIELD. In-city sand sculpture displays and competition on the beach with multiple amateur and professional competitors. Sand Flea Pet Parade Saturday at about noon on the beach. longbeach.com

» Freedom Fair, Tacoma ● JULY 4, RUSTON WAY. Celebrate Freedom Fair, featuring Fourth of July activities on the waterfront: air shows, food, vendors, exhibits, rides and events. It’s the South Sound’s largest annual event, ending with the Northwest’s biggest fireworks show over Puget Sound. freedomfair.com

JULY 11-14, ARLINGTON AIRPORT. Annual Aviation Festival and Airshow with warbird, antique and homebuilt aircraft on display. Rides and attractions for the entire family. arlingtonflyin.org

» Independence Day ●

» Toledo Cheese Days ●

at Fort Vancouver

JULY 4, FORT VANCOUVER NATIONAL SITE. Enjoy an old-fashioned, family friendly Fourth of July with entertainment on four stages including a heritage stage and children’s stage, kids’ and teen games, guided walking tours, black powder demonstrations, food and beverage vendors, and a fireworks show. 4th.fortvan.org

» Arlington Fly-In ●

JULY 11-14. Traditional parade, coronation of the Big Cheese, and street festival at the annual Cheese Days celebration. Over the course of the three-day celebration, visitors also can participate in a frog-jumping contest, attend a wine and cheese tasting event, eat lunch at the Lions Club picnic, and try their luck at gambling during “Reno Night.” visiontoledo.org

STEVE BLOOM/ Staff photographer, file

CAPITAL LAKEFAIR. Amusement rides and food booths are packed with people taking advantage of the summer weather in Olympia.

JULY 19-20, FRONT STREET (BETWEEN THIRD AND 12TH STREETS). July is raspberry time and at the peak of the summer harvest season Lynden hosts the Northwest Raspberry Festival. It offers fresh raspberry sundaes on locally produced ice cream, live jazz, sidewalk shopping, kids activities, a three-on-three basketball tournament, and Very Berry Storytime at the Lynden Library, a raspberry pancake breakfast at the Lynden Community Center, a 5k fun run/walk, Razz & Shine car show and wine tasting. lynden.org » Kirkland Uncorked ● JULY 19-21, MARINA PARK, 25 LAKESHORE PLAZA DRIVE. This summer festival offers fine Northwest wines, cooking demos and spirited grill-offs, local art, live music and even a dog modeling contest. kirklanduncorked.com » 3 Days of Aloha, Vancouver ● JULY 26-27, ESTHER SHORE PARK. Organized by the Ke Kukui Foundation of Vancouver, this annual event celebrates Polynesian culture with workshops, activities, music, dance, food, and fun. hawaiianfestivalpnw.com See FESTIVALS, 32


A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

BRUCE KELLMAN/Staff photographer, file

nwsummer

» Harbor Days, Olympia ●

AUG. 30-SEPT. 1, PERCIVAL LANDING & PORT PLAZA. Harbor Days is an annual festival where tugboats return to the southern most tip of Puget Sound for three days of entertainment, food, art, history and a last farewell to summer. Vintage, working and retired tugboats are moored at Olympia’s Percival Landing and many of them are open for tour. Be on hand at noon Sunday as the tugs leave shore to participate in the Annual Harbor Days Tugboat Races, out in the deep channel of the bay. harbordays.com » Vintage Aircraft Weekend, Everett ● AUG. 30-SEPT. 1, PAINE FIELD. More than 60 vintage aircraft take to the sky to commemorate the golden age of aviation. See classic, vintage and warbird aircraft up-close, ask pilots and mechanics questions about restoration, and listen to World War II re-enactors and Flying Legends recount stories of life in the sky. vintageaircraftweekend.org

FESTIVALS

From 31

» Jazz & Oysters, Ocean Park ● AUG. 18, 25815 SANDRIDGE ROAD. Annual one-day live jazz event includes grilled oysters, desserts and more from peninsula restaurants. funbeach.com/ main-events/jazz-oysters-ocean-park

» Bellevue Arts Fair ●

» Washington State International ●

JULY 26-28, BELLEVUE SQUARE AND BELLEVUE ARTS MUSEUM. Bellevue Festival of the Arts is a juried arts-and-crafts fair located by Cost Plus World Market just north of Bellevue Square. Produced by the Craft Cooperative of the Northwest and organized by artists, it features 200 artisans, musicians and craftspeople from the Northwest and beyond. bellevuearts.org/fair

AUG. 19-25, BOLSTAD BEACH APPROACH. Voted Best Kite Festival in the World by Kite Trade Association International, the week includes competitions by both professional and amateur kite fliers, choreographed kite flies, mass ascensions, fireworks, lighted night kite flies and a variety of vendors. kitefestival.com

» Pacific Northwest Mushroom ●

» Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival ●

Festival, Lacey

JULY 26-28, REGIONAL ATHLETIC COMPLEX, 8345 STEILACOOM ROAD SE. A mushroom-and-wine event featuring local Washington wines paired with mushroom hors d’oeuvres, live music, dancing, speakers, cooking demonstrations, and a kids fun zone. pnwmushroomfest.com

» Morton Loggers Jubilee ●

» Kirkland Summerfest ●

AUG. 9-11, MARINA PARK, 25 LAKESHORE PLAZA DRIVE. Enjoy live music, entertainment, food and family focused fun. kirklandsummerfest.com

» Blues & Seafood, Ilwaco ●

AUG. 16-17, PORT OF ILWACO. Music at the Ilwaco Marina begins at 7 p.m. Friday and runs until 10 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.. bluesandseafood.com

» Garlic Fest & Craft Show, Chehalis ●

AUG. 31-SEPT. 2, SEATTLE CENTER. Seattle’s music and arts festival is the nation’s largest arts festival, attracting more than 100,000 people to Seattle Center every Labor Day weekend. bumbershoot.org » Kumoricon, Vancouver ●

AUG. 31-SEPT. 2. Vancouver’s downtown is transformed each Labor Day weekend for this animé convention. With more than 5,000 fans of all ages – most dressed as a favorite character – celebrate Japanese’s-based animation with contests, gaming, live music, workshops, panels and late-night festivities. kumoricon.org

Kite Festival, Long Beach

AUG. 22-25, ESTHER SHORE PARK. This festival is four days of wine and food paired with live jazz and fine art and craft vendors. vancouverwinejazz.com

» Bumbershoot, Seattle ●

BUMBERSHOOT. The nation’s largest arts festival attracts all sorts including dancers, poets and musical acts such as Drake, who performed on the main stage in 2010.

» Washington State Fair, Puyallup ● SEPT. 6-22, WASHINGTON STATE FAIR EVENTS CENTER, PUYALLUP. The former Western Washington Fair, now renamed the Washington State Fair, is the biggest traditional fair in the state. Enjoy scones and a myriad of other food as well as animal exhibits, carnival rides, rodeos, and a whole slate of live concerts. thefair.com

AUG. 23-25. The 17th annual celebration of anything and everything garlic, as well as locally made crafts and arts displays. Garlic-themed cuisine, artisans and craft vendors, antiques, kids’ activities, chef demonstrations, live music, wine tasting and a beer garden. There will be 65 strains of natural garlic. chehalisgarlicfest.com » Poverty Bay Blues & Arts ●

Festival, Des Moines

AUG. 24, DES MOINES BEACH PARK. Enjoy live blues and food in a beautiful setting while tasting brews from local breweries. dmrotary.org/poverty-bayblues-brews-fest » Maritime Fest, Tacoma ● AUG. 24-25, FOSS WATERWAY SEAPORT, AND THEA’S PARK. Tacoma has 46 miles of shoreline. Come celebrate the rich maritime history that makes Tacoma what it is. maritimefest.org

DREW PERINE/Staff photographer, file

AUG. 8-11. The Loggers’ Jubilee has become the granddaddy of all Logging Shows and a celebration that includes Main Street parades, lawn-mower races, logging shows, and the Jubilee Queen Coronation. loggersjubilee.com

THE SEQUIM LAVENDER FESTIVAL. Features a street fair, plus a tour of local lavender farms.

NW Summer  

A guide to enjoying the outdoors in Western Washington

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