Pacific Northwest Outdoor News and Updates

A consolidated look at current hiking conditions, climbing reports, bike routes + trails, and camping information from around the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on Seattle and the Puget Sound area. See the links on the left for detailed information on Seattle bike trails, mountain bike trails, regional hikes and bike rides. New info added all the time.
Current sources:
For static information on Seattle Bike Trails and Trips, click here.

For static information on Western Washington Hiking Trails and Trips, click here.

For static information on Winter Sports in the region, click here.

Mercer Bike Path close to opening

posted Mar 28, 2015, 11:05 PM by Luke Hizer

The new bike path running along Mercer under 99, between 5th and Dexter, has been complete for a while now. It's been roped off and there are inconveniently placed light poles that may need to be moved first. Whenever it does open, it's going to be a major upgrade, and the rough surface should work great in the rain. Hopefully it will open soon.

Mt Rainier 2015 opening schedule released

posted Mar 28, 2015, 10:48 PM by Luke Hizer   [ updated Mar 28, 2015, 11:06 PM ]

Mt Rainier National Park has released the key opening dates for the 2015 season, although these dates are still subject to change. Highlights include:
  • Cayuse and Chinook Pass are scheduled for one of their earliest openings ever - April 3rd
  • The gates between Longmire and Paradise are open 24 hours as of April 13th
  • Sunrise Road is scheduled to open on June 5th
The news release also includes opening dates for key campgrounds (all but White River open on May 22nd), visitor's centers, and some updates on road construction. Bottom line: early start to the season this year!

Seattle Bike Notes

posted Feb 26, 2015, 12:24 AM by Luke Hizer

A few updates:

Enchantments Permits, ODT trail closure, latest Rainier trail conditions

posted Feb 13, 2015, 9:15 PM by Luke Hizer

A few outdoor notes for the weekend:
  • The window for the Enchantments permit lottery will open on Sunday Feb 15th and run through Tuesday, March 3rd. Unlike St Helens permits, when you apply in the window doesn't matter; all entries have an equal chance. For more information, see the recent WTA post on the topic, and see here for more information on the Enchantments.

  • The Olympic Discovery Trail facebook page reports that there has been a landslide on the trail near Port Angeles, and the Dungeness River Bridge has been significantly damaged with no timetable for fixing it. A detour is in place. This post has some additional details.

  •  The latest Mt Rainier trail conditions report has been released.

Cross-Kirkland Bike Trail opens

posted Feb 4, 2015, 7:17 PM by Luke Hizer

Another key trail has opened, this time the Cross-Kirkland Bike Trail. This roughly 6-mile trail runs largely north-south between Lake Washington and 405 north of 520. There were no comparable routes in the area so this should greatly improve the bike-riding experience in Kirkland.

See articles in the Seattle Bike Blog and Biking Bis for excellent in-depth coverage and maps of the trail.

Two new trails coming to Grand Ridge

posted Feb 2, 2015, 7:42 PM by Luke Hizer

The WTA is looking for volunteers to work on two new trails that will add a two mile loop to the existing bike and hike trail that connects High Point on I-90 to Duthie Hill in Issaquah.

High Point To Duthie Hill Via Grand Ridge Trails


Duwamish Trail Extension Nearing Completion

posted Feb 2, 2015, 5:13 PM by Luke Hizer

The half-mile extension of the Duwamish Trail through South Park looks to be nearly complete; only a couple small sections are remaining to be filled in. It runs along Portland from 99 to 8th and Kenyon where it rejoins the main biking route.

Duwamish Trail Extension

The trail is nice and wide, plus all intersections are 4-way stops. This short improvement will make a big difference for people that commute in and out of South Park.



Mt St Helen's Climbing Permits on sale Monday Feb 2nd at 9am

posted Feb 1, 2015, 11:11 AM by Luke Hizer   [ updated Feb 1, 2015, 11:12 AM ]

It's time to get permits for the the 2015 climbing season, they go on sale at 9am Monday and the summer weekends often sell out the first day or even hours. As a reminder, permits are free and unlimited between November 1st and March 31st, then unlimited but $22 from April 1st to May 14th, and finally limited to 100 per day and $22 during the peak season of May 15th through October 31st. This last group are the dates that fill up fast on weekends. If you are flexible and can go on the weekdays, you should still be able to get permits well into the season.

See this page for more information or my notes on climbing in the summer or winter.

Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road closed at MP2.2 due to storm damage

posted Jan 24, 2015, 11:17 AM by Luke Hizer   [ updated Jan 24, 2015, 11:17 AM ]

The Forest Service announced the closure of Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road due to recent storm damage.  The closure is at mile 2.2, right before the Mailbox Peak Trailhead at Valley Camp.  According to the WTA post, there is no parking, so if you want to do Mailbox, you've got an extra hike or ride to the trailhead. The WTA post lists out the other blocked trails, as well as some alternatives. There's no timeline yet for when it will be back open.

Mt Rainier Winter Access Schedule Available

posted Dec 19, 2014, 6:21 AM by Luke Hizer   [ updated Jan 6, 2015, 10:59 PM ]

Update 2: to complement the access schedule, a winter trail report was released on Jan 4, with a detailed summary of current conditions and links to additional reference information.

Update 1: as of Dec 30, the snowplay area is not open yet.

The National Parks Service has released the 2014-2015 winter access schedule for Mt Rainier, with everything you need to know for visiting in the winter including status of the snowplay area at Paradise (not open yet), winter camping reservation information, road closures, gate status at Longmire, and all winter operating hours.

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