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Stormy weather last week brought flooding to various parts of the state, including along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road. After last week's deluge, hikers looking for a retreat to the mountains outside of North Bend will have to wait, or commit to a road walk in order to access trails such as the Pratt Connector or Mailbox Peak.Road closed to vehicles
According to Mike Niemi, Project Engineer for the Middle Fork Paving Project, heavy rains caused flooding which damaged a section of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road. The road has been closed to vehicle traffic at Valley Camp. Repairs are estimated to take between two and three weeks.
Try these further afield trails, too:Olympics
Those wishing to travel beyond Valley Camp may do so on foot or by bicycle. If you're planning on hiking along the Middle Fork, please don't block the closure with parked cars.Alternate routes
We know Mailbox Peak is a lot of hikers' go-to training trail. To avoid crowding at the Middle Fork closure, consider using this opportunity to explore other great conditioning hikes in the area:
Don't forget your winter snow smarts when you head out! Snow can change a trail you may be familiar with in the summer, and Mount Washington has particular avalanche danger.
Snohomish County Bikes: an ongoing series highlighting great Snohomish County bike rides. Share your own great ride with us! […]
The post Getaway to Lake Stevens and Beyond, Day Three: Arlington via Snohomish Centennial Trail appeared first on Washington Bikes.
Snohomish County Bikes: an ongoing series highlighting great Snohomish County bike rides. Share your own […]
The post Getaway to Lake Stevens and Beyond, Day Two: Marysville appeared first on Washington Bikes.
Snohomish County Bikes: an ongoing series highlighting great Snohomish County bike rides. Share your own great […]
The post Bed, Breakfast & Biking: Getaway to Lake Stevens and More, Day One appeared first on Washington Bikes.
Youth Volunteer Vacations are service trips for high school students 14 to 18 years old. On a Youth Vacation, participants work together in a group of about 10 with two crew leaders to fix damaged, neglected or over-used trails all over Washington. Youth Volunteers learn hiking and camping skills, gain experience with a variety of tools and accomplish amazing work in just a week.
Volunteers with a bit more experience are invited to participate in backcountry trips where they backpack into a base camp and live in the wilderness for a week (or two!) while completing trail projects.
Many of our youth volunteers return again and again throughout high school to visit new areas, keep gaining new skills and earn 40 service hours for each trip. We hope you'll be joining us on trail for the first, second, third or fourth time.
The process to register for a Youth Vacation has changed for the 2015 season. Make sure you read the following information to learn how to apply for the trips you want.Changing to a less stressful, more inclusive application-based system
Starting in the 2015 season, the Youth Vacation registration process is changing to an application-based system. Each volunteer must complete a 2015 application indicating which trip(s) they would like to join before they will be placed on a youth vacation.
The new system is not intended to make registration competitive, but rather to make signing up for a WTA Youth Vacation less stressful and more inclusive than the previous system. Instructions on how to apply and become registered for a 2015 Youth Vacation are below. Please visit our commonly asked questions to learn more.How to register and apply for a 2015 Youth Volunteer Vacation
Starting January 30, the schedule for the 2015 Youth Volunteer Vacations will be available at wta.org/teens.
Interested youth volunteers have until February 17 to submit their 2015 Youth Volunteer Vacation Application, teacher recommendation form (for new volunteers only) and scholarship application (if applicable) to be given priority placement on trips. Both electronic and paper applications will be accepted. Electronic applications will not be available until January 30 when trip dates and locations are revealed. Access paper applications and forms using the links below.
All applications that are submitted electronically before midnight on February 17, or are postmarked on or before February 17, will be notified shortly after submitting their application materials that they have been received and are under review. Priority placement applicants will be notified of which trip(s) they are on by email on or before March 6.
Applications that are received after February 17 will be reviewed on a rolling basis.What does this mean?
What this means is that Youth Vacations will not be first come, first serve as in previous years. We will take into account each applicant's preference when placing volunteers onto trips, but we will also be working to have volunteers from a variety of locations and high schools. Additionally, we will make placements to provide girls and boys equal opportunity to participate.
Because of this, it is ideal if each applicant gives us as many trip choices as possible to be placed on. Additionally, get your application in as soon as possible; priority will be given to applications submitted by February 17. We will do our best to give everyone their top choice(s).
We feel confident that these changes to our youth vacation registration system will help to ensure better group dynamics on all of our summer trips and will make registration easier, less stressful, and more inclusive to more youth volunteers and their families.
If you have questions or concerns, please visit our page of frequently asked questions or call the WTA Office at 206-625-1367 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to refresh your outdoor apps in the new year? Don't miss our list of Best Outdoor Apps for 2015. Some will help you identify wildflowers and birds; others will help you navigate your favorite trail. And a few just might save your life.
Red Cross First Aid, freeBest for: iPhone, AndroidAccess basic first aid for common emergencies, as well as instructional videos, interactive quizzes and step-by-step advice. Once downloaded, can be used without cell service.
Exploring the Outdoors
SkyView, freeBest for: iPhone, iPadPoint your smartphone at the sky to identify stars, constellations and satellites. Once downloaded, can be used without cell service. Have an Android? Try Sky Map (free).
Audubon Birds Pro, $3.99-$4.99Best for: iPhone, iPad, AndroidSee high quality pictures, read in-depth descriptions, listen to calls and log sightings for more than 820 unique species of birds. Bonus points: this app is as thorough as a traditional field guide.
WA Wildflowers, $7.99Best for: iPhone, Android, Kindle FireBrowse plants or search by characteristics for more than 870 common shrubs, wildflowers and vines found in Washington. Once downloaded, can be used without cell service. Bonus points: this app is as thorough as a traditional field guide.
WA Birding Trail, freeBest for: iPhoneAccess seven driving loops and 375 birding hotspots selected by local experts. Shake the phone for a random recommendation on where to go. Bonus points: this app can read your GPS location and suggest birding hotspots near you.
WTA Trailblazer, freeBest for: iPhone, Android, WindowsExplore thousands of Washington’s trails and the latest Trip Reports without being tethered to your computer. Bonus points: this app can read your GPS location and suggest trails near you.
PeakFinder Earth, $1.03Best for: AndroidPoint your smartphone at a mountain landscape and instantly find out the names of the peaks you're looking at. Once downloaded, can be used without cell service. Have an iPhone? Try Peaks ($2.99).
SAS Survival Guide, $5.99Best for: iPhone, Android, WindowsLearn survival skills through the full text of the bestselling book, instructional videos and interactive quizzes. Bonus points: this app offers extensive photo galleries of animal tracks, medicinal and poisonous plants and more.
MotionX GPS, $0.99Best for: iPhone, iPadDownload custom road and topo maps before your next hike—then see your progress on the map and track elapsed time, distance, average speed and more while you adventure. Once downloaded (including maps), can be used without cell service.Have an Android? Try BackCountry Navigator TOPO GPS ($11.99).
Want even more? Check these out:
This story originally appeared in the Jan+Feb 2015 issue of Washington Trails magazine. Join WTA to get your one-year subscription.
This month WTA is working in several locations that need some special attention, and we'd love to have your help! Join us for a day full of safety, fun, and work, and make your mark on the trails you love.
No experience is needed to join a work party, and anyone is welcome. We'll teach you what you need to know and find the right job for you. For more information on what to expect when you join us on trail, check out our FAQ page.Southwest Washington - Battle Ground State Park
Kick off the New Year right with a work party at Battle Ground Lake State Park. WTA volunteers have done a tremendous amount of work to fix up the Lower Lake trail, but there's still more to do. We'll be re-establishing the tread, brushing and hardening sections with rock. In addition, we'll re-align the trail slightly farther from the lake to get it away from the mud.
January 13-17, 20-24
Join WTA as we help King County develop a comprehensive trail system on an old logging show on Taylor Mountain. The main project is a relocation of the Elk Ridge trail near a stream ford. We'll be working on some large turnpikes at the new stream crossing and a retaining wall along a steep hillside that will keep the trail from slumping into the water.
This will be a great way to learn about creating long-lasting, sturdy trail, and with ten days scheduled for January, there are plenty of opportunities to join us during the month.
January 11, 31
The Skokomish River has a bad habit of changing course, taking sections of trail with it. WTA is working here doing logout, brushing, retread and a short reroute around a couple of problem areas.
This is a very old trail that may have been an Native American route through the Olympic Mountains, meandering through both ancient forest and areas that have seen logging, and parallelling the South Fork of the Skokomish River. Hikers wander for miles, stopping by historic points of interest, including the old LeBar Claim, and Roosevelt Elk can be observed throughout the river basin.
Though it's only 2 miles long, the steep trail to the summit of Mount Walker leads to excellent vistas of the Olympics, including Mounts Jupiter and Constance, Buckhorn Mountain and across the sound, Baker and Rainier.
Popular for it's year-round hikability as well as the views, the trail requires constant maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. We'll improve tread, brush, and log out. Come beat the winter doldrums with some exhilarating trail work in the brisk January air, and learn a thing or two about trail maintenance while you're at it.
You know what a bucket list is — the things you want to do before […]