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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Category: Outdoors
April 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

New trails add to fun as Tiger Mountain biking opens for season

Mountain-biking season opened over the weekend on Tiger Mountain, southeast of Issaquah, with a new 3-mile trail link extending the east Tiger Mountain trail system to 12 miles. The Washington Department of Natural Resources partnered with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to construct the new Joy Ride Trail and a rerouted Silent Swamp Trail. Another new…

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0 Comments | Topics: Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, mountain biking, mountain biking trails

April 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM

It’s whale-watch season as grays visit Whidbey Island waters

The gray whales are here. This will be the second weekend of the season for scheduled outings on the Victoria Clipper III to search for gray whales between Seattle and Coupeville, on Whidbey Island. The boat transits Possession Sound and Saratoga Passage along the way. The Clipper outings claimed 100 percent whale sightings in 2013, and last…

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0 Comments | More in Cruises, Northwest, Outdoors | Topics: Deception Pass Tours, gray whales, Langley Whale Center

April 4, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Two Washington climbers finalists for prestigious ‘Golden Ice Axe’

Two Washington climbers are just returning from France and Italy, where they were finalists for the prestigious Piolet d’Or (French for “Golden Ice Axe”), a juried climbing award given by the French magazine Montagnes (“Mountains”) and The Groupe de Haute Mantagne since 1991. The award recognizes a particular mountain climb for originality, innovative nature of the…

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0 Comments | Topics: climbing awards, Golden Ice Axe, mountaineering

March 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM

It’s officially spring, and Skagit Valley is officially full of daffodils

Happy first day of spring (which began at 9:57 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Thursday). If you need a life-affirming outing that will truly convince you it’s spring, head for the Skagit Valley, where daffodil fields are near full bloom, according to the official bloom map on www.tulips.com, the website for Mount Vernon-based Washington…

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0 Comments | More in Northwest, Outdoors, Washington state, weekend getaways | Topics: bloom map, daffodils, first day of spring

March 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Happy birthday, state parks: Get in free Wednesday (or buy a pass and help save them)

Help celebrate the 101st birthday of Washington State Parks on Wednesday. Admission to all state parks is free for the day, a nice thing if you can’t afford a Discover Pass, usually required for entry. But here’s another idea. You know how fire departments have made the change to daylight saving time into a “replace the…

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0 Comments | Topics: Discover Pass, state parks anniversay, state parks budget

March 10, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Olympic moves to No. 5 among most-visited national parks

Washington state’s Olympic National Park is No. 5 on a newly issued list of 2013′s most-visited national parks in the United States. The park moved up two notches on the list from the prior year. New statistics from the National Park Service show Olympic park visitors numbered 3,085,340 last year, up from 2,824,908 in 2012. The…

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| Topics: most-visited national parks, mount rainier national park, olympic national park

March 3, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Snow, snow and more snow in the mountains

Do you remember something about a shortage of snow in Washington’s mountains? Naw. Snow was coming down so fast on Snoqualmie Pass that Interstate 90 was closed in both directions Monday morning. (Get updates here.) Here are some Monday morning snow statistics for Cascade ski areas: Crystal Mountain: About 10 inches fell overnight in Campbell…

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0 Comments | More in highways, Northwest, Outdoors, road travel, snow sports | Topics: crystal mountain, I-90 closure, Mount Baker

February 21, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Snow dangers cancel Hog Loppet ski trek

The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club just can’t get a break this winter. Earlier, lack of snow hindered its operations and canceled some annual festival events. Now, the glut of snow and resulting avalanche danger has canceled one of its big events of the year, this weekend’s Hog Loppet ski trek. This would have been the 26th…

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0 Comments | Topics: avalanche danger, Blewett Pass, Hog Loppet

February 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Yee-ha, skiers, snow is dumping – but avalanche danger high

Not enough snow at ski areas this winter? The Northwest is making up for that, scary fast. Crystal Mountain picked up two feet of new snow this week, and Mount Baker got 40 inches. Now, former KING-TV meteorologist Larry Schick, who issues Powder Alerts for the Ski Washington website (and is affectionately known as the Grand…

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0 Comments | More in Northwest, Outdoors, snow sports | Topics: avalanche, avalanche danger, Larry Schick

February 11, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Free entry to national parks, forests, refuges this weekend

Celebrate this Presidents Day weekend, Saturday through Monday, Feb. 15-17, with a free visit to a national park, national forest or wildlife refuge. All three days are included as fee-free days for 2014 for parks, museums, trails and other facilities operated by the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service. In Washington, that includes Mount…

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0 Comments | More in Fees, national parks, Northwest, Outdoors, Parks, U.S. Forest Service | Topics: fee-free days, mount rainier, national forests

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