hiking | KUOW News and Information

hiking

New Bus Gives Hikers a New Way to Get Outside

Aug 2, 2017

It’s hard to go hiking if you don’t have a car, says Ben Hughey, with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

And that means “the people we see out on the trails aren’t the people that we see in the city,” he adds. “This isn’t a representative sample. Not everyone who lives in the city is getting outdoors.”

Starting in August it will be easier for Seattle-area hikers to get to the woods on public transportation. King County Metro is working with King County Parks to ease traffic and competition for parking at trailheads — and to help people who don’t have cars get outside.

Hiking a trail off Snoqualmie Pass. But we're not telling you where, because the photographer wants to keep it to herself.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with Fitz Cahall, host of the podcast The Dirtbag Dairies, and  Jill Simmons, executive director of the Washington Trails Association, about the impact that our region's growing population is having on hiking trails around Washington. 

A lot can happen in seven years. Just ask Jim Thayer, who spent nearly that long searching for the perfect hiking route from Portland to the Oregon Coast. Thayer, an avid hiker, wanted an accessible trail through the Coastal Range that avoided highways and stayed on public land. After years of trekking through forests and creeks, he’s finally found it.

The secret to Thayer’s coastal trail? What he calls the “Blue Gate Rule.” Many logging roads along the route have blue gates, meaning they’re open to the public for recreational use.

For the past decade, hikers on the Timberline Trail have had to contend with a hazardous gap in the 40-mile loop around Mount Hood. Now, those days are gone. The U.S. Forest Service recently completed a new route that reconnects the loop.

The rugged trail winds its way through alpine forest and meadows, past waterfalls and over numerous glacier-fed drainages as it circumnavigates the volcano.

Conservationists in Washington’s Tri-Cities are nearing a deal to secure a trail right-of-way on a scenic peak. That would get closer to the goal of establishing a 20-mile trail that could offer sunny, dry hiking at times of year when most trails elsewhere in the Northwest are muddy or snow covered.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a key step Friday in completing a 1,200 mile trail from Glacier National Park to the Pacific Ocean.

Hikers already use what's called the "Pacific Northwest Trail," but it has gaps, and isn't fully built out.

Vilsack has named 23 advisers to help finalize the trail corridor, including Jon Knechtel with the Pacific Northwest Trail Association.

When people go hiking these days, all kinds of gadgets can help guide their way. But historically, humans used something a lot more low-tech: a pile of rocks.

The piles, technically called cairns, have marked trails for millennia, but in recent years, these stones have become steeped in controversy.

To Beth Dinet, stacking stones provides "an overwhelming sense of peace, and connecting with onenness."

If you’ve hiked anywhere in the Northwest, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an illegal trail. Often they’re quick shortcuts or paths to off-trail viewpoints. But in extreme cases, they’re longer, surreptitiously constructed paths that wind through public and private land.

The unauthorized trails can cause a range of problems in wild areas. As more and more people spend time in the woods, closing down these illegal trails has become increasingly difficult.

A pair of experienced long distance hikers are more than halfway through a full traverse of the Pacific Crest Trail - in the dead of winter.

Hikers who complete the whole 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail say the only thing they talk about more than their aching feet is food. They have to carry it all, except when they get surprised by a little trail magic – like what happens near California's Sonora Pass.

EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

If you’re out one day hunting or wander off a hiking trail, a select group of volunteers may come to look for you. K-9 search and rescue teams spend countless hours training for just such an emergency.

The close proximity of a group of mountains known as The Rattles to the the Tri-Cities in southeast Washington, means urban dwellers can hike a 1,500 foot peak and enjoy dramatic views on their lunch break -- or even after supper.

A search effort for a missing hiker at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho is turning to drone technology for help.

Updated Oct. 18 to include comments from BioLite.

In our Weekly Innovation blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form to send it to us.

A naming rights agreement with Safeco Insurance and the Seattle Mariner's baseball field ends after the 2018 season.
Flickr Photo/David Grant

The M’s Mid-Season Report
Halfway through the major league baseball season, the Seattle Mariners have taken their fans on quite the wild ride. Long losing streaks, winning streaks and a whole bunch of injuries. But recently, there have been some glimmers of hope. Young players like Nick Franklin and Brad Miller have ignited the M’s offense. And Raul Ibanez is on the verge of breaking the record of hitting the most home runs by a 41-year-old. So what’s in store for the M’s the rest of this season? Larry Stone, who covers major league baseball for the Seattle Times, is here to discuss the rest of the season.

Living Well With Parkinson's
Medicine is making great advancements in the fight against Parkinson’s disease, even though there is still no cure. Advancements in gene therapy and a unique brain surgery are extending lives. But, it’s not just technology that’s helping patients, holistic medicine is also playing a role. A leading neurological researcher and one of her patients join us to share their story.

The Weather And Hike Of The Week
Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.

Wilderness Survival Guide

Jul 18, 2013
Flickr Photo/Dois Espressos

With the summer sun, more people are hitting the trails and enjoying the outdoors. But just because the weather is nicer doesn’t mean the wilderness is any safer. Lee Callahan shares what it was like to get lost in the woods at night. Then Jason Knight, co-founder of Alderleaf Wilderness College, talks to Ross Reynolds and callers about how to survive out in the wilderness.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Sakara Remmu On Zimmerman's Acquittal
The verdict in the George Zimmerman trial sparked protests, copious editorials and even riots across the country this week with many voices calling for more dialogue around racism in the US. To that end, we speak with local activist, writer and self-described “mother of black children” Sakara Remmu.

Mayoral Candidate Kate Martin
Seattle Mayoral candidate Kate Martin joins Weekday to discuss the issues she feels are important to the city ahead of the August primary.

Chuck Klosterman On Grappling With Villains
What is is about the bad guy, or girl, that’s so alluring?  From Robert Redford and Paul Newman as con men in “The Sting” to the murderous drug dealer Omar Little of HBO’s “The Wire,” we have an increasing fascination with the villains in our culture.  At least, that’s what writer Chuck Klosterman thinks.  He expands on his ideas in a new book called “I Wear The Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)."

The Weather And Hike Of The Week
Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.

From Seattle Brain Cancer Walk's Facebook page.

New Music Picks
Are you stuck in a music listening rut? Music writer Jonathan Zwickel is here to help you branch out. He recommends two Seattle electronic music artists with an aeronautical theme.

In Memoriam: Dr. Foltz On Brain Cancer
Dr. Greg Foltz dedicated over 25 years of his life to brain cancer research and treatment.  He was the director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center and he founded Seattle’s annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk.  Dr. Foltz died last Thursday, a short time after receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.  

The Weather And Hike Of The Week
Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.

Flickr Photo/Dan4th Nicholas

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Voting Rights Act
The U.S. Supreme Court issued another of its long-awaited decisions, this one on the landmark 1964 Voting Rights Act. The Court ruled 5-4 to strike down a provision of the law that involves federal oversight for states with a history of racial discrimination in voter registration. How might the ruling affect current charges of voter suppression? We talk with attorney and voting rights advocate Brenda Wright.

New Music Recommendation
Are you stuck in a music listening rut?  We are surrounded by new music and innovative artists.  Branch out! Paul De Barros, critic for the Seattle Times, recommends jazz violinist Zach Brock.

What’s In Your Food?
Take a look at a food label. Under the list of ingredients there are sure to be items you recognize, but what about polyglycerol? Aspartame? Or phosphoric acid? The Food Additives Amendment of 1958 was enacted to make sure chemical ingredients were safe for consumption, but how does the FDA monitor all of the chemicals and ingredients food producers use? Professor Marion Nestle, from the department of nutrition food studies and public health, explains what goes into the food we consume and how to be a more informed consumer.

The Weather And Hike Of The Week
Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.

Flickr Photo/brewbooks

 Snohomish County's New Executive
Former Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick has been sworn in as the new Snohomish County Executive. He replaces former executive Aaron Reardon who left the office amid a series of scandals. Lovick said he hopes to “change the tone and tenor of county government” in his term. He talks about the challenges and opportunity awaiting him as Snohomish County Executive.

New Music Recommendation
Are you stuck in a music listening rut?  We are surrounded by new music and innovative artists.  Branch out! Ma'Chell Duma LaVassar shares thoughts on the women of Northwest music, past and present. 
     
Elwha: River Reborn, A Conversation With Lynda Mapes
After decades of debate, the two dams on the Elwha River are down.  Scientists are watching to see if the traditional salmon runs return and how that will impact the ecosystem near this river on the Olympic Peninsula.  Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes has followed this story.  Her new book, “Elwha: River Reborn,” chronicles the history, the controversy and the aftermath of the dam removal.

The Weather And Hike Of The Week
Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.

New Music And Writing Nonfiction

May 14, 2013
Flickr photo/Brett Levin

New Music Recommendation
Are you stuck in a music listening rut? We are surrounded by new music and innovative artists. Branch out with new music recommendations every Tuesday at 9:20 a.m. KUOW’s Dave Beck focuses on William Henry Fry, a Philadelphia-born journalist, composer and outspoken advocate for American music.

Writing Nonfiction With Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean spends a lot of time working on her nonfiction. She spent 10 years researching her most recent book “Rin Tin Tin,” for example. Susan Orlean talks about her process and her passions and what it means to devote yourself to a subject for so long.

Understanding Cyber Security
A rise in the amount of cyber attacks has drawn concern over the safety of private information. Hackers will target anything from The Onion’s Twitter page to the processing systems of energy corporations. Their motivations range from political to criminal, be it stealing confidential information or debilitating essential operations.

In a world that relies more and more on technologies to run and store our lives, cyber security is a paramount concern. UW Professor Tadayoshi Kohno studies technological security and the methods of hackers. He joins us to discuss cyber security.     

The Weather And Hike Of The Week
Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.

Flickr photo/Ratha Grimes

 Paying Internet Sales Tax
The Senate voted on Monday on a bill that would end tax-free Internet shopping. Slate’s Matthew Yglesias joins us with a look at the Marketplace Fairness Act and who’s behind the push to collect taxes on your online purchases.

A Conversation With Early Television Actor Jan Merlin
Jan Merlin starred in early television shows like Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and The Rough Riders. He went on to be an Emmy-winning script writer.  He grew to love the escape that theater and film could provide after a profound World War II experience.

New Music Recommendation
Are you stuck in a music listening rut?  We are surrounded by new music and innovative artists. Music blogger Liz Riley Tollefson recommends Drai Zich by The Heligoats, Rotting On The Vine by The Purrs, Inside An Aquarium by BOAT and Buzz, Buzz, Buzz by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers.

The Weather And Hike Of The Week
It has been hot outside. Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches this week’s weather forecast.

SPD Chief Diaz Steps Aside

Apr 9, 2013
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle Police Chief John Diaz announced on Monday that he’s stepping down. Diaz was appointed chief by Mayor Mike McGinn in 2010 and served 33 years with the SPD. Assistant Chief Jim Pugel will lead the department until the city hires a successor. How will Diaz's departure affect SPD morale and the city's ongoing police reforms? We talk with City Attorney Pete Holmes, public defender Lisa Daugaard and Seattle Times reporter Steve Miletich.

Gavin Newsom: Taking The Town Square Digital

Mar 5, 2013
Gavin Newsom
Flickr Photo/JD Lasica

It’s not news that government can get bogged down by layers of bureaucracy. The solution to cutting the red tape, says California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, is technology. He joins us to talk about his new book "Citizenville," and how to put technology to use to take citizens from observers to collaborators.

HIV prevention
Flickr Photo/DFID - UK Department For International Development

Access to HIV and TB treatment has been improving worldwide. The rate of new infections is going down. But tuberculosis remains deadly, especially for the poverty stricken — TB killed 1.4 million people in 2011. Luwiza Makukula was diagnosed with HIV and TB after her husband died in 2001. Not only was she sick, she was completely isolated. Today, she works with NGOs focused on treatment, care, and support for HIV/TB patients, including Zambia's Community Initiative for TB, HIV/AIDS and Malaria (CITAM+). Luwiza Makukula joins us.

Call The Grammar Police!

Feb 12, 2013
Grammar Police
Flickr photo/Seven Morris

When it comes to proper usage, the Grammar Police work overtime. Have you ever corrected another person’s grammar? How did that go over? Linguist Geoffrey Pullum has written widely on language and usage, from technical syntactic theory to a study called “The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax." He joins us for a conversation about the constant struggle for grammatical excellence (or even just improvement) and the right and wrong way to encourage better sentence structure.

A Conversation With Author Julie Otsuka

Jan 28, 2013
Julie Otsuka
Courtesy/Julie Otsuka Facebook Page

American history is full of stories of disenfranchised women who assert their rightful role in society and in so doing, open up the culture. Author Julie Otsuka’s family was interned following the bombing of Pearl Harbor; her father was arrested as a potential spy. She told that story in her award-winning first novel, “When the Emperor Was Divine.” Her second novel, “The Buddha in the Attic,” reaches farther back to explore the lives of brides sent from Japan to America between the wars, and the strain of traditional values in a nation that promised opportunity for all. The writer Julie Otsuka joins us.

The Changing Face Of American Christianity

Jan 15, 2013
Rob Bell
Courtesy Rob Bell's Facebook page.

Religion is changing. In recent years we’ve seen the rise of evangelical and nondenominational churches, and the Internet has turned charismatic religious leaders into celebrities as famous and revered as rock stars. Among them is Pastor Rob Bell, who has captured the attention of millions with his hip look, presentation and inclusive teachings. Some Evangelical Christians consider him “dangerous,” but Time Magazine voted him one of "2011’s Most Influential People." Who is Rob Bell and what does his ministry say about the future of the evangelical and Christian church? We talk with the University of Washington's James Wellman about "Rob Bell and a New American Christianity."

Signs Of Progress On Fiscal Cliff Talks

Dec 18, 2012


There are rumors of progress in Washington, DC, in the talks over how to move forward on spending and taxes, but House speaker John Boehner says Republicans have a "Plan B" just in case. We hear the latest on the fiscal cliff talks from Jill Jackson of CBS News.

Washington state Democrats won't have sole control of Olympia in the coming legislative session after all. Two Democratic senators announced on Monday that they will caucus with the GOP to give Republicans a 25-24 bipartisan majority in the state senate. We talk with incoming Senate majority leader Rodney Tom of Medina.

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