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Explore NW
August 2  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
Long weekend in Foss River valleys highlights the area's endless charms We knew we wanted to go backpacking — we just couldn't decide where.

Over a glass of wine, in the dark days of winter, my friend Michelle and I put a three-day trip on our calendars. For months, we guarded the days aggressively and debated where we wanted to go. We wanted to get out of town. We wanted to hike without being rushed. We wanted to have time to sip sweet tea vodka and stare at a mountain lake.

We wanted wilderness, mountain lakes and old...

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July 31  |  
Fire danger is extremely high right now. If you're going to be going outside, please be extremely careful to avoid sparking a wildfire. If a fire does get started right now, it has the potential to get immense very quickly.

 

Here's a press release from the Department of Natural Resources:



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July 26  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
Enjoy a low-key family weekend at Buck Creek Campground For more than a decade, Buck Creek Campground on the Suiattle River Road has been closed. Now, though, it's open again for the best part of the year. There's lots of great hiking in the area. But really, don't make too many plans. You'll enjoy lazing around the camp too much.

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July 24  |  By Jessi Loerch
A section of the Pacific Crest Trail in the Glacier Peak Wilderness will close Saturday due to the Blakenship fire, which is burning near Agnes Creek.



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July 21  |  By Jessi Loerch
Best shots: Some of my favorite recent outdoor photos I am an enthusiastic but mediocre photographer. I love a good photo, though, and so I have fun looking through our readers photos.

Recently a number of nice outdoor photos caught my eye, so I emailed the photographers and asked to feature them here.



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July 20  |  
Photographers catch baby orca 'leaping for joy' Four baby orcas in the Salish Sea continue to do well. According to crews from the Pacific Whale Watch Association, J50, J51, J52 and L121 — all born since December 30th of last year — have been seen almost every day and appear to be healthy and, in some cases, putting on quite a show.



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July 19  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
Student learn leadership, love of nature on trips in North Cascades Kang Pu stood at the back of a boat in a narrow, winding canyon off Ross Lake. Before him, a group of adults waited to hear his story. Kang, 16, began by saying he had been in the United States for just a year and that it was hard for him to speak in front of a group. His story, his eagerness to learn and his poise blew his listeners away. Kang was part a program that takes kids backpacking or canoeing in hopes of instilling a love and appreciation for wild places.

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July 16  |  
Fisheries: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is offering public workshop as part of its effort to create a draft environmental impact statement on steelhead fisheries. The effort is related to hatchery programs producing early-returning winter steelhead in the Stillaguamish, Dungeness and Nooksack watersheds.



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July 15  |  By Jessi Loerch
A star-viewing party is scheduled from 9:45 to at least 11:45 p.m. (weather permitting) on Saturday at the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park, in front of the Jackson Visitor Center.



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July 9  |  Sharon Wootton
An annual weekend workshop for women, presented by Washington Outdoor Women (WOW) and led by experts, is set for Sept. 18-20. WOW, now in its 18th year, is dedicated to teaching women outdoor skills and natural resources stewardship.



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July 9  |  
The Pilchuck Audubon Society's July meeting is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Stanwood Library, 9701 271st NW, Stanwood. (A new location for this month only.)



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July 8  |  
Kevin Manning, an astronomer and former consultant to NASA, will speak from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Mukilteo Library, 4675 Harbour Pointe Blvd.

Manning will take guests on a virtual journey to visit the sun, planets, their moons, and debris left over from the earliest times of the solar system’s formation.



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July 5  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
Darrington-area lookout being restored, will be available to rent The North Mountain fire lookout near Darrington is unusual. It's a fire lookout you can drive to. A crew is working to restore the lookout so people can visit it again and even spend the night.

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July 1  |  By Jessi Loerch
6 places to see 'extravagantly beautiful' flowers at Mount Rainier Have you ever been to Mount Rainier for the wildflower season? If you haven't, I can't recommend strongly enough that you make it up there soon.

I just spent a short but very satisfying weekend at the park and was blown away by the flowers. You really should go.



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June 30  |  By Jessi Loerch
How to find a campsite for Fourth of July weekend You know what sounds good this weekend? Heading to the mountains. Or a forest. Or a lake. Anywhere to escape the heat that is forecast.

If you'd also like to go camping but don't have reservations or a firm plan, here are some ideas to get you a spot.

Go early: If you arrive early at a campground, you have a much better chance of getting a spot. If your whole group can't go, consider sending a single person ahead early to save a spot. (Read...

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June 26  |  Herald staff
Volunteers needed in Henry M. Jackson, Wild Sky and Alpine Lakes wildernesses Do you like being outside? Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest could use your help. There are volunteer opportunities this summer in the Wild Sky, Henry M. Jackson and Alpine Lakes wilderness areas.



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June 25  |  By Jessi Loerch
A fire is burning in Olympic National Park. It's strange to think of a rainforest having a wildfire.



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June 25  |  By Jessi Loerch
Volunteers needed this weekend at fire lookout near Darrington On Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., crews are going to be working on the North Mountain Lookout near Darrington.

They will be replacing cross beams that help support the structure, so those who are comfortable up off the ground would be especially helpful. But there will be other tasks for those who prefer to be more grounded.



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June 21  |  
Survival A wilderness survival training course is at 10 a.m. June 27 on Guemes Island near Anacortes. The class includes fire building, edible plants, finding or building shelters, navigation, water procurement, shoreline survival, poisonous plants, dangerous animals, children in the wilderness, foraging, animal trapping, trip planning, natural navigation, survival kits, first aid kits and the 10 essentials. These classes are all hands on training and are designed for all age...

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June 17  |  By Jessi Loerch
There will be a free boating seminar from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, in the Harbor Marine Conference Room, 1032 W. Marine Dr., Everett.



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June 14  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
19 hikes to explore the outdoors with your kids Summer is here. School is out (or nearly out) and it's time for exploring. All of these hikes are relatively easy and have something to keep kids (and adults) entertained.

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June 7  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
16 nearby trails to explore with your kids The approach of summer break, combined with some stellar weather, means it's a great time to get your kids (and yourself) out to explore. To help you out, here area a number of walks that are family friendly.

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June 5  |  
Here's a press release with details about the closure of a popular birding area:

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed public access to the Fir Island Farms Reserve, where work has begun to restore 131 acres of tidal marsh in the Skagit River Delta.



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June 3  |  By Jessi Loerch
Orca calf spotted for first time since February An orca calf, which hadn't been seen since it was spotted as a newborn in February, was spotted again on Monday off of Tofino, B.C. After the long gap between sightings, many experts feared the calf had died.

The calf, known as L121, is a member of the southern resident L-Pod. The calf is one of four born to the southern resident orcas since December.



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June 3  |  By Jessi Loerch
Saturday is national Trails Day, an event created by the American Hiking Society to celebrate and help out on trails.

In celebration of the day, parking passes will not be required at Forest Service or state park sites.

To check out events planned around here, see the website.



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May 27  |  By Jessi Loerch
Colonial Creek, Newhalem, and Goodell campgrounds, all off of Highway 20, have increased their fees to $16 per night. 



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May 24  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
Mountaineers program introduces kids to the joys of climbing Through a Mountaineers program that recently expanded to the Everett branch, outdoor experts team up with groups that serve youths. Their goal: to help kids gain life skills through learning outdoor skills.

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May 20  |  By Jessi Loerch
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is reminding campers to be careful to help prevent wildland fires over Memorial Day weekend, and all summer long.



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May 19  |  By Jessi Loerch
Mount Rainier will increase entrance and camping fees on Friday Mount Rainier National Park will be increasing its user fees beginning on Friday.

The park, as well as many others around the country, proposed fee increases last year.

After feedback on the proposed increases, the park decided to adjust some increases and phase them in over time.

Here are some of the fee changes:



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May 18  |  By Jessi Loerch
A wilderness survival training course will be offered on Guemes Island at 10 am. on May 30. The class is held outdoors and anyone under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult. Come prepared as if you were going on a daylong hike.



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