No Mines: Fighting to Keep Montana’s Paradise Valley Pristine

Where America’s longest free-flowing River leaves the nation’s first National Park, you find Paradise Valley. Flanked by towering summits, high-alpine lakes and a lifetime of backcountry exploration, this small section of Montana truly is one of the last best places around. Known for hot springs and fly fishing, backpacking and grizzly bears, this region is often the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Beautiful beyond words, Paradise Valley lives up to the name, but if mining interests have their say, that might not be the case for much longer.


Olympic National Park’s Sol Duc has Opened for the Season

Spring has officially started, so you know what that means! Roads around Olympic National Park are starting to reopen. While we are still months away from Deer Park and Obstruction Point Road opening up, we are happy to announce that the road leading to Sol Duc opened on March 23rd, 2018. Home to waterfalls, hot springs and incredible camping, the opening of this road gives access to yet another truly stunning wilderness gem in Olympic National Park. 


Seeing Our Public Lands Through Polarized Lenses

I am an old millennial. The youth of my generation is eating a mortgages worth of avocados while I worry about my changing glasses prescription and needing a new pair. As others in my generation galavant around the globe ruining chain restaurants and department stores, I do things like read reviews to see what the best envelopes are to send out books. Sometimes, I don’t get the rest of my generation at all, feeling ostracized when I say I don’t really like LaCroix. I think I am the old man of the bunch, a geezer on the porch, sitting in a rocking chair at the old age of 36 shaking my head at these young whippersnapper. Well, back in my day…


Grizzly Bears are Active in Yellowstone National Park!

Good news, bear watching fans! The first grizzly bear sightings of 2018 have occurred in Yellowstone National Park!


Monitor Marmots on the Mountains of Olympic National Park And Forest

Love marmots, hiking, alpine views and spending time in the great outdoors of the Olympic Peninsula? Now you can help a species and get into wilderness, thanks to the Marmot Monitoring Program in Olympic National Park. For those hoping to watch these furry, adorable, high-alpine dwellers, Olympic National Park is happy to announce that they are now accepting volunteer applications for the Olympic Marmot Monitoring Program 2017 survey season! This is a fantastic way to explore the park, help out the official endemic mammal of Washington and support your Public Lands! Hurry though, the applications deadline is June 1st!


When will Olympic National Park’s Staircase Road Reopen?

You might have heard the news: The road to Olympic’s Staircase region has been closed since late November of 2017 due to a washout. While the region is still accessible by foot, the washed out road means that those hoping to camp in the campground or those not able to hike are out of luck. Staircase is one of Olympic’s hidden gems and is growing in popularity, reenergizing the small town of Hoodsport and giving Hood Canal a much needed economic boost, so reopening the road is extremely important. 


The Majestic Sounds of the Wilderness Olympic Coast

I have said it before and know I will say it again- America’s Public Lands are multi-sensory experiences.

As our eyes gaze out into the wilderness, our noses smell the scents of the terrain, while our mouths taste the pure, clean air. We wander through trails, touching the ground with our feet and occasionally reaching out to feel the bark of an ancient tree. While all of these are amazing experiences, the sounds found on our public lands are the things that I feel are most underrated and under-appreciated. 


2017 was Mount Rainier National Park’s Most Popular Year in Over Two Decades

2017 was a good year for Mount Rainier visitation, seeing nearly a million and a half visitors. The 1,415,867 who visited this glaciated volcano in 2017 helped give Rainier the highest level of visitation since 1994 and its 19th best year in 113 years. 


Happy Birthday, Mount Olympus National Monument

On March 2nd, 1909, Teddy Roosevelt used the Antiquities Act to create Mount Olympus National Monument, now known as Olympic National Park. Thanks to people like Lieutenant O’Neil and the Press Expedition, the mystery of America’s mountainous Shangri-La started to be explored, mapped and shared with the world. Their experiences and stories captivated the minds of the nation, forcing Presidential action to protect  both the land and the wildlife of the wettest corner of the country.


2017 was Olympic National Park’s 6th Most-Popular Year

With visitors exploring the rainforests, hiking on the ridges and wandering along the rugged coast, Olympic National Park was a popular place in 2017. During a year which saw washouts and road closures, smoke-filled views and the reopening of popular areas, nearly 3.5 million people explored America’s 8th most-visited National Park.


Happy Birthday, Yellowstone National Park!

Happy 146th Birthday to the first National Park!

On March 1st, Yellowstone National Park turned 146 years old! While the land has been around for millions of years, the region now known as Yellowstone National Park was formally protected by the United States Government in 1872. Signed by President Ulysses S. Grant, the Act of Dedication helped create the world’s first National Park and helped inspire a love and protection of Public Lands around the nation. 


Olympic National Park’s Duckabush Entrance

The majority of visitors to National Parks enter it the same way. Passing through a guard station, we pay our entry fee or show our America the Beautiful Pass and then drive into the beautiful landscapes that rekindle our wanderlust. In Yellowstone, you can drive under the Roosevelt Arch when entering from the north entrance, while other parks, like Mount Rainier, have their own memorable signage. While I love entering parks in the car, there is something incredible about entering into a park by foot, especially on a trail that is often overlooked. In my backyard of the Olympic Peninsula, there are dozens of entry points like this into Olympic National Park. Wild, rugged and removed from the masses, they the perfect entry point for those seeking true wilderness. 


Happy 121st Birthday, Olympic National Forest!

Happy Birthday, Olympic National Forest!

From the stunning mountain tops overlooking dense forests to wild and scenic rivers, breathtaking waterfalls and endless amounts of adventure, Olympic National Forest has been captivating the region’s outdoor dreams for twelve decades. We hope you have another 121 years of helping preserve and protect this stunning landscape for all to enjoy and thank you for all you have done. 


Petroglyphs and Crumbling Cliffs at Ozette

We hike in wilderness to experience the most pure form of nature, hoping untouched lands still exist. We search for the wildest square miles on the continent, longing to get away from the metropolitans and pavement that brings stress and worry. When we find it, we become addicted, jonesing for the next fix of pure oxygen. We explore rugged ridges, wild coastlines and forests that feel like they are as old as human civilization. We return to a timeless wonderland for a day or a week, reconnecting with the history of Earth with each step. In wilderness, we never expect to see signs of civilization.


A Trail to the Heavens on the Ridges of Olympic National Park

I was somewhere near Roaring Winds when the wanderlust began to set in. I remember mumbling something like “this place is flippin fantastic,” but not loud enough for anyone to hear. As a sea of ridges and snowcapped peaks rippled with the faintest wisps of smoke as far as the eye could see, I knew that this would be an adventure that would stick with me for a long time. As my eyes darted out toward Mount Olympus, and then back to the Salish Sea, I sat next to an old wooden sign, slightly askew, like me. 


Gladly Exploring Olympic National Park’s Gladys Divide

I am not a tall person. Not super short, either, but almost all of my friends are taller than me. It isn’t uncommon for me to feel like everything around me is huge. Yet, even standing next to the tallest of people doesn’t make me feel as small as when I am dwarfed by the awesome grandeur of wilderness. Climbing a peak to see barely finite wilderness expanding as far as the horizon makes me feel like an ant in a State Park and I love that feeling. I long for the days of being completely insignificant in the middle of pure wilderness and recall the days when I was with happiness. One such memory was my first trip up to Glady’s Divide in Olympic National Park. The link is to an old post with old books. Get your new Olympic Guidebook here


Want to Backpack in Olympic? Permit Reservations Accepted Beginning February 15

Want to backpack in the very best and most-scenic areas of Olympic National Park for 2018? You better be ready soon! Olympic National Park officials have announced that they will be accepting wilderness permit reservation requests starting in mid-February. You better hurry and submit your permit reservation requests soon- in 2017, Olympic National Park saw 122,000 people in the backcountry, the third highest total out of any National Park in America. Wondering where you need backcountry reservations in Olympic? Keep reading.


Digital Entrance Passes Now At Yellowstone!

Via Yellowstone National Park- Starting Thursday, February 1, visitors to Yellowstone National Park can purchase digital annual and seven-day entrance passes online at YourPassNow. The National Park Service (NPS) partnered with NIC Inc. to develop and administer YourPassNow to better serve visitors to Yellowstone.


Get Your Permit to Climb Mount Saint Helens in 2018

Great news for hikers looking to stand atop one of America’s most famous volcanoes! Starting on Thursday, February 1st 2018 at 9am PST, this year’s climbing permits will be available for purchase to summit the stunning peak of Mt. St. Helens. Permits are $22.00 and are limited to just 500 a day from April 1st to May 14th. From May 15th to October 31st, only 100 permits are issued a day. 


The Refreshing, Calming Beauty of Joshua Tree National Park

Sometimes, when in a National Park, unexpected things happen that forever change our nature-loving souls. We wander and explore, unaware that in just a few moments time, we will forge a lifelong relationship with a region that wasn’t at all planned. I refer to them as soul-soothing moments, and in 2017, I had one in Joshua Tree National Park


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By Doug and Mathias on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

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