Hiker Headlines: Fire Safety, Hike-a-Thon, Inclusive Trails, National Park Re-openings
It's July 2. We all need to keep safety in mind right now — from fires to fireworks. And while we're at it, let's also keep each other safe and welcome everyone on trail. You can now register for WTA's Hike-aThon! National parks continue to open up more options for exploring. And a bill in Congress offers some good news for road access to trailheads. Here's some news you might have missed wile out on trail this week.
It's July 2. We all need to keep safety in mind right now — from fires to fireworks. And while we're at it, let's also keep each other safe and welcome everyone on trail. You can now register for WTA's Hike-aThon! National parks continue to open up more options for exploring. And a bill in Congress offers some good news for road access to trailheads. Here's some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.
Be fire safe: It’s fire season. And this year, with the many challenges of coronavirus, it’s more important than ever to be careful to avoid starting a fire. Fighting fires will have an added risk for crews this year and smoke is a dangerous respiratory irritant for anyone. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has banned campfires on its lands in Eastern Washington. Firearm use is also limited to reduce fire risk. And wherever you are hiking or camping, now’s a good time to brush up on some fire safety skills.
Fireworks: Speaking of fires, it’s a good time to mention that fireworks are not allowed on the vast majority of public lands.
Trails for everyone: At WTA, we deeply believe in the value of spending time outside. This year, it’s more important than ever that we all work together to ensure that the outdoors are a safe place for everyone. And that means more than physical safety. The Recreate Responsibly Coalition, which created a set of guidelines for folks who like to play outside, has added a new foundational principle, encouraging everyone to be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities. Please join us to help ensure trails really are for everyone.
Get Out. Give Back: Registration is now open for WTA's annual Hike-a-Thon! Participation is free and, once you've raised $20, we'll send you a T-shirt featuring Miles the Marmot. (This year he sports a very fashionable and safe bandana.) You also can compete for cool prizes — just by hiking or walking anywhere you like.
Sunrise is open: After a long winter, the Sunrise area at Mount Rainier National Park is open again for the season. However, keep in mind that while it may be warm at lower elevations, there are still winter-like conditions at Sunrise and Paradise. Some trails are covered in up to 5-feet of snow. While some park facilities remain closed due to the pandemic, all restrooms are open, and the National Park Inn at Longmire offers a gift shop, grab and go food service, and lodging. There is no food service at Paradise. Visitors are asked to practice physical distancing, wear face coverings when necessary and bring hand sanitizer.
Olympic backpacking: Olympic National Park is again issuing permits for backpacking in the interior areas of the park. However, overnight stays are not allowed in any of the coastal wilderness areas. Permits must be reserved online in advance. No walk up permits will be available. If you’re interested in backpacking in Olympic National Park, remember that you will need a bear canister and rentals of the canisters will be limited this year due to restrictions related to coronavirus.
Help for Forest Service roads: On Wednesday, the House passed House Resolution 2, the "Moving Forward Act," a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill. The bill includes a provision featuring previously introduced legislation from Washington Reps. Kim Schrier and Derek Kilmer, which authorizes the Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program. The program, which still needs to be funded by Congress, will address infrastructure needs on Forest Service lands for projects like culvert repairs for fish passage, water quality improvements, and habitat improvements for wildlife. Addressing these projects would help to improve road access to trailheads while also helping landscapes and providing jobs and economic benefits to rural communities. Join our Trail Action Network to keep up to date on what we're working on in Congress.
BE IN THE KNOW
- Keep up to date with Trail News, our monthly email newsletter.
- Check our Hiking Guide for information on what trails are open.
- Check trip reports for latest conditions on trails. And if you go for hike, file your own trip report.
- Sign up for Families Go Hiking, our email newsletter for families with plenty of tips on keeping kids busy.