Trail Tips from Central Washington Outdoor

Trail Tips from Central Washington Outdoor


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In Central Washington, experiencing the outdoors is in our nature. We are committed to inspiring your love and appreciation for the natural world, but we also aim to help you protect and care for it, as well as stay safe as you explore it. We're happy to help you discover your passion for the wilderness, learn how to navigate it safely, improve your on-trail experience, and lessen your impact on the places you love for adventurers of the present and future.






Prepare for Unexpected Weather

A rainy day hike can add solitude and a special ambiance to your next Central Washington adventure, so long as you come prepared and stay respectful of your surroundings.

The rainy season in the Pacific Northwest can continue through the middle of June, so pack to stay dry and warm if you plan to explore our backyard of forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers. While you don't need expensive or new gear to hike in the rain, you will need to include a few basics, such as good base layers and thick socks, to stay safe and comfortable. Avoid cotton, as it's a poor insulator when wet, making you feel colder and increasing your risk of hypothermia. Instead, look for synthetic (like fleece) or wool materials that wick moisture away from your skin.

Pick trails suitable for the weather and avoid ridge walks or hikes involving scrambling over slick rocks. Even if you select a trail that appears to be safe, it's always a good idea to exercise caution and watch your footing.



In some cases, it may not be appropriate to visit a trail in wet weather. If a trail is too wet and muddy, turn back and save the hike for another day. Using a muddy trail can be dangerous, damage the trail's condition, and damage the ecosystems that surround the trail. Give the trails some time to dry out after a big rain or snow to preserve the area and stay out of harm's way.

As outdoor enthusiasts and those who are just discovering their passion for the outdoors, it is also essential to remember that just because it is spring on the calendar doesn't mean that it looks like spring in the mountains. Higher elevations in our area can have snow until July, in some cases, so even if it is sunny and warm at your house doesn't mean winter danger is over. Stay safe, pack warm clothing, and know your limits.

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