FAQs

If you don’t find an answer to your question here, use the form at the bottom of the page to contact me.

 

I employ a 4-level Hiker rating system that defines the type of trail and the type of experience I expect the trail to have on you and your body.

HIKER LEVEL 1

Hiker Level 1 hikes are easy on you and all your body parts, with little or no elevation gain. Most or all of these hikes are on boardwalks, sidewalks, or hard, well-trafficked surfaces.

HIKER LEVEL 2

Hiker Level 2 hikes have moderate elevation gain (less than 500 feet) on terrain that is not hard on the feet, ankles, or knees. These will get your heart pumping at least part of the time. Frequent hikers may find these hikes more of a walk than a hike.

HIKER LEVEL 3

Hiker Level 3 hikes have elevation gains greater than 500 feet but less than 1,000 feet and/or trail surfaces that are rugged or sometimes muddy or unstable. For frequent hikers, these will be rewarding but not challenging. Infrequent hikers will get a good workout: Your muscles might remember this hike the next day, but they’ll be happy.

HIKER LEVEL 4

Hiker level 4 hikes are strenuous but not treacherous, with elevation gains of 1,000 feet or more. Frequent hikers will find these a good workout. Infrequent hikers may find these hikes pleasantly challenging, and will want to take several energy breaks along the way. Hiking poles are recommended but not required on these hikes. If you have had any problems with feet, ankles, or knees, consider selecting a different hike.

 

Yes.

For each adventure, I list a “best departure time” that takes into account daylight hours and travel times to make the most of your adventure. Early starts are especially important for adventures that entail longer travel times, such as to Mt. Rainier, and ferry schedules, such as to the Olympic Peninsula.

Later start times are possible within reason. Earlier start times also are possible.

Bottom line: Your time is my time. I will tailor the departure times to suit your needs and optimize your opportunity for the most positive adventure. Your booking will document an agreed-upon pick-up time.

I pick you up wherever you are in the Seattle area. You will provide that information when you book. One pickup location per booking, please.

Most of these adventures include a made-to-order gourmet lunch and snacks from Seattle’s acclaimed Bakery Nouveau. When you book an adventure, you’ll have an opportunity to state your preferences (48 hour advance selection is required).  Of course, your lunch and snacks are included in the price.

All adventures include coffee, water, fresh fruit, and energy bars.

If you wish to add other beverages of your own, I provide a small cooler for this purpose.

Most of these adventures assume that you will be hungry at the end of the day and may want to take advantage of a snack or a complete meal on your way back to Seattle.  I provide details and sample menus when you book. These meals and snacks are not included in the price; you will be responsible for your own tab.  You are welcome to enjoy this meal or snack with just your party; I will disappear and return after a set interval.

For the adventures that begin in the early morning hours, you may prefer to enjoy a breakfast along the way to the hike instead of (or in addition to) a post-hike meal.  That can be arranged for most of these hikes.

Salish Sea is the recently designated name of the body of water comprising Canada’s Georgia Strait, Washington’s Puget Sound, and the international waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Cascadia is an informal name for an extended bioregion in the Pacific Northwest. Read more about these placenames.

In general, especially for the longer hikes, I discourage hikers younger than 12.

For most of these adventures (save perhaps for the half-day hikes) you should bring a small backpack, water bottle, and any personal items like phones, medications, sunscreen, or favorite snacks.

Most people now have cameras on their phones that are excellent quality, but for some of these adventures where wildlife especially abounds, you might consider a camera capable of handling close-ups and a telephoto lens.

Compact binoculars are a good idea.

You’ll need a medium-sized daypack for the day-long adventures because in many cases you’ll be carrying extra layers in case of rain and your own lunch, drinks, and snacks (that I provide).

Some people like to hike with poles, and for many of the hikes I recommend them. If you are traveling to Seattle by air, poles may complicate your packing and check-in. I have extra poles you may borrow if you like.

When you book an adventure, you will receive a a checklist of recommended and required gear for your specific hike.

Three essential things to bear in mind:

  1.  Wear rugged but comfortable footwear–whatever that means to you.
  2.  Always wear layers–at least 3.
  3.  Avoid cotton (including denim).

When you book an adventure, you will receive a checklist of required and recommended gear and clothing, but in the meantime, plan as follows.

FOOTWEAR

Footwear for most of these hikes can be comfortable walking shoes, but it’s never a bad idea to wear hiking boots on any of them. For the Mt. Rainier hikes, lace-up, over-the ankle hiking boots are strongly advised.  Whatever you wear, keep in mind they they will probably get wet and muddy or dirty on most of these hikes.  It’s a good idea to bring an extra pair of socks. If you bring hiking boots, you might want to have a more light-weight pair of shoes to wear before and after a long hike.

CLOTHING

For clothing, regardless of the hike or the time of year, start with a synthetic “wicking” base layer. Not cotton nor denim.  In winter, you might want to have long underwear tops and bottoms.  It’s always better to be warm than cold. Even in summer, for many of these hikes the day will begin chilly and warm up gradually. Layers can always come off as the day warms. Over your base layer, you should have two additional upper-body layers–again, breathable layers–and warm synthetic pants. (Zip-off legs are a great feature for summer hikes.)

You should always have one layer that is waterproof or water-repellent.  (And then hope you don’t need it!)

HATS & GLOVES

Don’t forget a hat with a visor and gloves for cool mornings. (That extra pair of socks can do double-duty on your hands in a pinch if you don’t have gloves.)

JUST IN CASE

I have a limited selection of hats, gloves, fleeces, and simple ponchos you may borrow in a pinch. I want you to be comfortable and confident.

Questions?

If you have concerns about clothing, feel free to contact me.

Puget Sound and Seattle weather generally is quite mild as you will see from this chart:

We call ourselves “weather-wimps” because we don’t experience extremes. The coldest month, January, has an average high of 45 degrees Fahrenheit ( 7 C ) and an average low of 36 F (2 C). Our warmest month, August, has an average high of 73 F (23 C) and an average low of 55F (13 C).

Although we have a reputation for rainy days, our annual rainfall is actually just 34 inches and our rainy days are 152. Compare that to New York (46 inches, 121 days), Chicago (39 inches, 119 days) or Houston (45 inches, 106 days). Most of Seattle’s 34 inches of rain fall between November and March, leaving the rest of the year pleasantly dry. Even in those rainy months, the rain usually falls gently. Seattleites tend to eschew umbrellas. We like to say you can walk around in the rain all day and never get wet, even though old-timers sometimes call themselves “Mossbacks.”

Weather anywhere is of course unpredictable, but I closely monitor weather forecasts for each adventure and will be prepared for all but the most extreme conditions. Most of the hikes listed are in lowlands, “rain shadows,” and areas or times of the year with favorable weather.

I have extra ponchos and rain gear for those who may come unprepared.

All that said, your comfort is my concern and I want you to be comfortable. In the event weather interferes with a planned adventure, I will refund your fee or, if you prefer and schedules allow, rebook your adventure for another day.

 

Prices displayed for each adventure cover any and all entry fees to parks and facilities; any ferries or highway tolls; and water, coffee, snacks, and lunches (except where otherwise specifically noted).

When you book an adventure, Washington state sales tax of 10.1% will be added to the posted price.

If you need to cancel a booked adventure for any reason, you will get a full refund if you cancel least 48 hours prior to your scheduled departure. If you need to cancel on shorter notice, you will be refunded 80% of your fee.

In the unlikely event that I need to cancel your booked adventure (such as for illness or inclement weather) you will receive a full refund.

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