Summer is Here! Hiking Planning and Preparation Tips

It is summer in the Pacific Northwest! The Cascade Mountain Adventures team is excited to store our parkas, break out our sandals, and refill our sunscreen. It's time!

This is exciting time of year with longer days, warmer temperatures, and the return of wildflowers in higher elevations. Here are our tips to enjoy the season, stay safe, and make the most of it!

Road Conditions & Opening Status

Make sure to verify the opening status of the road to your chosen destination. Many of the roads to access higher elevation destinations - ex. Sunrise on Mt. Rainier - are only seasonally open.

The National Parks, National Forests, and other local land managers are excellent resources. Some of the more popular destinations are linked below.

Mt. Rainier National Park

North Cascades National Park

Olympic National Park

Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest

Okanogan - Wenatchee National Forest

Mt. Hood National Forest

Snow Melt - Current Conditions & Hazards

Did you know that you can check the snow line, depth, and melt rates from home? You can! Meet Snotel - a series of probes deployed through the Pacific Northwest - to monitor the current and historic snow depth information.

Use the Snotel online mapping tool to locate an active probe near your destination. Make sure to choose both the right area and elevation to get accurate data for your selected destination. 

It is also very important to know where creeks, streams, and rivers are in your selected area. Be careful to study the map of your area(s) and note their locations. Many creeks and streams are covered with a thin layer of melting snow during the early summer season. Falling through the snow into a creek or stream could be anywhere from very uncomfortable to extremely dangerous.

Avoid walking over, through, or near areas of snow covered creeks and steams. Always move away from the sound of running water under snow. Danger!

Snow covering an exposed creek with rushing water

Trail Conditions

Always check for recent trip reports on your selected trail. Is it snow covered? How are the stream crossings? Are the bridges out? How are the bugs? Trip Reports hold the answers!

Check out the latest trip reports on WTA.org before setting out on your next hike. And, when you return, share the love by submitting trip reports of your own. WTA is in incredible resource that we make great together. 

Have Fun!

Have fun, be safe, and enjoy this incredible season of transition. See you on the trail!


Want more like this delivered to your inbox? Great! Sign-up for our Newsletter. You'll also receive $20 off your first Adventure!


Upcoming Events