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Showing posts with label Best Of Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best Of Washington. Show all posts

Guided Pheasant Hunts In Washington State

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Guided Pheasant Hunts In Washington State


Looking for guided pheasant hunts in Washington state ?

Pheasant hunting is a great way to get introduced to upland bird hunting for beginners. You don’t need a lot of equipment and although the finer points may take years to learn, it doesn’t take much to grasp a basic understanding of how to hunt pheasants.

If you’re thinking about getting started in pheasant hunting or just need a refresher, hiring a professional pheasant hunting guide is the way to go !

In this post we'll share our own personal experience going pheasant hunting with a guide in Eastern Washington...

The ring-neck pheasant is one of the largest and certainly the most brightly colored of Washington’s upland birds. 

The ring-neck isn’t native to Washington, or even to North America. The first pheasants were brought from China, and successfully introduced into several areas of Eastern Washington later in 1890's...

A few small, self-sustaining populations of ring-neck pheasants occur in the agricultural areas west of the Cascades, but the grain-producing lands on the east side of the state provide the best pheasant habitat and, by far, the highest ring-neck populations. WDFW releases thousands of pen-raised birds in both Eastern and Western Washington to supplement the wild pheasant population and provide additional opportunity for upland bird hunters.

But for beginner hunters, on a guided trip on a private property you are assured of a high quality experience.

Here are a few tips you need to know before you book your first guided pheasant hunt in Washington state :

Learn to shoot !

While most outfitters/guides don't require any previous hunting experience, they expect you to know how to shoot a shotgun...

If you've ever shot anything with any gun, you know you need some experience to hit a target...
You can only imagine that shooting a moving target could be much harder...

That's why, before going on a guided pheasant hunt ( or any upland bird hunt for that matter ), I recommend you take at least one clay shooting class.

Don't worry about shotguns/ammo/hunting license

Shotguns/ammo/license needed for upland hunting is diffrent from big game hunting... But you don't have to worry about it b/c most outfitters/guides will provide their own guns/ammo/hunting license ( if you're hunting on private property ).

TIP: Make sure all the gear ( shotgun/ammo/orange vest/hunting license ) is included in the price !

How many pheasants will you be hunting ?

Depending on whether you'll be hunting wild or tamed pheasants, most outfitters/guides will guarantee a certain number of bird per trip... 

Just keep in mind, even though it's a guided hunt with a guaranteed number of birds being released, it's still your job to shoot those birds... In other words, if you don't shoot a single bird, don't blame your guide for "an unsuccessful hunt".

Bring a cooler for your trophy !

If you're lucky to shoot a bird or two ( or more ! ), your guide will clean the birds for you ( and you'll have a great hands-on experience learning how to do that ! )... Just make sure you bring a cooler to keep the meat fresh.

Be prepared to walk a lot

Depending on the area you'll be hunting on, you might have to walk a lot on harsh terrain while carrying a shotgun...

Make sure you're physically fit for this adventure ! Your guide is NOT your servant/porter, and he won't carry you, your gun, or your designer bags... 

Also, make sure you're dressed accordingly... Pheasant hunting in Eastern Washington runs from early September till late March... And even though the weather in Eastern Washington is much better ( comparing to Central/Western Washington ), there is still a chance you might be hunting in rain, sun or/and snow !

Create great memories/experiences while learning something new !

B/c it's a guided hunt, many people treat it literally like a walk in the park ( expecting their guide to do everything for them ! ).

By all means have a great time, and take a lot of pictures, but also listen to your guide, and try to learn something new ! Even if you're not really into hunting, most local guides are very knowledgeable not only about hunting, but also about the local area, history, geography, and nature...

For us, pheasant hunting was a great father-son experience ( check out the video below ), and if you're looking for our recommendations for a guide, check out our new website "Best Hunting & Fishing Guides

Tips On Visiting Mt Rainier National Park From Sunrise

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Tips On Visiting Mt Rainier National Park From Sunrise

Planning to visit Mount Rainier National Park from Sunrise side ? Looking for detailed info, and the best hikes ? 

In this blog post we'll share everything you need to know to plan your visit to Mt Rainier National Park from Sunrise side !

But first things first... 

Should you visit Sunrise or Paradise ?

While the final decision will be entirely up to you, our main reasons for visiting Sunrise were hiking, and  stargazing !

At an elevation of 6,400 feet, Sunrise is the highest point that can be reached by vehicle at Mount Rainier National Park, and the best place in the park for stargazing, and getting "up close and personal" with the Mountain !

On clear summer days, Sunrise provides breathtaking views of Mount Rainier, Emmons glacier, vibrant wildflower meadows. Sunrise Point offers nearly 360-degree views of the surrounding valleys, Mount Rainier, and other volcanoes in the Cascade Range such as Mount Adams. These views and an excellent trail system make Sunrise the second most visited location in the park.

Time To Visit

Unlike Paradise, Sunrise is only open for a short period of time. The Sunrise Road usually opens in late June or early July and closes in late September to early October. Check the road status before setting out.

The road leading to Sunrise ranks among the most beautiful drives in the country !

BUT...

The road to Sunrise ( HWY 410 ) is a two lane road which gets congested in the summer ( and especially on the weekends ! ), so be prepared for a slow ride !

TIP:

When is the best time to visit Sunrise ? 
I'd say during the week, early in the morning ( before 10am ), but even then, chances are you'll encounter traffic... 

Also don't forget to top off your gas tank in Enumclaw or Clearwater as there are no gas stations in the park...

Once at the park entrance, get ready to shell out $15 for the entrance fee ( make sure to bring a debit or credit card as when we were there, they didn't accept cash...)

Camping

As I've mentioned above, Sunrise is very popular all summer long ! Which makes camping at the park a big problem !
Unless you book a camping spot days ( or sometimes weeks ! ) ahead, chances of finding a camping spot at the only campground ( White River campground ) are pretty slim...

TIP:

Even though "officially", sleeping in your car is not allowed, we spent a night in our car with no problem parked not far away from the visitor center/bathrooms... 

They also have designated parking for overnight backpackers... 
But... 
You'll need a wilderness permit which is a pain in the ass to get ( requests must be made at least one week (7 days) in advance of the desired trip start date ).

So, if you're up for a challenge, you can just leave your car away from the visitor center, and hike a few hundred feet up the trail system, and break your camp for the night ! 

Food/Shopping

There is a small gift shop at the visitor center where you can buy drinks, and snacks, but otherwise there is nowhere to shop at Sunrise... So bring everything you'll need with you if you're planning to stay longer than a day...

Hiking

Hiking is probably the main reason most people visit Mt Rainier National Park !

And, in my personal opinion, choosing between Sunrise or Paradise, I'd go with the first one !

Why ?

Because even if you're not into hiking, Sunrise offers the best opportunity to see Mt Rainier in its best view ! No matter where you're at Sunrise, the mountain is right there in your face ! 

And if that's not enough, getting "up and close" by hiking is the best way to experience the mountain !

So, what is the best hike at Mt Rainier Sunrise ?

While a lot depends on your physical ability, time, weather, and your personal preferences...

IF :

- you're in good shape
- have at least 2-3 hours
- the weather is nice and sunny
- you have all the necessary gear

And MOST IMPORTANT - if you want to get as close to the top of  Mt Rainier as possible !!

We recommend to hike to Burroughs Mt ( 1st or/and 2nd ) !!

Even though this hike is designated as "strenuous", in reality, it's very doable even for kids as young as 8-10 !

You can find more info/maps about the Burroughs Mt hike on Mt Rainier official website /Google...

But, in reality, the trail is very well maintained, marked, and, with the amount of people every day, it's pretty much impossible to get lost !

Check out the video below where our first break we took at 1st Burroughs Mt ( where they have the best bench you'll ever seat on !! ), and the second at the end of the trail with Mt Rainier is teasing you to get to the very top !! ( but DON'T... unless you have all the necessary gear, and experience hiking on snow ! )




Essential Hiking Gear To Bring:

I cannot stress enough the importance of being ready for the environment !
The weather at Mt Rainier is very unpredictable !

No matter how hot, and sunny it might be during the beginning of your hike, it all can change in the blink of an eye !

Make sure to bring a (rain) jacket with you ( or at least a hoodie/sweatshirt )...

Bring plenty of water, and snacks...

Most important - bring sunscreen, and lip balm ( the air in the higher elevations is very thin which dries out your skin much faster ! )  

Other Hikes At Sunrise 

Paradise Lake Hike at Sunrise Mt Rainier National Park

Our 2nd best would be a hike to Sunrise/Paradise/Clover/Hidden Lakes ( especially if you're planning a backpacking trip ! ).

Why ?

It's very convenient ( next to Sunrise Point observation lookout ), it's relatively short ( to Sunrise/Clover Lakes ), and "relatively" easy ( it's all downhill from the parking lot ).

Also, it's a cool hike if you like fishing ! 

Hike To Sunrise/Paradise/Clover/Hidden Lakes at Sunrise


3rd choice ( VERY ambitious, and adventurous ! ) - Wonderland Trail 

Hiking/backpacking the entire length of Wonderland Trail has been on my Bucket List for years !
But if you're short on time ( or your Bucket List goal is becoming less and less important... like mine ), you can opt in for a short(er) hike of a portion of Wonderland Trail !

And Sunrise offers better/easier opportunities to access Wonderland Trail ( comparing to Paradise )...

Best Hiking Trails at Sunrise Mt Rainier National Park


Other Things To Do At Sunrise

Honestly, other than hiking there isn't much to do...

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, our other main reason to visit Mt Rainier at Sunrise was stargazing...

The view from the north looking south to Mount Rainier will give you a great look at the Milky Way over Mount Rainier (if the clouds cooperate).

TIP:

When planning your trip check the National Weather Service site to gauge how clear the skies are going to be during your visit. 

Once or twice a summer there are star parties at the Sunrise lot as well. Check the park website for current events and times.

From our research, the best time to see shooting stars, and meteor showers is August...

Also, please be considerate of other stargazers and photographers. Try to limit the use of flashlights and your vehicle lights once you park your car. Be hyper aware of headlights. Nothing ruins night vision faster.

You don't need a super expensive equipment to enjoy this amazing experience !
We used 80mm Gskyer Telescope, and it worked out just fine !

Picnicking

Even though I don't consider this to be an "activity", there are tons of people who visit a national park just for that 😥

There is a designated picnicking area behind the visitor center with tables, and grills, but it's quite a walk from the parking lot, and the views are not great...

In conclusion...

With close-up views of the massive Emmons Glacier, and hundreds of acres of meadows bursting with wildflowers, Sunrise rivals the more popular Paradise when it comes to scenic splendor. 

Situated in the park’s drier northeastern corner thanks to Mount Rainier’s rain-shadow effect, Sunrise as the name suggests is also one of the first places in the park to capture morning’s early light.

There is really no better feeling than waking up, and having a cup of coffee in the presence of this Nature Beauty !!


Mt Rainier Sunrise ExtraHyperActive Coffe Mug

Backpacking & Camping At Talapus Lake

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Talapus Lake located near North Bend, WA, and it's a perfect destination for beginner backpackers !

BUT...

In the summer, this hiking trail is heavily trafficked, and limited number of designated camping spots by the lake, makes this trip hard to plan...

In this post I want to share a few tips that I wish I knew before planning the trip...

Best Tip :

If possible, try to go mid-week... Head out late in the afternoon ( about 3-4 pm )... By that time, most day hikers are gone, and there are more chances to snatch a nice camping spot by the lake ! 

Second Best :

We found designated camping spots only at Talapus Lake, but nothing around Olallie Lake ( which was our second choice )

Driving/directions :

Close to Seattle ( about an hour drive ), and easy to find... Even though the last mile or so is dirt road, it's wide enough, and potholes are drivable even for sedans...

Parking :

Another reason to plan your trip mid-week is it's hard to find parking on a busy summer weekend ( often, you'd have to park half a mile away from the trailhead )

Fees :

You'll need a Discovery Pass AND to pay additional $5 Northwest Forest Pass ( the letter you can just pay cash at the trailhead, or buy beforehand at local REI )

The hike :

The trail is very well maintained, and marked making it impossible to get lost... The trail ascends gently making it perfect for kids, dogs, and first time backpackers... 

It took us about 2 hours to get from the trailhead to the lake ( making one stop at Olallie Lake for a quick picture, and another stop to hydrate ), and less than 2 hours on the way back...

>>>IMPORTANT<<<

Camping at the lake :

Lake camping is on "first come first serve" basis...

We were lucky to snatch a decent spot by the lake... There are only 4-5 designated camping spots around the lake... If you're not that lucky, you'll might have to share a spot with others, or camp someplace else away from the lake... 

Camp fires are not allowed ( but doubt anybody will say anything if you start a small one "to keep bugs away" )...

The lake is pretty small, and acoustics is superb... so try to keep it quiet to respect others around you...

At night, the moon shines super bright, so you might bring your sleeping mask ( and maybe a pair of earplugs to get a good night sleep ).

Gear To Bring :

It's an easy hike/backpacking trip, so you won't need much !

Water is definitely one things you won't have to worry about ( bring a water filter, or a stove to boil water ).

A bug spray is definitely a must ! I'd also recommend to bring a mosquito face net ( worked great for us ! ).

With many trees all around, it would make a great "hammock camping" destination ( if you've never tried before ) !

If you can fit it in your backpack, bring a float/mattress to relax on the lake...

Love fishing ?

Despite of how small Talapus Lake is, it offers great fishing ! The lake has mainly small wild rainbow trout, but it's fun to catch and release !

Wildlife :

Because of its popularity, wildlife is used to people, and feel quite comfortable ( sometimes kinda demanding :)) begging for food... Even though you're not suppose to feed them, we shared a few nuts with a few chipmunks...

DON'T LEAVE FOOD lying around cause those furry thieves will get get into your backpack/tent !

And definitely don't leave food in the open for the night to avoid attracting bigger "visitors"... 

All in all, this is a perfect "introduction to backpacking" trip for people of all ages, and physical abilities !

Things To Do At Lake Chelan in Winter : Lake Chelan Winterfest

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Every January, the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Lake Chelan Winterfest Festival. The charming town is transformed in to a winter paradise for the annual weekend-long event.

Polar Bear Plunge During Lake Chelan Winterfest


Winterfest is the perfect escape to a Washington winter wonderland !

The Wenatchee River Rafting Tips

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The Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, WA is one of the best rivers in the Washington state to go whitewater rafting !

Whitewater Rafting on the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, WA


In this blog post I want to share my tips as a former river guide, a customer, and a parent on what make the Wenatchee River the best place to go rafting, what you need to know before going, how to pick the best rafting company, and how much it will cost you.

Is Spring Fling Pass From Summit at Snoqualmie Worth The Money ?

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Spring Fling Pass From Summit at Snoqualmie allows skiers, and snowboarders "ski more, spend less" !

From their website :
Skip the ticket window and head straight to the lift. Summit passes are an unbeatable value, providing access all season long and the freedom to hit the slopes whenever you want. We're so close it's easy to get your money's worth!
But is the Spring Pass really worth the money ?

Spring Fling Pass From Summit at Snoqualmie

Night Skiing and Snowboarding At Summit Central

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Go skiing under the lights when you buy a night lift ticket from the Summit at Snoqualmie !

Night skiing near Seattle has a certain appeal: fewer crowds, no lift lines, and discounted lift tickets ! 

Time - 4pm -10pm 
Ticket prices start at $31 for adults, and $25 for kids ( save $$$ by buying online !! ) 

Looking for more outdoor adventures in/around Seattle ?
Find more here - Washington Adventures

 

Enchant Christmas at Safeco Field in Seattle

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Enchant Christmas at Safeco Field in Seattle is an even for the entire family ! Enjoy Holiday lights, the Christmas market and fun festive activities. The holiday light event, which runs through Dec. 30, covers the entire baseball field with a spectacular light maze and an ice skating rink. As you enter the stadium for Enchant, expect a different kind of cheer than the rowdy crowds and booming loudspeakers of baseball season. Infield, visitors can rent a pair of skates and sail through the illuminated archways and trees on the 350-foot-long ice-skating loop, while listening to local artists like Starlight Choir perform live on the mainstage. (Tickets will be staggered to prevent overcrowding the maze and ice trail). Visitors can also warm their hands with a cup of hot chocolate from the Christmas market, shop for jewelry, homewares and gifts, or head over to Santa’s workshop for pictures and a story.

More Seattle Holiday videos to watch : Christmas times in Seattle Center, and downtown - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAk3HdBlxOI

Visiting Seattle, and looking for amazing adventures, outdoor activities, and things to do ? Find more Washington Adventures here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BN0aJuLAlA&list=PL78koNgcc9OkR4uBM3pozDN-gOywTvtuv

Hiking Chirico Trail to Poo-Poo Point

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Located within less than 45 min away from Seattle, Chirico Trail to Poo-Poo Point hike is a "must" for any outdoor adventurer visiting Seattle !

Chirico Trail to Poo-Poo Point hike

Even if you're short on time, this hike ( time to the trailhead from Seattle plus the hike itself ) will take you only half of the day !

The trail is snow free, and accessible year round, but is best enjoyed on a nice sunny day ! But even on an average Seattle rainy day, the tree coverage will provide protection from wind and rain.

Kiteboarding At Jetty Island In Everett, Wa

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Kiteboarding At Jetty Island In Everett, Wa



It's been more than 5 years since I took my very first kiteboarding lesson with Urban Surf at Jetty Island ! Unfortunately, so many years later, and I still consider myself to be a beginner.

As I wrote in my previous posts, being a kitebarder in Washington state is not en easy task. Though kiteboarding is growing in popularity every year in our state, it still remains the sport of a very tight and dedicated group of people. The cost of equipment, lessons, unpredictable weather, and limited spots for beginners to learn, make kiteboarding off limits for many people.

Because of the weather conditions, even after taking lessons, and acquiring your own gear, it's hard to make kiteboarding as accessible as , let's say, biking or hiking ( where you can just get up and go ). It requires a lot of patience, time, and dedication. If there is the slightest possibility of wind, one must drop everything and go ! And let's face it, not everybody can afford this luxury.

But when the conditions are right, for beginners and advanced riders, there are no better place to go kiteboarding in Washington state than Jetty Island in Everett ! Jetty Island is a special place! It’s one of the greatest kiteboarding beaches in the country !

Land Paddling Around Green Lake in Seattle

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Land paddling around Green Lake in Seattle, WA

Land paddling around Green Lake in Seattle could be a great way to discover this hidden local gem !

Green Lake is a neighborhood in north central Seattle, Washington.
Its centerpiece is the lake and park after which it is named.

The newly reconstructed 2.8-mile path around the lake provides a perfect recreational spot for runners, bikers, skaters and walkers.

It's also a great place to go longboarding or land paddling.

Learn To Shoot Sporting Clays

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Learn To Shoot Sporting Clays -2 Hour Shotgun Shooting Classes In Eastern Washington ( all gear included ).

Learn To Shoot Sporting Clays -2 Hour Shotgun Shooting Classes


We embrace the opportunity to bring new shooters out on our course and teach sport shooting in a safe, fun, and simple format. Our first emphasis is on safe firearm handling and secondly on how to properly mount and site the gun, track, and shoot flying targets.

Our 2 hour lessons are taught directly to the shooter skill level and groups of mixed experience are no problem. Feel free to mix intermediate, beginner, and advanced shooters. We can even teach experienced vets a few things about the various challenges on the course and take beginners through a short but effective lesson on how to handle firearms safely and the basics of shooting.
2 Hour Sporting Clays Class.
  • $79 Per Shooter
  • Gun Rental Included
  • 2hr Professional Instruction Included
  • Steel Shot Ammo Included 25 Shells/Box
  • Clay Targets Included
  • Eye/Ear Protection Included


With questions, and availability email frolopg@gmail.com 

Tips On Climbing Mt Adams

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Mount Adams, situated in the eastern Cascade range, east of Mount St Helens and north of Mount Hood, is the second most massive and the third tallest volcano in the Cascade range. Popular among hikers, backpackers, mountain bikers, skiers, and outdoor enthusiasts in general, Mt Adams is accessible year round, and visited by folks from both states - Washington and Oregon.

A Walk Through Downtown Leavenworth, WA In The Summer

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Leavenworth, WA Bavarian Village


Visiting Leavenworth, WA in summer is a must do adventure to add to your Bucket List ! Leavenworth is a Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains, in central Washington State. It's only ~ 2.5 hour driving distance from Seattle. It has so much to offer !

Slidewaters Waterpark & Water Slides in Sunny Lake Chelan, WA

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Lake Chelan Waterpark and Water Slides is a small, but full of fun waterpark for all ages located just 5 minutes away from Lake Chelan downtown.

Located on the banks above beautiful Lake Chelan, the park is an amazing place to have family fun while enjoying the breathtaking views of the majestic Lake Chelan in the background !

Slidewaters Waterpark & Water Slides in Lake Chelan, WA

TIP: The place itself is not that big... so try to get there early in the morning to beat the heat, and the crowds. Parking can also become an issue on during crowded weekends, and holidays.

Land Paddling On A Snow Day In Seattle

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Land paddling in Seattle is not really a year round activity. 


It rains a lot most of the year, and in fall/winter, when the temperatures drop, only the most dedicated spend time land paddling, and having fun.  


Land Paddling On A Snow Day In Seattle

And we at "Seattle Kite, Surf, Paddle" are among those crazy ones who enjoy land paddling in any weather !

There is something special about land paddling in the snow ! It's like combining longboarding, snowboarding, and paddleboarding in one. 

And the surroundings are breathtaking ! Because there is nothing quite as serene as seeing your beloved city in a fresh sheet of snow. It's truly magical making your first tracks in the snow.

Read more here >>>

Land Paddling With Onda Longa In Tacoma, WA

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Onda Motion is of the most versatile longboards that is great for cruising and carving as well as land-paddling and kite-skating.


Onda Motion 788581344965 Longa with Poly wheels black

Compared to most longboards out there, Onda boards are quite unique. They perform and handle much better than traditional longboards because of their smooth gliding wheels and tremendous maneuverability. Give it a kick and it glides forever !

Onda was designed from scratch to be the best all around cruising longboard in the world.


Every component was carefully designed and custom built as part of an integrated product, to allow you to cruise the pavement effortlessly, with minimum friction and enormous forward momentum. Onda delivers full-fledged glide performance and awesome carving that will have you feeling like you’re levitating above ground.

Want to learn more about land paddling with Onda board ? Read here ...

The Flaming Geyser State Park

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Flaming Geyser State Park


The first time I heard about the Flaming Geyser Park was from "The Washington Atlas and Gazetteers". It stated that park's most unique geological feature was its "geysers" (methane seeps). I immediately wanted to find out more about it.

Rock Climbing At Seattle REI

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They say that you become a true Washingtonian after the first time you step into REI. The Seattle's flagship store is probably the same symbol of Washington ( outdoors ) as Seattle's Space Needle or Mt Rainier.

What began as a group of 23 mountain climbing buddies is now the nation's largest consumer cooperative.

Everything you need for your most popular outdoor activities- gear for camping, hiking, climbing, cycling, paddling, snow sports, clothing, footwear, and much more- you can find here.

Washington Adventures : Take Your Kids Surfing

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If you can surf in Washington state, you can surf anywhere !

Surfing in Washington is a pretty miserable experience. Dipping occasionally into the mid-40s but generally hovering around 50 degrees, the ocean water temperature is just one of the "discomforts", along with gale-force winds, massive swells, demonic currents, and razor-sharp rocks.