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    5 Fall Hikes For Students in The Pacific NorthWest

    5 Fall Hikes For Students in The Pacific NorthWest

    With the back-to-school season in full swing again, students in the Pacific NorthWest are back to full days in class and long nights paper writing and studying. What better way to let off some steam and get away from the busy student life than getting outdoors and enjoying the fall hikes in the great PNW?


    Here’s 5 Fall Hikes for Students in the Pacific NorthWest!


    1: Silver Creek Falls | Silverton, Oregon

    silver creek falls

    Who doesn't want to see a bunch of beautiful waterfalls on your hike? With 10 waterfalls and 24+ miles of hiking and walking trails, this hike has it all. Located just outside of Salem, Oregon, it's located in the largest state park in Oregon. This hike can be for anyone from beginners to even advanced hikers.  The most popular is the South falls, which is the most visited out of them all.

    Chances are you'll see a variety of animal life in the autumn when it's usually not filled with hikers and people, and get to enjoy some really spectacular waterfalls, in fact, 10 of them! 

     

    2: Washington: Bandera Mountain Hike.

    bandera mountain hike

    Found within the Snoqualmie Pass region, this is another moderate level hike. This particular route shouldn’t be undertaken by absolute beginners or those who are severely out of shape as it can be tough. But if you want a challenge and a stepping stone to some more advanced hikes, this would be ideal. Known to be easier at the beginning, you shouldn’t let this fall you, the last half mile can get a little intense, with rock fields and steep climbs.

    Don’t be put off though, this 8.0 mile roundtrip hike offers amazing panoramic views of meadows and distant mountains. A popular hike, it also shares trails with other popular hikes, so may get busy, and parking can be an issue. But if you are looking for a challenge and want to see some truly spectacular sites, this is the trail for you.

    **Please note you may require a NorthWest pass for parking**

    3: British Columbia: Stawamus Chief Hike.

    stawamuschiefhikepnw

     

    This popular and scenic hike is a perfect day out for your and your friends. With amazing panoramic views of Howe Sound, the Squamish Valley and nearby mountain peaks, as well as the town of Squamish, this moderate level hike is ideal for beginners. For an easy time, the three hour hike is perfect, but if you would like to stretch yourself, the full route takes around 6 hours. This is a varied hike and will be both challenging and relaxing. Situated about a one hours drive from Vancouver, camping is allowed on this trail, so could be ideal for a weekend getaway. With the hiking season running from March to November, you’ll have plenty of time to get away from your studies and take in the natural wonders of the region.

    As the cool, crips autumn air brings colder temperatures with it, be sure to layer up and dress appropriately for your outdoor hikes. Looking for some Pacific NorthWest clothing?Stay warm and cozy with a  Pacific NorthWest Hoodie or Pacific NorthWest Sweater from Pacific NorthWest Lifestyle, made local in Vancouver, British Columbia and ships to both US & Canada. If you order over $75.00, two sweaters or a hoodie and a t-shirt, you'll get free shipping!

    4: Alberta: Lake Agnes Hike.


    lakeagnespnw

    This is a moderate level hike and takes around three hours and will take you through scenic forests, past Lake Louise and give you wonderful views of the rocky mountain peaks. Perfect for a day out, the hike ends with the welcome site of a teahouse, where you can relax and take in the sites around you. For more secluded and to take in even better views of the area, head up to the little beehive summit!  This is quite a popular trail and there are many options once you get out there to hike and explore. As always with Pacific NorthWest weather, make sure to check the weather conditions before leaving as it can change quite fast. 

     

    5: Washington: Maple Pass Loop in the North Cascades

    maple pass loop

    Who doesn’t love a loop hike? This is one of the best in the Cascades, climbing moderately most of the way to a long romp along a ridge with top-of-the-world views of some of the North Cascades’ most iconic peaks.

    At 4,800 feet, when you arrive and step out of your car, your first order of business is to decide whether to hike clockwise or counterclockwise. If you choose a lake with your loop, head counterclockwise and climb toward Lake Ann, a destination in itself for many hikers. At 1.3 miles, you’ll reach a signed intersection for Lake Ann; head another half-mile to reach a dreamy mountain watering hole.


    At about 8.2 miles roundtrip, this is a moderate level hike with beautiful views of Mount St Helen’s and definitely one of the top on our list if you're around the Washington area. 


    7 TIPS FOR FALL CAMPING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

    7 TIPS FOR FALL CAMPING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

    7 TIPS FOR FALL CAMPING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

    pacific northwest camping

    As fall approaches in the Pacific North West and West Coast, the cooler temperatures arrive, the sun starts to set earlier, and the forest and wilderness start to undergo renewal at the end of a long year. These same things also draw a huge crowd of new and experienced autumn campers as they bundle up to enjoy the great outdoors. There’s nothing better than sitting round a campfire with a few alcoholic beverages, sharing stories with your friends or canoodling with your significant other and taking in the autumn night air. Outdoor camping in the fall is one of our favourite times of the year for exploring and camping, not having to worry about any mosquitos, extreme heat or dehydration. However, you'll still want to come prepared so here’s a quick prep list we’ve created of 7 tips for Pacific NorthWest camping in the fall season.

    1. Locate an amazing destination

    locate an amazing campsite location

    You'll want to do some research on finding the best location for your fall camping and not just leave it until the night before! Check out your local camping and parks & recreation websites for the latest updates, guides, photo's and recommendations for your perfect camping trip spot!

    2. Find Cheaper Camp Sites

    cheap camping

    Camping at paid parks and reserves in Autumn is often much cheaper than summer so do yourself a favour and check out some of the popular camping sites and you may be surprised at how much cheaper it is. 

    3. Plan Around Peak Colours

    plan around peak fall colours

    One of the most incredible feelings of fall is seeing the vibrant forest foliage change many different colours, however many people don't really know when the best time to see the leaves are. Do some research in your local area to find out when the peak leaves change occurs so that you can make the most of your beautiful outdoor excursion. As a rule of thumb in North America, generally Mid-Late October is the peak time for seeing the most colourful foliage in the forests.

    4. Check the Weather

    fall rain

    Although Autumn is one of the most wonderful times of year, seasonal changes can happen quick and before you know it you may be caught in a torrential down pour or ill prepared for an early winter snow. Do your homework and plan ahead so that there won't be any drastic weather changes and if there are, prepare extra incase they occur.

    5. Pack Cold Weather Gear

    mummy sleeping bag

    One of the biggest challenges and most underestimated thing in planning for a fall camping trip is cold weather gear. Make sure to bring a cold weather rated sleeping bag (0-30 degrees F). Our favourite is the mummy-shaped sleeping bags, which keep you snug and warm and are often rated for anywhere from fall camping to arctic/winter temperatures.

    Mummy-shaped bags have narrow shoulder and hip widths in order to maximize warmth and reduce weight. Although just as a precaution, some people do have trouble getting comfortable in these and don't like them as much as the traditional rectangular sleeping bags as they can be somewhat restrictive.

    Remember to always layer up your clothing as well to keep warm and keep from hypothermia....having extra layers enables you to remove one or more when you start to sweat, so that your body can cool off and it doesn't freeze. Our Pacific NorthWest hoodies & crewneck sweaters are the perfect addition to any fall camping trip, you can check out our best sellers here

    6. Sleeping Pads! 

    sleeping pads

    For inexperienced campers, this is a critical piece of gear to have. Sleeping pads keep your body above the cold, heat-sucking ground which in turn, help insulate your body while you sleep. This is one of the most important things you can do to stay warm at night. For example, any survivalist in fall or cold weather situations without proper gear will cut down pine boughs to make a bed of boughs in order to keep themselves off the ground. It's extremely important so make sure to pick yourself up a quality, good rated, closed-cell pad and don't be afraid to double it up with another foam pad if needed. 


    7. Purchase a Cold Weather Rated Tent

    3 season tent


    Consider buying a high quality three-season tent. Make sure it includes a full rain fly to keep moisture out. Always bring a tarp or tent footprint to place underneath your tent to protect from moisture seeping in. We always recommend bringing an extra tarp to set up over the top of your rainfly just as added insurance incase of those really bad rain storms.

    Thanks for reading our top 7 Tips for Fall Camping in the PNW and remember to do your homework, bundle up, pack the correct gear and stay safe so you can enjoy the stunning autumn foliage & season!

     

     

    Top 3 Back to School Hikes in Squamish, British Columbia

    Top 3 Back to School Hikes in Squamish, British Columbia

    Squamish, BC is known for some of the best hikes in Canada and is home to some of our favourite Pacific North West hikes. This list covers our teams top hikes for all levels including beginners and intermediates.

    #1 STAWAMUS CHIEF

    Hike Rank: Beginner - Intermediate
    Time: 2-3 hours one way
    Distance: 11KM total (around 5.5km each way)
    Elevation: 600m
    Drive: 1 Hour from Vancouver
    Public Transit: No
    Dog Friendly: Yes

    Stawamus Chief, also just called, the Chief, rises high above the town of Squamish and is one of the most popular hiking & rock climbing destinations in the area that offers scenic views of Howe Sound and several mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park. This is one of our favourite hikes because hikers can choose which peaks they want to summit based on their hiking experiences and skill level. Additionally, there’s camping available at the base of the Chief if you want to make a weekend getaway out of it or just camp for a night. To reach the highest peak takes around 3 hours so it can be completed in a day or hikers can just choose to do a shorter trip to the South Peak that still offers a spectacular view. Definitely a must do on your back to school hiking list. 


    #2 SEA TO SUMMIT TRAIL



    Hike Rank: Intermediate
    Time: 3.5-4 hrs one way
    Distance: 7.5 km
    Elevation gain: 949m
    Drive: 1 Hour from Vancouver
    Public Transit: No
    Dog Friendly: Yes

    The Sea To Summit Trail in Squamish, BC, is a steep hiking trail that begins at the bottom of the Sea To Sky Gondola and finishes at the lodge at the top. About an hours drive from Vancouver, it’s one of the classic hikes in the area, usually draws less crowds and is less steep than the Chief. The Sea to Summit Trail is definitely one of the more rigorous hikes on our list, with a total hike time of 7-8 hours (3.5-4 hours each way). However, it comes with an incredible reward at the end.  with break taking views of Howe Sound, the Chief and surrounding scenery, it’s well worth the journey. At the top you can grab some refreshments and even take the Gondola ride down the mountain if you’re not feeling the trek down or just want to save those knees!

     

     

    #3 LIONS BAY LOOP

    Hike Rank: Easy
    Time: 2 hours
    Distance: 4.5 km
    Elevation gain: 175m
    Drive: 40 Minutes from Vancouver
    Public Transit: Yes
    Dog Friendly: Yes

    The Lions Bay Loop starts from the General Store and Cafe and follows several hiking trails, passing scenic viewpoints of Crystal Falls and Howe Sound. The trails that make up the loop include the Centennial Trail, the Crystal Falls Trail, the Soundview Trail, and the Harrison Trail, before returning to the start on the Centennial Trail. This is a great easy hike to do with family or friends whether to start off your hiking season or just going out for a fun weekend day trip. It’s close proximity to Vancouver and amazing views make it one of our top beginner hikes in Squamish.

    We hope you enjoyed our Top 3 Back to School Hikes in Squamish, BC and always remember to stay safe out there, bring lots of water and snacks and make sure you bring the correct footwear and clothing. As the temperature starts to cool down this Autumn, you'll want to bundle up with some warmer clothing especially on some of those higher elevation hikes. Our pacific northwest hoodies & sweaters are a great way to stay cozy on those cool autumn days or foggy mornings, you can see our best sellers here! 

    5 Amazing Day Hikes In Vancouver, BC This Summer!

    5 Amazing Day Hikes In Vancouver, BC This Summer!

    5 Amazing Day Hikes Near Vancouver, British Columbia



    As Vancouver's hottest days are upon us, this is the perfect time to start planning some day hikes in the Pacific NorthWest! 

    What I find most amazing about our home base in Vancouver is living in an urban environment but still having amazing backcountry wilderness on our doorstep. All of these 5 hikes are within 1-2 hours driving distance from the city of Vancouver and they can be completed in a single day. 

    1. Dog Mountain

    The Dog Mountain bluffs offer the best-hike-to-view ratio in the Lower Mainland. It is a quick 25 minutes drive from downtown and it only takes about 1 or 2 hours to complete.

    The trailhead begins just past the Bear’s Paw lodge at the far end of the Mount Seymour parking lot. In the summer, the Dog Mountain bluffs and the other ridgelines higher up in Mount Seymour Provincial Park are an excellent place to watch meteor showers and observe the northern lights. While you can’t camp on the Dog Mountain bluffs, there are many backcountry camping spots in the park where you can camp with a view of the sparkling lights of Vancouver from your campsite.

    2. Stawamus Chief

    Photo by OutdoorVancouver.ca 

    The Stawamus Chief, or “The Chief”, is the second largest free standing granite outcropping in the world (after the Rock of Gibraltar). There are three domed summits you can hike to, all accessed by a trail that starts on the side of Stawamus Chief Provincial Park near Shannon Falls. The lowest dome takes about 3 hours and the highest dome takes 5 hours (all times are return trips).

    The Chief in Squamish is also a world-famous rock climbing destination. Many professional climbers will spend the summer months living in the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park campground at the base. There are also day climbing tours available in the nearby town of Squamish to climb one of the many challenges routes on the front face.

    For more info feel free to check out this link by Outdoor Vancouver

    3. St. Mark’s Summit



    A spectacular view over the mouth of Howe Sound. You can see Bowen Island on top left, the smaller Anvil Island to the right and the mountains of Vancouver Island fade into the clouds in the distance.

    St Mark’s summit is an intermediate hike that starts by the Cypress Mountain day lodge. It winds 11 km along the Howe Sound Crest Trail. It takes about 5 hours to get to the summit and back.

    If you’re really ambitious and you want to hike the entire Howe Crest Sound Trail it takes 1-2 days to hike the full 32 km. There are many other mountains along the trail that have much better views like the Binkert Lions, Unnecessary Mountain and Mount Harvey, but St. Mark’s Summit is the easiest hike and the other peaks can be difficult to reach until mid-to-late summer when the snow has melted.

    4. Mount Cheam

    Mount Cheam is the highest peak in the Fraser Valley but also one of the easiest climbs thanks to a logging road that gets you within a one-hour hike of the summit. The road is snowed-in for most of the year so the best time to go is between July and October.

    The backcountry forest road can be accessed from Chilliwack Lake road and you will need a 4×4 vehicle. You can find more information on how to get there on the Mount Cheam hike page provided by Vancouver Trails.

    5. Garibaldi Lake

    The view of the aqua blue waters of Garibaldi Lake and Mount Garibaldi from the Panorama Ridge.

    The 3-hour hike up to Garibaldi Lake is a tedious trek along seemingly endless switchbacks. But once you arrive at Garibaldi Lake you will be blown away by just how insanely beautiful this glacial lake is. While it can be done in a day, it is better to spend a few days at the beautiful campground along the southern shore.

    Book ahead at the Garibaldi Lake Provincial Park campground and from there you can hike to Panorama Ridge, the Battleship Islands, Black Tusk (a highly recommended 3 hour hike from the campground where you can see Whistler and the Pacific Ocean from the same peak), Cheakamus Lake and the amazing wildflowers in the Black Tusk meadows (best seen between the middle of July and middle of August).

    There you have it, our 5 Amazing Day Hikes in Vancouver, BC this Summer! Looking to Rep Your Pacific NorthWest on the trails? Pick up your PNW Lifestyle Swag here

    After a Decade, Oregon's 40-Mile Hike is Finally Opening

    After a Decade, Oregon's 40-Mile Hike is Finally Opening

    The Pacific Northwest is famous for its rocky peaks, bright mineral lakes, and national parks, and with hiking season upon us, the states that make up Cascadia will soon be buzzing with backpackers. This year, a beloved Oregon hiking trail will be rejoining the ranks after spending an entire decade under repair.

    The Timberline Trail is an easily-accessible backpacking route that wraps around Mount Hood, just outside of Portland, running at 38.4 miles long and reaching 8,000 feet high at its peak. After suffering a debris wash-out in 2006, the disrupted section of the path was repaired last September, making this spring season the first time in a decade that adventurers can once again take on the entire trail uninterrupted.


    Taking an average of four days and three nights to traverse, the challenging hike is labeled as 'difficult' and requires preparation and experience – but the beauty of the classic Oregon route is definitely worth the sweat. Providing views of the Cascade volcanoes (including Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, and the Three Sisters), the stunning and renowned trail also provides views of the western Coast Range, Portland city, the Williamette River, the Columbia River, and the eastern desert.

    Do you rep your Pacific NorthWest Lifestyle while on the trail? Check out all our Pacific NorthWest Clothing Best Seller's here

    GUIDE TO VANCOUVER'S CHERRY BLOSSOMS

    GUIDE TO VANCOUVER'S CHERRY BLOSSOMS

    GUIDE TO VANCOUVER'S CHERRY BLOSSOMS

    BEST PLACES TO VIEW CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN VANCOUVER

    Vancouver’s many parks and gardens are ideal showcases for the beloved trees, but there are also a number of urban places to view these pink and white beauties.

    • Queen Elizabeth Park touts several varieties of cherry trees, which bloom at different intervals from early March to late April
    • Stanley Park also has rows of blossoming trees near the formal rose garden and the Japanese Canadian WWI war memorial
    • VanDusen Botanical Garden boasts more than 100 cherry trees, representing 24 varieties. 
    • For a truly peaceful (and cultural) experience, make sure to visit the Nitobe Memorial Garden at UBC, where you’ll find colourful cherry trees in a traditional Japanese garden setting. 
    • Walk beneath a canopy of blooms at the downtown Burrard SkyTrain station, around Vancouver’s City Hall at West 12th and Cambie, and along Yew Street in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood

    VANCOUVER CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL EVENTS

    Each year, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival introduces an array of events to celebrate the blooming of the trees. From bike rides to art classes, these community activities bring people together to enjoy the natural splendor of spring.

    CHERRY JAM DOWNTOWN

    Burrard Skytrain station

    The official festival kick-off is a culturally rockin’ good time with performances that honour Vancouver’s multicultural heritage — all amid a sea of cherry blossoms, of course.

    PLEIN-AIR BLOSSOM PAINTING

    VanDusen Botanical Garden

    Plein-air instructors lead watercolour, pastel, oil and acrylic painters in art-making sessions right inside the garden, helping them to capture its cherry trees, rhododendrons, crocuses and many other plants in their work.

    TREE TALKS & WALKS

    Various locations

    Six walks through some of Vancouver’s spectacular spring gardens are led by notable tree enthusiasts who help visitors find the city’s most beautiful blooms, talk about their origins and help identify different varieties.

    SAKURA DAYS JAPAN FAIR

    VanDusen Botanical Garden

    Vancouver’s original 500 cherry trees were a gift from the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama in the 1930s, thanking the city for honoring Japanese Canadians who served in WWI. Celebrating the city’s long friendship with Japan, this family-friendly festival-within-a-festival includes tea ceremonies, ikebana (flower-arranging classes), sake tasting, geisha dances, taiko drumming, kimono demonstrations, Japanese cuisine and much more.

    BIKE THE BLOSSOMS

    Visitors are invited to view the cherry trees from atop two wheels with Velopalooza, enjoying a guided ride that weaves through Vancouver’s most blossom-laden neighbourhoods.

    HAIKU INVITATIONAL

    The cherry trees are sure to spark a creative sensation in all who witness them, and poets and non-poets alike are invited to submit haikus on the subject to festival organizers. The winning poets’ works will be published on the festival’s website.

    Source: Tourism Vancouver