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12 Inspiring Trip Reports from 2016

Posted by Jessi Loerch at Dec 22, 2016 11:30 AM |

We find inspiration from trip reporters all year long. They help us discover new wonders and revisit our old favorites. Here are 12 trip reports that kept us inspired in 2016.

All year long, our trip reporters inspire us. Sometimes they inspire us to try a new trail. Or to re-hike an old favorite. Often they encourage us to look at something in a little different way. In 2016, we've received more than 19,600 trip reports. Those reports are a priceless resource—thank you for each and every one.

We can't possibly pick out just 12 favorite trip reports from the year—there are too many to choose from! But we did look back through the year and found 12 trip reports (one per month) that inspired us in one way or another.

So, take a look back at 2016 with us. And then, when you take your next hike, let us know how it was.


From middle of Lanham Lake looking north toward our camp

Xibixibi started off 2016 in style, with an overnight trip to Lanham Lake. We think sleeping in the snow on the first day of the year shows you're willing to tackle any challenges the year will throw at you. And, as xibixibi was well-prepared for the trip (four-season tent, snowshoes, cold-weather gear), it turned out to be a lovely first hike of the year.


The completed restoration.

Ryan Ojerio reminded us how much fun trail work can be year-round with a report from a trip he led at Coyote Wall. Also? You can totally go camping in February! Ryan and his team did. Because it was early in the year, they were able to transplant grasses to help rehabilitate areas and count on the spring rains to keep them healthy.


View from the lake.

There's nothing quite as inspiring as a new hiker. Uphill took his nephew on his very first hike, a trip up to Heather Lake. Sounds like Uphill has the right idea for converting a new hiker and they took their time on the trip. "We talked a lot about the geography, the rocks, the old growth stumps, the 'newer' trees. We both took a lot of pictures. We stopped often on the way up to just breathe the air and enjoy nature in her glory."



Wolfwoman inspired us with a group backpack trip on the Yakima Skyline Trail—and reminded us of the value of re-visiting an old favorite trail. Wolfwoman said it was a great early-season shakedown hike—and a chance to revisit a trail she'd done 15 years ago. Even better, Wolfwoman does a ton of hiking all year, and it's great to see how many great places she's managed to visit in a single year.


changing skyline over the twin sisters

Jess Kay celebrated her birthday in the best way we know: with a hike. A backpack, to be more precise. She and her boyfriend headed up Ridley Creek for an overnight trip. Her trip report is full of useful details, and the photos make us want to head out the door right now.


Crossing the second snowfield with Big Four in the background

We love to see a kid in a backpack! Mbravenboer hiked Mount Dickerman with his family, including their dog and 16-month-old son in late June. They worked hard to keep him engaged on the trip by pointing out trees, flowers and butterflies. It's great to see a kid get a good introduction to the outdoors at a young age.


Wildflowers approaching the peak/summit

Flowers! Wildflower season is one of our favorite times of year. Timgjefle captured some lovely photos from the Abercrombie Mountain Trail in Eastern Washington. It makes us want to add several hikes to our to-do list. It also reminded those of us who are based on the west side that we really need to venture to the eastern side of the state more often.


Meadows along Fisher Creek

Brownie gave back to trails in a big way with a WTA Backcountry Response Team work party at Fisher Creek. They found some incredible views, but had to work for them! The hike was rigorous, and that was before they even started on the actual trail work. That said, it reminded us all that those trails won't maintain themselves. (And made us eager to check out next year's BCRTs when they're posted in February.)


Just past Golden Lakes

Stuke Sowle is the very definition of inspiring. His trip reports encourage us to reconsider what's possible in a single day. Stuke is a master of mileage. In September, he ran the Wonderland Trail in just two days, with a rest day in between. While that level of challenge might not be for everyone, it's always good to reset your definition of what's possible. Stuke's also a pro at stringing together trails to create a longer trip, so his trip reports are always fascinating.


Looking up from Ed's Trail

It took a couple of tries, but rosemarylp hiked Ed's Trail. It turns out that it's a bit easier to find from the other direction. We appreciate that she gave it a try again, and that she posted a trip report with what she learned. This is why we love our trip reporters—lots of inspiration mixed in with useful info.


just a picture of me.....

We've been enjoying Barbara's trip reports for the last few months. Barbara, who usually uses a walker, has recently started hiking. Sometimes she uses trekking poles and sometimes her walker, but we admire that she always takes time to get outside. On one trip in November, she took a hike at Cowiche Canyon between errands. Way to work hiking into your everyday life!


British Soldier Lichen

Bob and Barb are always a reliable source of inspiration, posting great trip reports all year long. (At last count they have filed 891 trip reports!) Recently they hiked at Dosewallips State Park and posted a sweet trip report. We love the detail photos they included of lichen and red berries in the snow. That's the sort of thing that inspires us to grab our warm clothes and head outside!

Has a trip report inspired you?

Thank you, everyone, for telling us about trails all year long. We can't wait to see what you do in 2017. If you have a favorite trip report or trip reporter from 2016, we'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment below.