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You Know You're in Washington When...

Posted by Rachel Wendling at Aug 31, 2021 04:09 PM |

Washingtonians are known for our love of hiking and outdoor recreation. This love of trails often bleeds into a lot of other aspects of our lives, too, like the clothes we wear and the cars we drive.

Washingtonians are known for our love of hiking and outdoor recreation. And it's no surprise why — our state is home to over 3,900 trails and countless national, state, county and city parks to explore. This love of trails often bleeds into a lot of other aspects of our lives, too, like the clothes we wear and the cars we drive. With that in mind, here are seven ways that you know you're in Washington. 


You see a row of Subarus parked at every trailhead.

A row of various Subaru cars parked at a dirt trailhead.
Bonus points if at least one has a "WTA Member" decal in the rear window. Photo by Kristen Smith.

High-clearance vehicles and all-wheel-drive are not necessities for getting outdoors in Washington, but they can make those rocky, winding forest roads a bit easier to navigate.


You know that finding trail conditions will be a breeze.

A screenshot of the landing page.

Raise your hand if you've ever looked for a hike while on an out-of-state vacation and wished there was a trails association for every state! Washington hikers have filed nearly 200,000 trip reports on since 1997. Each one of those reports have helped the local hiking community get outside and do so safely.


You hike 4 miles uphill only to be greeted with this view:

Thick, low clouds completely obscuring the view from a scenic overlook on trail.
Iconic views. Photo by Rachel Wendling.

And you aren't even mad about it. (But if you really do want to find a clear view, the Hiking Guide can help — just scroll past the map & directions on any hike page to find a link to the latest weather forecast for that area.)


You run into a crew of volunteer trail workers.

A sign next to a trail reads "Volunteer Trail Work Ahead."
Even WTA staff unexpectedly run into trail crews during their day off hikes! Photo by Stasia Honnold.

Volunteering on trail is an incredible way to see how much work goes into every trail you hike. WTA hosts trail work parties all year long and no experience is necessary to sign up. We also provide the tools, hard hat and candy!


Your hiking wardrobe and "regular" wardrobe are eerily similar...

A hiker is dressed in layers of outdoor gear -- technical pants, a baselayer and puffy.
Was this photo taken in a cabin in the woods or a hip coffee shop? We may never know. Photo by Anna Roth.

... if not exactly the same. If you're on the search for some new or used gear — erm, clothes — head to our full collection of gear reviews. You can also find tips for how to deodorize, re-waterproof and rehabilitate your well-loved boots and jackets.


You know that hiking in the rain is actually pretty great.

Rainy day. Photo by Erika Haugen-Goodma.jpeg
All this green wouldn't be possible without our rainy season. Photo by Erika Haugen-Goodman.

Solitude? Yes. No bugs? Heck yes. Cooler temperatures and easy-to-find water sources? Sign me up. We love hiking in the rain, and with the right preparation and some extra caution, we think you will too.


Every dating site profile you see lists hiking as a hobby.

A dating profile for Hike-a-Thon spokesperson, Miles the Marmot, who is clearly a fan of hiking.

Every. Single. One.


T&C N on You Know You're in Washington When...

#3, absolutely! We've been to the peak of Church Mountain repeatedly, to see the 360 degree views. It's been in the cloud every time. But the wildflower meadows are so great, it's still an amazing hike.

Posted by:

T&C N on Sep 01, 2021 02:26 PM

tai__ on You Know You're in Washington When...

I’ve never actually seen the view from Mailbox Peak- it’s been socked in every time!
But it’s the journey, not the destination right? ;)

Posted by: on Sep 01, 2021 04:40 PM

Muledeer on You Know You're in Washington When...

#3 HA HA, " It should clear up at the top, looks like it's clearing up, let's wait a bit till it clears up, I need to dig my jacket out for lunch, we're skunked today" Old creaky kneed Washington hikers " If it's not a clear day I'm not wasting my limited energy going up, we'll do #6 along the river"

Posted by:

Muledeer on Sep 02, 2021 08:23 AM

WonderSmash on You Know You're in Washington When...

#3, were you following me up Mt Ellinor a couple weeks ago? That was almost the entire view!

Posted by:

WonderSmash on Sep 14, 2021 05:14 PM

bb on You Know You're in Washington When...

1. 2007 Forester
2. Recent Oregon trip, map with no details or list with no location reference.
3. Great day for a hike in old growth.
4. No, always just missed them.
5. There's a difference between hiking and regular?
6. Be prepared. Stop on the way home for hot drink and warm food.
7. No longer in play.

Posted by:

bb on Sep 17, 2021 04:22 PM