Although most Cascade and Olympic hiking trails generously reward with gorgeous, balsam-scented vistas, they vary greatly in character as a result of their unique interactions of features and elements: in a very apt sense, their terroir. As a companion to conventional hiking guides, which provide trail information in mostly written form, HesperosFlown.com affords photographic glimpses of what may be seen on given trails to help choose one you’re in a mood to hike, for example, shadowy, riverine woodland, sky-topped alpine meadows, venerable old-growth giants, seasonal flora, etc., as well as hints at what hidden gems you may find along the way — after all, the bug’s-eye view is often as spectacular as the bird’s-eye view! Conventional hiking guides and other reference materials remain a valuable wealth of additional information, including maps, elevation gains, others’ recent trip reports with current conditions, etc. Where available, HesperosFlown.com has embedded “Additional Trail Info” links to such other resources at the beginning of each trail’s profile.
The trails “HesperosFlown” are listed as links in the menus on the right side of each page on this site. Each trail is profiled in photographs from beginning to end. (For this purpose, the photos are intended more for informational purposes than as art and also include images of less attractive trail features where relevant.) Where a single trail or interconnecting trails lead to multiple destinations, each destination’s segment is profiled on its own page, with links to the other segments inserted where they branch from the featured trail. The photos are dated to help provide a sense of what may be seen at specific times of year, especially such ephemera as bursting buds, starring wildflowers, and autumn hues. To the extent that featured trailside plant and animal species can be identified with reasonable certainty, their common and species names are included (although they should not be relied upon to determine suitability for consumption).
Before taking to the trail, be sure to check the weather forecast and, where snow is present, avalanche forecast for the area you will be hiking. Many mountainsides that are completely benign in the drought of summer are swept by potentially deadly avalanches in winter and spring — including some traversed by trails profiled on HesperosFlown.com. (Individual trail profiles note those with well-known avalanche risk.) Also, pay close attention to the specific pass and permit required for your selected trail, which is generally dependent upon the state, federal, or tribal agency that administers the land around the trail, although it can also vary between locations managed by the same entity. (HesperosFlown.com has included information about required passes and permits at the beginning of each trail profile.) Finally, nothing substitutes for common sense in getting you back home safely. Only you can determine whether you are physically fit enough to engage in the strenuous activity required to visit some of the amazing places profiled on HesperosFlown.com. And, if an iffy-looking ledge or snowfield doesn’t look or feel right to you (regardless of what other hikers are doing), don’t attempt it. Nature will still be there for the next visit – so should you!
Feel free to leave questions, comments, or your own trip reports in the reply section at the bottom of each profile page.