We are still buzzing with the excitement of announcing our two brand new summer adventure trips for teens! Spoiler alert: they’re both in the Pacific Northwest. Our logistics magicians have been working away to create the best possible itineraries, jam packed with outdoor adventure, amazing vistas, and wild beauty. This region captures our hearts as outdoor adventurers for many reasons, but let’s start by talking about some of our favorites.
1. Wildflower Bloom
Early to mid-July through August is the perfect time to witness a natural phenomena that backpackers come from all over the world to see. The wildflower blooms of Mt. Rainier National Park. Although there’s no way to predict the exact moment these spectacular subalpine flowers will bloom, early July is an excellent time to hit the trails and hope for the stars to align. If you want to get a head start on your flower identification skills, you can visit the National Parks Service page here.
2. Climb like the Clif Bar Guy
Ever wondered what rocky ledge the Clif Bar climber is hanging off of? Clif Bar acknowledged on social media that their iconic logo is inspired by the Chain Reaction route in Smith Rock State Park. Smith Rock is the birthplace of American sport climbing and is home to thousands of climbing routes. As a historical landmark of the climbing world, Smith Rock’s fame can be daunting to those just starting out. Not to worry–Smith Rock also has some of the best beginner routes to learn on.
3. Hike on an Active Stratovolcano
Mt. Rainier is the jewel of the Cascade Range, but this beauty has a heart of fire. At 14,411 ft., it is the highest peak in Washington State and also the most glaciated. It’s high, steep sides and conical shape make for a breathtaking landmark. The slopes of Mt. Rainier are the origin of 5 major rivers that feed more than 1oo waterfalls in the National Park. Although intimidating, this formidable peak hasn’t seen an eruption since the 1800s.
4. A Real Life Octopus’s Garden
On Oregon’s windswept coast, Cannon Beach is instantly recognizable by one dramatic landmark. Haystack Rock, rising 235 ft. above the crashing surf, is a basalt sea stack that dominates the intertidal zone. Haystack Rock isn’t just impressive to look at. Sheltered under it’s crags and crevices, a haven of marine life thrives. Designated as a one of Oregon’s seven Marine Gardens, Haystack Rock is an important environment for marine invertebrates, birds, and fish. The tidepools offer refuge to vibrant anemones, sea stars, nudibranchs, crabs, and many more.
5. Nature’s Most Diverse Playground
The Pacific Northwest has it all. From soaring summits to crashing waves, the ecosystems found in this special corner of our country are as varied as they are unique. Within a few hours drive, old growth forest dripping with moss gives way to the sage brush of the high desert. Canyons and gorges become rolling hills dotted with small farms. Pine studded buttes rise against some of America’s tallest mountains. The Pacific Northwest is a true treasure, but not the type that should be jealously guarded. It’s all of our duty to protect this remarkable place and it’s our privilege to share its wonder with others.