August 2016
News from the Trail

A quick note from your new Executive Director

North Cascades National Park. Taken during Jeff's 2014 PNT thru-hike.

As we look toward September, we consider transition.  

Our thru-hikers will soon be wiggling their calloused toes in the wet sand of the Wilderness Coast; ready to hand the baton to the class of 2017, who will begin planning their own adventures soon.  

PNTA trail crews will be wrapping up a fruitful summer of trail maintenance, and like homing pigeons, the fleet of tools we sent out across the region this spring will be returning to our headquarters to roost.  

In the office, we are undergoing change as well.  I'd like to thank our Interim Executive Director, Reed Waite, for taking great care of our organization this summer, and as I step into my new role, I'd like to thank all of you for the support that has brought us to this moment.

All my best,

Jeff Kish

Joining together to scout a better future for the PNT.
Scouting new trail on the slopes of Mount Baker.

In the early days of the Pacific Northwest Trail, two routes were envisioned from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean.  The first was a practical route that was ready to hike immediately.  The second was an ideal route that the early PNT pioneers hoped would be built in the future.  This ideal route would do away with road-walking, stay "high for the views," and showcase the absolute best of what the pacific northwest has to offer.

This month, Pacific Northwest Trail Association staff, employees of the Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and volunteers from SWITMO joined together to scout a potential relocation for the Pacific Northwest Trail.  High on the flanks of Mount Baker, the crew traversed below glacier-fed waterfalls, walked among the tracks of mountain goats and elk, and enjoyed a stunning panorama of Mount Shuksan, the Glacier Peak Wilderness, and beyond.  

While we talked about what it would take to construct this new segment of trail, it became apparent that we were already building some of the most important bridges that day.  I'm excited about a future of strong bonds, shared visions, and the kind of teamwork that will make the ideal PNT route practical.

Learn more about our partners at SWITMO.


PNTA raises awareness of the PNT along the PCT.

Did you know that for 13 miles in the Pasayten Wilderness, you can travel two National Scenic Trails at the same time?  Last weekend was the 10th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days event in Cascade Locks OR, and the PNTA was there to make sure attendees knew the answer.  

PCT Days has grown into one of the largest long distance trail events in the country, and many in the crowd are veteran hikers and equestrians, looking for their next adventure. Interest in the PNTA booth was high from the start, and it was immediately apparent that our fledgling National Scenic Trail was capturing the hearts and minds of the greater long distance trail community.

Learn more about PCT Days.

PNT thru-hiker sightings in Sedro-Woolley.

It's our favorite time of the year here in Sedro-Woolley:

Westbound thru-hikers are in town and hiking by the office to say "hello!"

When we aren't out on the trail ourselves, it's always great to see the smiling faces of those who are.  Thanks for letting us be a part of your adventures!

Happy hiking!

Idaho Regional Subcommittee to meet in Sandpoint.
The Idaho Regional Subcommittee of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council will be meeting in Sandpoint ID on September 13th to discuss potential reroutes of the Pacific Northwest Trail in that state.  The meeting is open to the public, and Subcommittee Chair Brad Smith is hoping for more participation as alternatives are refined to present to the full council in November.  

The subcommittee meeting will begin at 1:00 pm on September 13, 2016

Sandpoint Ranger Station
1602 Ontario Street
Sandpoint, ID 83864

Fire season is heating up in Washington State.
Currently, fires in Olympic National Park are impeding thru-hiker travel through the east side of the park. Until conditions change, thru-hikers are advised to use the Olympic Discovery Trail from Port Townsend to Port Angeles to rejoin the PNT from Hurricane Ridge.

In addition:

1) Washington DNR has issued a statewide ban on campfires.
2) Washington State Parks have issued a statewide ban on campfires.
3) Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is allowing fires only in established campgrounds and congressionally designated wilderness areas.
4) Colville National Forest  is allowing fires only in established campgrounds. Smoking is prohibited.

Please travel responsibly, be safe out there, and help protect the trail for future users!

If you've got photos or stories that you'd like to share with the Pacific Northwest Trail Association community, contact Jeff at to be featured in the next addition of the newsletter.