Practice fire safety this Labor Day weekend

August 30, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 30, 2014

This three-day Labor Day weekend, fire experts with the Washington Department of Natural Resources are urging campers, hikers, woodcutters and other forest visitors to be especially careful with fire this weekend. Despite some recent rain and cooler weather, fire danger remains high.

“Even though our large fires have been contained, we are still seeing new fires,” Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a news release. “We’re asking people to be extremely cautious over the Labor Day weekend.”

In an effort to reduce human-caused wildfires, the department issued a statewide burn ban on all lands under department protection, effective through Sept. 30. The ban applies to all forestlands in Washington state, except federal lands. While campfires are allowed in approved pits west of the Cascade crest in all state, local and private campgrounds, they are not allowed east of the Cascades.

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Discover hidden trails of Tiger Mountain on July 19 hike

July 15, 2014

Join the Mountains to Sound Greenway July 19 for a guided hike of the “Hidden Trails of Tiger Mountain” and discover your new favorite retreat on the mountain.

Only 25 spots are left.

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Mason Lake offers worthy payoff for strenuous hike

July 16, 2013

The Alpine Lakes Wilderness area covers 390,000 acres of pine-shrouded mountains dotted with lakes tucked away in bowl-shaped valleys in the North Cascades. While much of the area is difficult to access, Mason Lake is in King County, and reachable in a somewhat challenging day hike along the Ira Spring Trail.

The hike is about 3 miles each way, with an elevation gain of about 2,500 feet. It starts easily enough — a wide trail shaded by leafy trees and a fairly gradual incline.

By Susie Kim The first look at Mason Lake appears as hikers come up from just below the water level.

By Susie Kim
The first look at Mason Lake appears as hikers come up from just below the water level.

After the first half-mile or so, a small waterfall uphill creates a stream (which makes its way to the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River) that cuts across the trail.

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