Hiking Washington's History

Judith M. Bentley

  • Published: 2010
  • Subject Listing: History / Western History; Pacific Northwest / History; Travel
  • Bibliographic information: 304 pp., 36 illus., 8.5 x 5.5 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

Hiking Washington's History reveals the stories embedded in Washington's landscape. This trail guide narrates forty historic trails, ranging from short day hikes to three- or four-day backpacking trips over mountain passes. Every region in the state is included, from the northwesternmost tip of the continental United States at Cape Flattery to the remote Blue Mountains in the southeast. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the region's history followed by individual trail narratives and historical highlights. Quotes from diaries, journals, letters, and reports, as well as contemporary and historic photographs, describe sites and trails from Washington's past. Each trail description includes a map and provides directions, so hikers can follow the historic route. Judy Bentley tells readers how to get there, what to expect, and what to look for.

Despite Washington State's rapid growth, a remarkable number of historic trails have been preserved in national parks, restored by cities and towns, returned to public use by the railroads, or opened to hikers by Native American tribes. Some trails, such as the Iron Goat Trail, have been fully restored and interpreted. Others, such as the Naches Pass Trail, have been abused but survive. Some are easily accessible, such as the Duwamish River Trail in Seattle and the Spokane House trails near Spokane. Others, such as Chief Joseph's Summer Trail, require a half-day journey just to reach the trailhead.

Hiking Washington's History is for hikers, amateur historians, newcomers unfamiliar with the state's history, and Northwest natives who know only part of that history. Savor the vicarious experience of a hike from a cozy chair on a rainy winter day, or put your boots on and hit the trail when the sun shines.

Watch the book trailer:
Judy Bentley , who teaches at South Seattle Community College, is an avid hiker and the author of fourteen books for young adults.

"This book samples the landscape and history of the entire state, and is well organized, well researched, and well written. Its pages add a new dimension to hikes by linking our footfalls with those of the past."
-Ruth Kirk

"Judy Bentley has gathered a selection of favorite hikes from all over the state, then folded in just the right amount of historical context to make each of the treks pulsate through time."
-Jack Nisbet, author of The Collector


The Olympic Peninsula
1. Cape Flattery
2. lake Ozette to Capte Alava
3. Press Expedition, Elwah River
4. O'Neil Pass
5. Dodger Point Lookout

Puget Sound
6. Duwamish River
7. Medicine Creek Treaty Grounds
8. Elbey's Landing and Prarie
9. Coal Creek to Redtown

The North Cascades
10. Cascade Pass to Stehekin
11. Monte Cristo Townsite
12. Old Robe Canyon
13. Iron Goat Trail
14. Ladies Pass
15. Desolation Peak

The Central Cascades
16. Yakima Pass
17. Coal Mines Trail
18. Iron Horse Trail
19. Snoqualmie Wagon Road

The South Cascades
20. Kalama't: Indian Heaven and Racetrack
21. Klickitat Trail
22. Naches Pass
23. Indian Henry's Hunting Ground
24. Yacolt Burn
25. Mount St. Helens

Central Washington
26. Colockum Pass Road
27. The Grand Coulee and Steamboat Rock
28. Northrup Canyon
29. Coulee City Stagecouch Road
30. Lower Crab Creek

Northeastern Washington
31. Kettle Falls
32. Spokane Centennial Trail
33. Cariboo Trail
34. Columbia Peak

Southeastern Washington
35. Palouse Canyon
36. Chief Joseph's Summer Trail
37. Two Sisters / Two Captains
38. Mullan Road

The Lower Columbia River
39. Horsethief Lake
40. Columbia Hills
41. The Cascades
42. Cape Disappointment

Source Notes

"Comprehensive and well-researched, Bentley's trail guide breathes life into Washington state's natural landscapes by linking trails to historical events. . . . Whether you're interested in hiking or history, this read satisfies an urge for either."
-The Green Life, Sierra Club

"Bentley's is the best kind of guidebook: intelligent, well-researched and easy to use."
-The Oregonian

"Hiking Icicle Ridge near Leavenworth, you might wonder who all those women were that so many of the lakes are named after. Along the Cape Flattery Trail... you might wonder how the area's earliest human inhabitants not only managed to eke out a living along the rocky, stormy Pacific coastline, but to actually thrive while doing so. Or on the Yacolt Burn Trail, south of Mount St. Helens, you might find yourself wondering what exactly is it about this area that spurred Skamania County to declare itself the world's first Sasquatch refuge.... if history is your thing, Bentley's book makes an invaluable resource as well as a fun read."
-The Seattle Times

"Here is a wonderful book!. Whether you regard Hiking Washington's History as a history book disguised as a hiking guide, or a trail guide with historical anecdote, get yourself a copy of this book and start planning for adventures across the state in 2011!"
-Kitsap Sun