Gas Going Up. Hop on a Bus.
We're looking for ideas on using public transit to reach hiking trails.
For most hikers, getting out and enjoying nature comes with an environmental downside: burning the fuel to get to the trailhead.
This spring, with gas prices climbing, there'll be a serious ding to the pocketbook, too. Drive a Jeep Cherokee from Vancouver to White Salmon and you're looking at $26 in gas. A jaunt from Everett to Leavenworth will be $28 in a Subaru Outback. Even a reasonably short round trip from Seattle to Snoqualmie Pass in a Honda Civic Wagon is going to cost you $18.
Hikers attempt to mitigate their carbon bootprint and the wallet ding by various strategies, often by meeting other hikers at park and rides and packing as many as people as possible into the vehicle with the best gas mileage. But, as a recent piece in Washington Trails shows, there is another option and one that is better suited to hikers who aren't hiking in a large group.
Take the bus.
In The Great Outdoors by Bus, Leslie Leber describes two Issaquah Alps hiking destinations that are easily accesible by bus, Poo Poo Point and West Tiger #3 Summit.
We are planning to run a follow up piece in the fall edition of Washington Trails that will cover trailheads that are deeper in the backcountry. Here's where you come in. We need your ideas on what trips to investigate this summer.
Have you ever used mass public transit (bus, train, ferry) to reach a backcountry trailhead in Washington? Any tips for your fellow hikers, and would-be-bussers? Leave your suggestions (details, please!) in a comment below, or email them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know that travelling to trailheads by bus isn't for everyone, and that it certainly isn't feasible for all trips. But it is possible for some trips and if hikers want to have any more public transit that reaches the backcountry, we've got to use the options that exist now. Use it or lose it, as they say.