This is a professionally-guided hike sponsored by the Wolf College, and permissions have been secured from regulating agencies. Our All-Day Saturday Hikes normally cost $65 per adult, and $45 per accompanied youth, but as part of our Northwest Nature Hikes kick-off, we are offering this hike to everyone at the youth rate, so the total cost is $45 per person for this hike. $15 non-refundable deposits are required to reserve your space, with the balance due before we start the hike. The non-refundable deposit is designed to be high enough to cover our administrative expenses and make sure almost all the people who register do show up, but low enough for you to stomach in case you don't want to attend due to "bad" weather, illness, etc.
Join us for another great Northwest Nature Hike into the Mima Mounds Natural Area and Capitol State Forest with Kim & Chris Chisholm, specialists in survival, birding, wildlife tracking, wild edible and medicinal plants, and other outdoors skills they've gained from years as volunteers for King County Search & Rescue, as students of various schools and universities, as directors of the Wolf College since 1997.
Hike Focus: Recent research has made the mystery of the Mima Mounds all the more mysterious, so we're going to share the many plausible and competing theories about how they were created. We'll also stop frequently to learn about the edible and medicinal plants of these rare Western Washington prairies, watch for all the resident raptors and other birds, plus investigate geologic features useful for crafts like making stone knives, arrowheads and other crafts. If the weather is rainy most of the time, we will focus this hike mostly on map/compass navigation in order to keep moving toward Mima Falls before looping in a circle to our starting point. If there are enough participants to separate into 2 groups, you can choose whether to hike at a more vigorous pace with Chris, or at a more leisurely pace with Kim.
Just as important, the Mima Mounds are a prairie habitat that features the rare and edible Blue Camas so important to our natural history, as well as a plethora of other wildflowers which are in bloom during May. It's spectacular!
Hike Description: Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mima_mounds and view http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/eng_rms_capmapnu_may2.pdf especially the detail of Middle Waddell, Margaret McKinney & Mima Falls.
Difficulty Level: Moderate. Should normally be able to walk 5 miles with a day pack.
Required Gear: The 10 Essentials are highly recommended for every hike, including rain gear, waterproof hiking boots, and a headlamp among the other items.
Rules: Registration form with liability waiver must be signed at start of hike. Dogs: During the half hour we are at Mima Mounds Natural Area, dogs must stay in vehicles per DNR Rules, but we will loop back to get them and move over to the Capitol Forest Mima Falls Campground Trailhead and then well-behaved dogs are welcome (including our Lily the border collie) on leash at all times.
Stump The Chumps: Have you ever wondered about the identity of plants and trees while you've been hiking, let alone their gifts of food, medicine and other uses? Have you ever noticed all the scratch marks on the ground and trees and wondered if they were made by bear, cougar, squirrel or porcupine? Have you ever gotten lost and wished you could remember how to use map and compass to find your way? Do you want to ensure greater health, safety and success on the trail with skills of wilderness survival and seasoned backcountry guides? See if you can "stump the chumps" by asking Chris & Kim all the questions you can think of during today's hike, and you might come away with what we hope will be one of the best hiking experiences of your life.
Additional Fees: If you meet us at the hike location, then a Washington State Discover Pass is required, but otherwise, besides travel and acquiring your 10 essentials needed to be safe on any hike, there are no extra expenses associated with this hike unless you want to carpool from Vancouver, Tacoma or Olympia, in which case please give drivers $5-$20 as described below.
Directions & Carpooling Maps: Either meet directly at Mima Mounds Natural Area Parking Area by 10:00 AM, or:
If you are coming from the north, then carpool at 9:30 AM from Tumwater Falls Park - Falls Terrace Restaurant (park in slots up the street) in Olympia WA with $5 to drivers, or at 9:00 AM from the Tacoma REI with $10 to drivers, or further north with $15-$35 to drivers if any from: Kitsap Peninsula http://goo.gl/maps/lVjN4; or Seattle-Renton-Tacoma http://goo.gl/maps/VXEZ8; or Bellevue-Renton-Puyallup http://goo.gl/maps/u92Jd
if you are coming from the south, then carpool at 8:45 AM from the Safeway Starbucks at 411 Three Rivers Dr in Kelso with $15 to drivers, or at 8:00 AM from the Burgerville at the I-5 / I-205 interchange, 13309 NE Hwy 99, Vancouver WA 98686 with $20 to drivers: http://goo.gl/maps/6Q8ng