Joan Burton
Author Joan Burton was introduced to hiking as a child, and by the time she was a teenager, she had climbed the six highest mountains of Washington. Later, as a parent with growing children, she introduced not only her own family to the joys of outdoor exploring, but also members of the Girl Scout and Cub Scout groups of which she was leader. Burton is a long-time member of The Mountaineers, and a graduate of both the basic and intermediate climbing courses taught by that club.

After a number of years teaching high school English, Burton became program coordinator to the University of Washington Retirement Center, from which she has since retired. She has published several magazine articles on outdoor subjects; Best Hikes with Children: Western Washington and the Cascades was her first book. Since then she has co-authored Urban Walks: 23 Walks Through Seattle’s Parks and Neighborhoods with Duse McLean, published by Thistle Press, and a new book best hikes with KIDS with Ira Spring published by The Mountaineers Books. She has also become a grandmother.

The two volumes of Best Hikes with Children in Western Washington were the first of 14 similar books written by other authors across the nation. These books have been important to parents of children who want to know where to hike, but don’t know how to get there or what to expect. The books suggest ways to motivate them and how to make the hikes fun. They tell how difficult and how safe the trails are, what seasons they are open, and what to expect to see along the way. The trail descriptions give children chances to test their strength and to feel strong and capable, chances to learn, to observe, and to see what they have never seen before, and appeal to their sense of wonder.


Ebey’s Landing Hike

On a foggy and windy May morning our trekking group started up the bluff at Ebey’s Landing. We passed newly cut fields and looked out over the Strait to Port Angeles and the Olympics beyond. At the top of the bluff we were buzzed by crows, gulls, and at least 3 eagles circling above, as …

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Larches in the North Cascades

We wanted to take one last opportunity see the larch trees at their peak of color. On October 5th we packed the car and headed up Highway 20 for Colonial Creek Campground. Along the way we saw the dismaying effects of summer fires on ridges and meadows. Once we had set up camp, we decided …

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