Mount Pilchuck, at 5,324 feet, has one of the last operational fire lookout towers in the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. Near Verlot, on the Mountain Loop Highway, it is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Cascades. Every year an estimated 28,000 enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to the summit for the views from the historic and restored fire lookout tower, originally constructed in 1918. With 2,234 feet of elevation gain over 6 miles round trip navigating a steep and rocky trail it’s a strenuous hike, but worth it. On a clear day the views are spectacular and one can see the volcanoes Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and Glacier Peak as well as a host of other mountains.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.