“For a little while we are again able to see, as the child sees, a world of marvels.” Edward Abbey
In 1956 and 1957 Edward Abbey was the park ranger for Arches, at a time before it had achieved National Park status and when the unpaved roads were more traveled by tumbleweeds and lizards than visitors. Now, the park is visited by 1.5 million people each year.
Even with this incredible number of visitors, Arches retains its sense of awe and wonder. Of all the parks I visited, I saw more people here who were simply standing, observing, and marveling. You know you are somewhere special when a child’s expression of awe at the 290-foot expanse of Landscape Arch is mirrored on the face of the adults beside them.
Exploring Arches is much easier than trying to navigate Escalante, as almost every hike starts and ends at the single paved road. The road can get crowded, and one of the biggest benefits of visiting on the fringes of the peak season is fewer people throughout the small park.
If you are someone who likes to camp, the Arches campground is one of the best I have ever stayed in. Situated right at the end of the road, the campsites are nestled below red slickrock formations or look out over the distant mesas and La Sal mountains. The spectacular nature of the reservation-only campground means that the spots are all claimed early… if you know you want to stay, plan well in advance and expect to try to reserve your spot the first day reservations open.
If park service campgrounds aren’t your style or you’re on a last minute mission, check out the many camping areas scattered across BLM lands just outside of the park.
Pro tip: I highly recommend an early start, especially later in the year. In past visits I started every hike shortly before dawn to take advantage of the cool morning temperatures and enjoy a few moments of solitude. This also allowed me to maximize the best light. Landscape arch is unbelievable in the morning, right as the golden light of dawn filters over the mesa. Delicate Arch, however, is best in the evening, but don’t expect to have the place to yourself; photographers and hikers usually line the entire natural bowl surrounding part of the Arch.
When exploring the Southwest, Arches is on the top of my list every time.
It’s that time of the year… to gear up for your summer adventures!
Whether you are going on your first backpacking trip or preparing for Mount Rainier, our sale and clearance items will help you get out there and send your adventure.
Sale items include:
20% off select Osprey Packs
25% off a selection of climbing gear from Black Diamond, Camp, and Mammut
20% off Petzl Ropes and select Edelweiss Glacier Ropes
20% off Julbo and Native sunglasses
20% off Suunto watches
25% off all Arc’teryx baselayers
20% off select 850 and 900 fill down bags
… and more!
Clearance Items: who’s feeling lucky?
Our clearance items get special treatment this year, with a progressive gambler’s sale. This means that the longer the sale goes on, the gear that has not found its new home gets cheaper and cheaper every week.
Clearance item inventory is limited, but includes items like La Sportiva mountaineering boots, Arc’teryx winter shell jackets, Patagonia layers, winter hats and scarves, and a lot of other gems.
Here's how it will go down:
5/19/16 - 20% off all Clearance Rack Footwear & 30% off all Clearance Rack Clothing
5/28/16 - 30% off all Clearance Rack Footwear & 40% off all Clearance Rack Clothing
6/4/16 - 40% off all Clearance Rack Footwear & 50% off all Clearance Rack Clothing
Clearance racks will be clearly marked, and the progressive sale only applies to these items.
Please note: All sales are final on clearance items. Sale prices are not retroactive. Discounts based off of regular full price. We also might adjust prices at different times, so some items may receive bigger discounts earlier, and clearance items may be subject to change without notice.
Part One: A Feathered Friends Tour of the Southwest
Hoodoos. Ladies with hairdos. Fairy Chimneys. Whatever you call them, the incredible rock formations of Bryce Canyon are unlike anything else in the world. The towering spires, vibrant colors, and chromatic vistas were the first stop in a road trip to celebrate the National Park Centennial.
Last month I went on a month-long road trip to explore the parks that are arguably one of “America’s best ideas” in relation to conservation and recreation. It was also the perfect opportunity to put some new Feathered Friends gear to the test in a cold and arid climate.
The National Park Service was created in 1916 "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Over the last 100 years, the National Park system has grown to include 58 parks across the United States, which receive tens of millions of visitors each year.
Bryce first captured my imagination when I visited it as a kid; the colors, rocks, and hikes were about as different as you can get from the greens and greys of the Northwest. Returning as an adult, these same formations re-awakened my sense of childhood wonder and a new feeling of gratitude that Bryce is protected. In practical terms, this means that although the park sees millions more visitors and has more amenities than when I first visited, the natural features are exactly as I remember them.
A testament to the splendor of the park is that people visit it from around the world. Walking on the rim of Bryce at peak travel season (which starts right about now) immerses you in a melting pot of languages, cultures, and experiences. One of my favorite things to do is sit on the rim and paint. Often the painting sparks conversations and inspires interactions with people thousands of miles from home.
This was also my first time visiting the southwest in spring, and I was surprised at how COLD (and windy) it was. Each night temperatures hovered right around or below freezing, and it even snowed the day we left Bryce.
It turns out our founders and owners were at Bryce the same time I was, doing some product testing of their own. They hit the cold and snowy conditions as well, and I think we were all glad to have lightweight down jackets like the Eos and Hyperion stashed in our packs.
Pro Tip for exploring Bryce: The canyon is structured in a tiered system. Layer one is the rim, which is the most crowded, and has expansive views down into the rock formations and to the mesas beyond. Layer two includes the shorter hiking loops that drop into the canyon, such as the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden. These trails still see a lot of people, but allow you to get up close and personal with Hoodoos of all shapes, sizes, colors, and heights. Layer three is the Under the Rim trail, which is primarily used by backpackers, and is the place to go to find solitude.
The Eos - our newest down jacket - handmade in Seattle
The Eos jacket was named after the Greek goddess of dawn, and we designed it for all of your early morning adventures that require simple, lightweight, and fast warmth. Whether gearing up for an early ascent to catch the alpenglow or getting cozy in camp, the Eos has just the right amount of insulation to keep you warm on its own or as a layering piece when the weather moves in.
Every jacket is hand made in Seattle with 900+ fill goose down that is ethically sourced and RDS certified. The Eos is filled with 3.7 ounces of down and easily compacts into an included stuff sack, making it easy to stow once you and the sun are warmed up.
The down, combined with a low profile hood and zippered handwarmer pockets allow the Eos to keep you warm when conditions change. It also features an elastic drawcord hem and lycra around the cuffs and hood to keep your heat where you want it. Lastly, the jacket is constructed of Pertex Quantum brushed nylon fabric, which is the perfect balance of weight, durability, and protection with a DWR treatment on the exterior of the fabric.
With spring in full gear, the Eos is the ideal companion for your adventures.
Fun fact: According to Greek mythology, the goddess Eos is the daughter of Hyperion, who is the namesake of one of our other light to midweight jacket.
Our favorite non-essentials
You know how it goes. Ounces turn to pounds, and those pounds are what you have to carry when you’re hiking, backpacking, or climbing. We are constantly looking to shave the weight: balancing need and want, safety and convenience. While we are big proponents of lightening the load, there are some items, luxuries if you will, that we like to have with us if possible.
A little extra weight? Meet our favorite non-essential items
Ibex Night at Feathered Friends
Please join us on Thursday, December 5th for Ibex Night! Check out the best in wool apparel and accessories at our Seattle store and receive 20% off ALL Ibex items - including special orders! Ibex representatives will also be on hand to show what makes Ibex special. Refreshments and snacks will be provided!
Don't miss it!
Where: Feathered Friends
What: IBEX Night
When: Thursday, December 5th
Time: 3pm to 8pm
Bonus: Refreshments, snacks, 20% Off ALL Ibex
20% off applies only from 3pm to 8pm on December 5, 2013. In-store Purchases only.