The Foothills

I have had a lot of fun in the foothills and if you live in or around a mountain range you probably have too, the foothills are the transition zone between the low lying terrain called the plains  and the beginning of the relief that eventually becomes the high mountains at the crest, they occur on both sides of the range and can be either coastal or inland, windward or leeward . It might seem as if the foothills are less impressive than the higher peaks, but they contain what scientist refer to as unique “Life Zones” and it’s worth noting that the elevation of foothills in some mountain ranges may be greater than the elevation of the highest mountains in others for instance the foothills in the Rocky Mountains reach above 8000′ in elevation not exactly what you might consider a hill. Here in Washington State the Cascade Range is surrounded by both coastal and inland foothills, plains, as well as the Pacific Ocean to the West and Columbia River to the East.

As an outdoor enthusiast living on the leeward side of the Cascade Range the foothills offer year around exploration with less vegetation, more sun, and a arid climate all contributing to early hiking, backpacking, peakbagging, and climbing among other interest. I have followed the same pattern every year beginning my hikes in the desert canyons and foothills of the far east slopes and slowly gaining elevation as Spring allows migrating North at the edge of access until all is open, starting low and ending high I have found it’s always Spring somewhere. The foothills are a great place to start.

 

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