The Seattle Explore More Guide

Mappy Hour is teaming up with The North Face to launch the SEA Explore More Challenge, which starts January 22, 2020 and ends September 22, 2020. The Explore More Challenge is a multi-month challenge that rewards you for going outside with new Mappy Hour friends with prizes from The North Face! Each chapter specific guide includes 10 challenges that help you explore your city and do other local adventures in Washington State. 


The Explore More Challenge: How it works 

  • There are 10 challenges each with a point value. Some challenges include BONUSES, which means, if you do them you get bonus points in addition to the normal challenge points (eg. If you go bike riding at Duthie Hill Park, you get the 5 points for riding (the original challenge) and an extra 5 points for riding Duthie Hill (bonus!) for a total of 10 points!) 
  • The SEA Challenge runs from January 22, 2020 to September 22, 2020. You can complete adventures any time between those dates.
  • Goal: Get 60 points (be the first to reach 60 points and you will win a North Face prize pack – check out the one the NYC champion snagged. ).
  • Attend a Mappy Hour Seattle event at The North Face on Pike St. + bring a picture of yourself going the Challenge + MH SEA chapter leader (Lindsay) will enter your Challenge in the Official Logbook = You get points!

You must attend a Mappy Hour event to “sign in” to get points. (Tip: You can do Challenges and then sign the logbook later at the next Mappy Hour event you attend.)


All about the Prizes (Woop woop!):

  1. Be the first person to get to 60 points and get a prize pack of North Face Gear
  2. Get to 60 points: Get an Explore More T-shirt
  3. Post your Challenge on Instagram using #ExploreMoreChallenge and be entered into a raffle for an additional The North Face prize

 The Seattle Explore More Challenges

Read below to find out how you can win points. Add up those points to win prizes, find new adventure buddies and most importantly, get outside. Are you ready to explore more? 

Automatic BONUS: Get 1 extra point for every time you adventure with a new Mappy Hour friend.

Adventure 1: Find your park

Hiking Near Seattle

Washington is called the Evergreen State for good reason. With three amazing National Parks within a short drive from Seattle, you can take advantage of living in the Pacific Northwest by exploring some of nature’s best playgrounds.

The Challenge:

Go for a hike in any of the local 3 National Parks (Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic). 5 points. Bonus: Hike all 3! (10 points)

Olympic: Mountains, rainforest, 250+ glaciers, hot springs, what more could you ask for?

Pro Tip: The Hall of Mosses trail in Hoh is a short, one-mile loop through old growth rainforest. Or enjoy a soak in the Sol Duc hot springs.

North Cascades: Home to grizzly bears, grey wolves, lynx and wolverines, this park offers a true wilderness experience, despite being only a three hour drive from Seattle.

Pro Tip: Check out the bright blue water at Diablo lake and hike up to Maple Pass Loop. Note: Be bear aware!!

Mount Rainier: At a towering 14,410 ft above sea level, Mount Rainier is an active volcano, AND the most glaciated peak in the contiguous US.

Pro Tip: Try the 93-mile Wonderland Trail, which circumnavigates Mount Rainier. That trail may take you two weeks to hike, but there are other hikes in the area if that’s, you know, too long or something.

Adventure 2: In-tents

Camping near Seattle

Washington offers a wide variety of camping options: Visit some developed campgrounds with showers and electrical hook-ups, or pack your tent and head to some backpacking sites to avoid all the neighbors.

The Challenge:

Why sleep in your bed, indoors (yuk) when you could sleep in nature! Pitch a tent, build a campfire and bust out the s’mores. (5 points for sleeping under the stars in Washington State).

Pro Tip: Check out the website or app, The Dyrt, to find local reservable campsites. For backpacking, check out this Backpacking Destinations Guide from WTA.

Adventure 3: Find the Pow Pow:

Skiing Near Seattle

Winter is here! And this Challenge awards you with points for playing in the snow.

The Challenge:

Ski, snowshoe, or snowboard (or any variation) (5 points)

For some nearby slope action, check out The Summit at Snoqualmie which is Seattle’s closest resort at only 1 hour away.

Pro Tip: Check out this list of local ski resorts to find your next winter sport destination.

AND come to the next Mappy Hour on Wednesday, February 12th to hear from former Snowboard Cross (SBX) athlete, Frank Martin on his experience snowboarding in the Stevens Pass area and tips for getting out on the slopes this season.

Adventure 4: Pedal Power

Seattle area has some of the best biking trails around. If you want to road bike around the city, check out the Burke Gilman Trail, an 18.8 mile long rail-to-trail conversion between Ballard and Bothell.

The Challenge:

Go for a road or mountain bike ride on a local trail (5 points).

Bonus: If you like trails with more rugged terrain, head out to Duthie Hill Park, brought to you by the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, for some additional points (5 points).

Pro Tip:  Take your bike on a ferry to Bainbridge or Vashon Island and check off two Challenges at once!

Adventure 5:   Get on the water

Kayaking Near Seattle

The Seattle area offers plenty of ways to get your feet wet. Local hotspots like South Lake Union, Alki beach or Golden Gardens are easy-to-get-to favorites for some paddle time.

The Challenge:

Grab your SUP, rent a kayak, or jump on a sailboat at any nearby spot. (5 points). Bonus: Go paddle through the Ballard Locks to the Puget Sound. (5 points)

Pro Tip: Check out the Center for Wooden Boats, which offer FREE Sunday Public Sails every week, year round, rain or shine!

Note: Stay tuned for a Mappy Hour kayaking activity in the Summer!

Adventure 6: Clean it up

WTA Work party

Have you ever been on a trail and thought, “Wow, this is a really well maintained trail!” Well you could be one of the cool people making a difference. Volunteers with WTA work year-round to keep trails open and accessible, from urban areas to remote wilderness and everything in between. Search the WTA Work Party schedule and find a work party in your area to become a true trail steward. No experience needed! 

The Challenge:

Trail maintenance with Washington Trails Association (10 points)

Adventure 7:   Believe in ferries

Ferry near Seattle

Seattle brings the benefit of being a coastal city, with over 150 islands nearby (at high tide), meaning there are many areas to explore. 

The Challenge:

Hop on a ferry and explore a place you haven’t been before. (5 points)

Pro Tip: You can visit Vashon Farmers Market on a Saturday, go wine tasting in Bainbridge or explore a piece of maritime history on Bremerton   

Adventure 8: Rock On

Grab a new Mappy Hour friend (for an additional 1 point) and belay each other or get a group to share the beta on some bouldering routes. Check out Seattle Bouldering Project, Stone Gardens or Vertical World.

The Challenge:

Rock climb or boulder anywhere in Seattle. (5 points) Bonus: Do it outside. (5 points)

Pro Tip: If you want to climb outside, head to Exit 32 / Little Si for Seattle’s closest, best sport climbing. Here you’ll find a skill level range from 5.9’s to Washington’s highest concentration of 5.13s and 5.14s.

Adventure 9: Whale hello there

Whale Watching near Seattle

Have you ever seen Free Willy? Shamu? Baby Beluga? Now’s your chance to be on the lookout and win (10 points!)

The Puget Sound’s marine residents include Orcas, gray, and humpback whales year round in the Pacific Northwest, whereas the Orcas typically travel through the San Juan Islands May through October.

The Challenge:

Go whale watching. 10 points.

Tip: Bring your binoculars and try whale watching at Alki Beach in West Seattle. The beach is a popular spot for seals and their pups to rest, making it a draw for Orcas as well. They’ll more likely be spotted here during the fall and winter months, but have been seen year round. Find more onshore whale watching spots in the region at the Orca Network’s Whale Sighting Viewpoints Map.

Adventure 10: Trail yes!

Trail Running in Washington State

Trail running. It’s like hiking, but faster. Also, everyone can agree that running on a treadmill sucks. Especially when you could instead be running outdoors, breathing in fresh air!

The Challenge:

Go trail running in Washington State (5 points)

Tip: For the most trail running options, head to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park, which has helpful trailhead maps and signage, plus plenty of options for loops.


Images via Lindsay Parker and Unsplash

About the Challenge

The Explore More Challenge is a multi-month challenge that rewards you for going outside with new Mappy Hour friends. Each chapter guide includes 10 challenges that can range from exploring your city to finding further afield outdoor gems in your state. Are you ready to explore more?

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