An updated version of Washington Trails Association’s free Trailblazer mobile app now makes it easier for hikers to get outside and enjoy Washington’s trails. After miles and miles of helpful input and thoughtful requests, the newest version of the WTA Trailblazer app for iPhone and Android has many new features that separate this app from most generic guides. For starters, users can search for trails by name, location or relative difficulty (measured by length of trail and elevation gain), and for family-and-dog friendly hikes. Now it’s even easier to give back to the hiking community by filing your own trip reports on your mobile device. You can also link to NOAA’s website quite easily to get current weather conditions and forecasts at the trailhead. Last but not least, the My Backpack feature allows users to add and remove hikes from My Backpack, and the hikes saved in My Backpack are available even when offline.

Please note the new app doesn’t replace guidebooks. Not even close. But several hikes now show text directions to augment the Google directions to the trailhead coordinates. If you don’t see directions in the app, it’s worth clicking through to the WTA website to find more information in the WTA Hiking Guide or in trip reports before you’re outside of cell service. Using Google directions alone has led many hikers astray on Forest Service roads. Altogether, this new app continues the WTA mission to preserve, enhance, and promote hiking opportunities in Washington through collaboration, education, advocacy and volunteer trail maintenance.