The Mountaineers was formed in 1906 to explore the wild areas and peaks surrounding the still-young city of Seattle. The club grew in leaps and bounds, eventually reaching a high point of 15,000 members in the 1990’s. Today, the club is home to around 10,500 active members.
Although the club has a small full-time staff, volunteers are responsible for running most of the programs. Volunteer leaders do everything from leading trips to teaching classes to promoting their programs.
In our early years, offerings were limited to a few hikes and mountain scrambles. The club now offers a wide range of activities such as hiking, snowshoeing, climbing, sea kayaking, photography, skiing, backpacking and more. When you join The Mountaineers, it’s like having many smaller clubs all rolled into one. It’s not uncommon for members to pursue more than one sport, and quite a few switch from one sport to the other depending on the season.
In addition to the recreational activities we pursue, The Mountaineers works to ensure that wilderness areas are preserved and protected through the actions of our Conservation, Recreation Resources and Stewardship divisions. Volunteer members track issues, mobilize members, perform trail maintenance, work with coalitions and lobby legislators (local and national).
It’s easy to get involved with The Mountaineers. We offer trips, classes and events for all experience levels. So if you are an absolute beginner with a desire to get outside, or you are an experienced outdoor enthusiast, we have something for you. Our trips range from easy to very strenuous, with everything in between. You pick your own pace.
Members pay a yearly dues, and the trips are completely free. Courses usually have a fee, but members will find that these fees are less than a commercial instution’s, and members get a substantial discount on those classed we offer to the public.
The Mountaineers is a 501(c)4 organization.
Purposes and mission
The club’s charter lists its purposes:
To explore and study the mountains, forests and water courses of the Northwest and beyond
To gather into permanent form the history and traditions of these regions and explorations
To preserve by example, teaching and the encouragement of protective legislation or otherwise the natural beauty of the natural environment
To make expeditions and provide educational opportunities in fulfillment of the above purposes
To encourage a spirit of good fellowship among all lovers of outdoor life
To hold real estate and personal property and to receive, hire, purchase, occupy, and maintain and manage suitable buildings and quarters for the furtherance of the purposes of the association, and to hold in trust or otherwise funds, received by bequest or gift or otherwise, to be devoted to the purposes of said association.
The club’s mission:
To be the premier Northwest outdoor recreation club, dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and protection of natural areas.