We believe we employ the hardest-working, most-genuine, and talented local guides in the Northwest. Our team is built to teach, to listen and to learn!
We believe that the mind-blowing gifts that the natural world provides are worth seeking out, understanding, protecting, and sharing.
It’s a difficult thing to do–to be a business seeking profit, innovation, and growth while maintaining a compass that primarily points outside. We move intimately and deliberately through our world with small groups of explorers, pulling against time & budget constraints, physical and mental limits, and we attempt to do it seamlessly and smoothly. We eat, we drink, we talk, we laugh, we listen, and we walk–and we try to do it all beautifully.
Our goals include assisting travelers in enjoying the natural and cultural beauty of our region. It is an art form like painting or poetry – we work really hard to master our craft. We are not perfect, our world isn’t perfect, travel will never be perfect. We believe that these are things worth striving for though.
Like many other Seattleites, I am a transplant to the region. Wooed by the opportunities of the city and the proximity to so many amazing outdoor wonderlands, I think I’ve found my home in the northwest. Originally, I hail from the Ozarks region in southern Missouri. The crystal clear rivers, limestone bluffs, and lush vegetation of the Ozarks represent my initial source of enchantment with the natural world. I moved out to the North Oregon coast when I was a kid and was further captivated by the massive trees and tumultuous coastline. At college in Tacoma, WA, at the University of Puget Sound, I studied Science, Technology and Society, along with a minor in Environmental Policy and Decision Making. For a time after school I worked in the non-profit world, raising money and political support for environmental campaigns in the region. Now as a naturalist guide for Evergreen Escapes, I’m cultivating my long-held interest in northwest ecology and human history so that I can share it with people from all over the world. When I’m not out “escaping” with a group of travelers as a guide, I’m often out in the same areas, just pushing a little further with a heavier backpack and a night or two in the backcountry ahead of me. I also enjoy playing music, cooking, rock climbing, and “studying” the local beer scene, if you catch my drift. I look forward to continuing to see the seasons change in Washington’s beautiful parks and to share that beauty with you!
Clare grew up in Connecticut and moved to Seattle a few years ago because she loves the Northwest! Stemming from a long tradition of adventuring, she was fortunate to travel from a young age. She has visited over 30 countries and will travel to her 42nd state this summer. Clare studied biology for many years and received her Master of Environmental Management while living in Australia. Some of her favorite places in and around Seattle include Discovery Park, Vashon Island, and the Skagit Valley. She spends her days off wandering through farmers’ markets, eating her way through the Seattle restaurant scene, and planning her next adventures.
Andrew Plaks is working on his bio, but he spends too much time in the field and teaches CPR/FIrst Aid courses too! It could be a little while, but you won’t regret spending a few days exploring with him!
A fourth generation Seattleite, Jennie has spent a lifetime learning and playing in the Pacific Northwest. Except for two years in the Netherlands in middle school, and six years in Alaska, Jennie has lived in Seattle her whole life. Jennie holds a BA from the University of Washington and a Masters Degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. During her varied and winding career, she has guided tours in Alaska, traveled to nearly every corner of Washington State with the Pacific Science Center in Seattle to share the joys of science with elementary and middle school students, guided high schoolers on the path to college, and managed an AmeriCorps team. In addition to guiding, Jennie also works in the public school system helping high school students on the path to higher education. When not at work, Jennie enjoys doing pretty much anything outside on the water, in the mountains and among the trees. She also enjoys canning delicious local food concoctions, and watching the sky.
As a native of the Pacific Northwest, Marty has long enjoyed exploring the waterways and mountains of the Puget Sound region. He attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, earning a BA in Liberal Arts in 2000. His love of working in the outdoors has brought him to many exciting new frontiers including; Colorado’s Rocky mountains as a chair lift operator, and the rivers and lakes of Washington while working for the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Marty spent 10 years living on Hawaii’s Big Island, where he began his career as a naturalist guide. He lead bike rides and hiking tours through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, guiding groups within feet of active lava surface flows of Kilauea volcano. Marty’s travel adventures have brought him to the beaches and jungles of Thailand, and the pristine wilderness of Alaska. But his most exciting adventure of all began on New Years day of 2011 when he welcomed his first daughter Milan into the world. Returning to the Pacific Northwest, Marty is in his element leading tours of the gems of Cascadia and is excited to share his love of his home. In his free time Marty enjoys spending time with his family, making Thai food and teaching his daughter how to play soccer and skateboard.
Stephanie was born in Germany and moved to the United States at an early age. Growing up in Tucson, Arizona did not present many opportunities to explore the wide world of food & wine. After graduating from Smith College however, Stephanie moved to Germany for a few years to hone her appreciation for food, wine, travel, and foreign languages. She has since been able to visit various wine regions of the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain. Stephanie holds certifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust, and the Society of Wine Educators. In addition, Stephanie completed an MBA in Wine & Spirits this past January, and is now putting her concentration in Wine Tourism to good use as a guide for wine tours throughout Washington wine country.
Born overseas (in Spain), I caught the travel bug early on in life. I’ve traveled around the world, lived for two years in Niger, Africa (as a Peace Corps volunteer), and continue to explore as often as possible. I grew up in Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania, lived in Michigan (while earning a graduate degree and working in environmental education) and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1999. Since then, I’ve worked as a seasonal sea kayak guide in the San Juan Islands and outreach specialist in salmon recovery and marine resources. I’ve hiked, skied, biked, and paddled throughout the Northwest and enjoy sharing my knowledge of this beautiful area with others.
Laurence’s career has taken him into several different arenas–international humanitarian assistance, state government, nonprofit management, and public broadcasting. Laurence majored in cultural anthropology at Hampshire College, but also did course work in environmental studies, film and photography. After moving from Boston to Portland in 1995 to serve as Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Oregon, he took on nonprofit work in the arts and conservation arenas. He also continued his career as an independent producer of documentary films, principally about historic topics. His most recent is the 2014 co-produced, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, focused on the Olmsted park legacy, nationwide and in the Pacific Northwest. The film was broadcast nationwide on PBS. He also currently serves as a Trustee of the Oregon State Parks Foundation. Laurence spends some of his guiding time as a naturalist/historian on week-long Columbia-Snake River cruises. As an Escape Artist, he weaves natural and cultural history to engender a sense of place here in the “Oregon Country.”
Adam Sawyer is an outdoor and travel writer, photographer, guide and published author based out of Portland, Oregon. He wrote as the Portland Hiking Examiner for Examiner.com and authored the bi-weekly column Portland Family Outdoors for Craigmore Creations. In addition to online writing for Travel Oregon, Red Tricycle, and Tillamook Coast, his work has appeared in Northwest Travel, Portland Monthly, Columbia River Gorge, Cascade Journal, Canoe & Kayak and Backpacker Magazines. He was the co-host of the KEEN HybridLife Radio Show for its duration and now serves as a sponsored athlete for the company. He is the author of the guidebooks Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon, Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland, the forthcoming 25 Best Hikes on the Tillamook Coast, and the co-author of Hiking Waterfalls in Washington. Adam has been a professional guide for five years, specializing in the food, drink, history, and outdoor adventure of the Northwest.
After seeing Mt. Hood for the first time, Aaron Wilder knew he would not be moving back to his childhood state of North Carolina. For the past 25 years, he has been hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, skiing, and any other outdoor activity you can think of in the Great Pacific Northwest. Aaron has been applying his experiences and skills leading groups into the wilderness for almost 20 years now. Aaron is a high school history teacher most of the year, but considers the outdoors the best classroom of all, and spends his summers leading tours to his favorite places. He is passionate about reliving the tales of Lewis and Clark and Oregon Trail pioneers making their way west, risking life and limb, to this wonderful place he now calls home. If he can do this over a local Pinot Noir or craft-brewed IPA, all the better!
Our guides not only come with a variety of backgrounds, amazing skill sets and dedication, but we also strive to continually educate ourselves on everything there is to know about the region. We pride ourselves on providing first-class service as we escort you through the most magnificent highlights of our region and impart our knowledge of the local culture, history, industry, agriculture, cuisine, wines, microbrews and sustainability. Many of our guides are ecologists, marine biologists or have taught natural history both in the field and in the classroom. Depending on your tailor made itinerary, we will match you with a guide that we feel best fits your destination, interest and activity. Sound like your dream job? We sometimes hire!