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Tips for finding the best mushrooms near Seattle

A picture of golden chanterelle mushrooms.

Cantharellus formosus, or Golden Chanterelle, has a slightly peppery flavor. | Photo by

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While the rainy season can feel pretty drab, it does give the PNW something special — mushrooms.

Our climate makes us one of the best areas in the U.S. for foraging, which just feels like a hike with built-in snacks. Of course, if you’re going out for the first time, you need to prepare to stay safe.

🍄 Know before you go.

Mushroom identification apps, while helpful, should never be a sole source of information while out in the field. Instead, narrow your search down to a small list of mushrooms that don’t have poisonous look alikes and memorize their characteristics.

Here are a few resources worth checking out:
A Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Mushrooms in Washington State
Puget Sound Mycological Society’s Reading List
Wild Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

Pro tip: The safest way to forage for mushrooms is to do it with a mycologist who can teach tips and tricks. Try a hike with the Puget Sound Mycological Society.

🍄 Wait for the best conditions.

As we mentioned before, mushrooms love moisture. The best time to go is within a day or two after a rain.

🍄 Pick a trail.

Mushrooms love foliage and many species have specific plants or trees they prefer to grow on. Cater your hike for those types of fungi, or try one of these areas:

Sleepy Hollow Trail: Olympic Peninsula | 2+ hour drive | Northwest Forest Pass
Mainline Trail: Snohomish County | >1 hour drive | No pass needed
Camano Ridge Trail: Camano Island | 1+ hour drive | No pass needed

🍄 Pack your tools.

Bring a small knife, a paper bag or basket, an identification book, and your phone with an identification app.

Have any other tips or tricks? Let us know.

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