By Doug Flanagan
Camas-Washougal Post-Record 

An Unforgettable Trek: Washougal children conquer Mount Hood's Timberline Trail


Last updated 8/3/2023 at 9:47am

Doug Flanagan

Washougal residents Lilliana Lavasseur, Enzo Lavasseur, Katya Firstenburg, Ryder Firstenburg and Sawyer Firstenburg hike the Timberline Trail on Oregon's Mount Hood in July 2023.

Washougal resident Randy Lavasseur believes that the physical and mental health of children are changing due to modern-day conveniences and the instant gratification that they bring - and not for the better.

"They are meant to be outside doing difficult things, things that take time to show results - not contaminating their minds with devices, poisoning their mental health by watching television all day or lounging on the beach and eating until they can't (eat anymore), killing their hearts," he said. "They are meant to learn how to be at peace with difficult things and build resilience, to be fit, physically and mentally, via nature's playground."

Lavasseur's two children and three of their friends displayed their resilience and fitness during a recent hike through one of the Pacific Northwest's most challenging "natural playgrounds." The five Washougal children conquered the 42-mile Timberline Trail that loops around Oregon's Mount Hood earlier this summer, and completed the hike in five days.

"(They persevered through) melting snow fields, dangerous snow bridges, raging water crossings and tree debris throughout this early season trek around Mount Hood in Oregon, an adventure that tests the most experienced of hikers," Lavasseur, a deputy regional director for the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service, stated in his journal.

The Timberline Loop Trail "is one of Oregon's most iconic and scenic trails," according to

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