Lisa Holmes - I Heart Pacific Northwest

Hi, I’m Lisa “Deepdive” Holmes, a graphic designer and guidebook author based in Portland, Oregon.

When I’m not designing websites and marketing materials for clients, I’m diving deep into the details of planning backpacking and camping trips throughout the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Combining my photography, map and book design skills with a desire to share my journey with others has led me to creating this blog and guidebooks.

I like to go on overnight outdoor adventures year round, backpacking from late spring to fall. Once backpacking season ends, instead of carrying everything on my back to reach overnight destinations, I’m camping in my car – literally – usually at the coast in Oregon & Washington. In between trips, I hike in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Coast Range, and in the Cascade Mountains and foothills, and I post trip reports of all of these adventures on this blog.

I Heart Pacific Northwest website

Initially started in 2007 as a way to show photos from hikes, this website has evolved to become a resource for info about hiking, backpacking, and camping – with sections on gear, skills, food and resources. I write all of the articles on this site myself, and I don’t accept guest posts, sponsorships, or paid content. My goal is to help empower others to go on outdoor adventures with easy to understand info that isn’t biased due to outside influences.

Thank you for being a reader and supporter of this blog! And feel free to reach out with questions about the site’s content… I love talking to the trail community! Connect via the email and social media links at the bottom of the page.

“best blogs” listings


guidebooks by I Heart Pacific Northwest

I’m a graphic designer specializing in publication design and map design, so creating my own hiking guidebooks is a good way to tie my love of hiking in with my design skills. I now have four self-published guidebooks:

Gear Reviews

I Heart Pacific Northwest - gear reviews

I’m a bit of a gear nerd, and I frequently test and review gear for outdoor companies. Check out my gear reviews on this site. My policy is to only review gear that I regularly use and would recommend to others. If you have a product that you would like me to consider reviewing, please contact me.

Giving Back

I believe that we are all responsible for taking care of the places that we adventure in. A good way to do that is to follow low impact practices and be a mindful steward of the wilderness. Supporting organizations that focus on protecting, maintaining, and advocating for outdoor recreation areas is another good way to give back. These are the organizations that I’ve supported:

How I Got Started Hiking

Lisa "Deepdive" Holmes

In 2007, I moved from Kansas City to Portland with my husband, thinking I was moving here for the city. I didn’t even think about the outdoors other than I’d be close to the coast for the first time in my life.

To get to know our new home, I began collecting all kinds of touristy info, and a brochure for hiking at Silver Falls State Park in Silverton, Oregon got me interested in giving hiking a try. After doing that hike, I fell in love with spending time discovering trails.

Initially, the concept of spending time in the wilderness scared me. There were so many unknowns. I had never hiked until I moved here. I hadn’t even spent that much time outside. And I certainly had never been a strong person. At the age of 22, I had ovarian cancer and it took a toll on my body. That was over 30 years ago and now I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, and I have the wilderness to thank for that.

To get past the things that make me feel uneasy, I try to learn and practice new skills and push myself while keeping safety at the forefront of the experience. I also love landscape photography and am constantly learning how to be a better photographer. I’m not sure that process ever ends…

Getting Started Backpacking

Lisa "Deepdive" Holmes

In 2015, I went on my first ever backpacking trip. I’d been leading hiking trips through Meetup for a couple of years, and the women in those groups went to places that I’d never been and didn’t think I was capable of getting to. A friend took me on an easy trip and showed me the ropes, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. Since getting started, I’ve been on over 60 trips in Oregon and Washington.

After taking a series of beginner backpacking classes, I teamed with the instructor to create a book about getting started backpacking. I want to share this experience with more people and give them the skills they need to get out there and discover how empowering the wilderness can be. I love getting stronger every day, and now I can’t imagine life without spending as much time as possible in the backcountry.