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    Best hikes in Washington

    Washington State Hikes

    State in United States

    Ever thought about hiking in Washington State? Now is the time to go! This gorgeous corner of the United States is one of the best places in the world for hiking, offering tremendous diversity and thrilling trails. From the green temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula, to the soaring peaks of the Cascades National Park, there’s something here for all adventure travelers.

    Hiking in Washington State is a real treat for keen trekkers. The Cascades National Park makes a stunning backdrop for some of the most thrilling hikes and ridge walks in the country, where you’ll find yourself looking over a panorama of craggy peaks, wildflower meadows and emerald lakes. The old growth forests around Mount Baker are a wonderful place for a ramble, with trails that look over glacier-covered mountains and daringly high passes. Finally, the Olympic Peninsula offers something completely different – bracing coastal walks, unusual wildlife, and moss-covered gorges, deep in the heart of ancient forests.

    What are you waiting for? Start planning your hiking trip to Washington State today. We’ve put together all the information that you’ll need, from trail recommendations for all hiking levels, to weather and travel advice. Now is the time to enjoy everything this wonderful state has to offer.

    Types Of Hiking In Washington State

    Washington State is known for the diversity of its landscapes, meaning that there’s a trail here to suit everyone. In the west, the Olympic National Park occupies a large peninsula with some incredible scenery, ranging from coastal trails to lush, temperate rainforest. Kids will love the easy, low level trails here, winding through magical ancient forests covered in a vibrant coat of moss. You’ll also find some easy, accessible hikes in the North Cascades National Park, where woodland and wildflower trails are perfectly offset by the surrounding vista of tall, craggy peaks.

    If you’re an adventure hiker looking for a challenge, there’s plenty in Washington State to keep you occupied. Some of the toughest trails can be found near Mount Baker and in the North Cascades National park, where the climbs are steep and the route are long. However, the reward for your exertions is pretty phenomenal – you’ll be right in the heart of some of Washington State’s greatest wildernesses, with mind-blowing views, colorful trails, and some of the region’s most fascinating wildlife.

    Easy Hikes In Washington State

    Hole in the Wall Hike: This magnificent trek is one of our favorite easy hikes in Washington State. The trail takes you from the edge of the Pacific Ocean to a collection of impressive boulders and rock formations further along the coast. As you walk along the beach you’ll feel the crashing power of the ocean to your left, before you finally reach a steep ridge that offers beautiful views over the coastline.

    Washington Pass Overlook Hike: If you’re in the North Cascades National Park, don’t miss this enjoyable easy hike. At just under half a kilometer, it’s a great place to stretch your legs on the drive between eastern and western Washington State. It may be a short route, but you’ll get a fantastic view of Liberty Bell Mountain and Silver Star Mountain.

    Family Hikes In Washington State

    Blue Lake Hike: If you’re looking for a family-friendly trail in the North Cascades National Park, this hike to Blue Lake is an excellent option. Surrounded by the dramatic Liberty Bell Mountain spires, Blue Lake is simply gorgeous, and at its best when the leaves start to turn in autumn. This trail, which snakes through woodland, and wildflower fields past a rocky lakeside, is perfect for children, with plenty of opportunities for wildlife-spotting along the way.

    Marymere Falls Hike: Bring your family to the beautiful Marymere Falls and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a magical world! The trail winds its way through shady temperate rainforest and up a steep track to the falls. The beautiful old growth forest has a character all of its own, and kids will love the mossy ravine, dressed in bright green ferns.

    Day Hikes In Washington State

    High Divide Loop Hike: This challenging route in the Olympic National Park is one of the best day hikes in Washington State. The trail passes along a beautiful ridge above the tree line, offering incredible views over Mount Olympus. Take the route clockwise for the most impressive vista, and look out for a glimpse of the enormous Blue Glacier. This day trek is a long hike, but it’s a rewarding challenge for those looking for something extra special in the Olympic National Park.

    Cutthroat Pass Hike: This route along the Pacific Crest Trail is one of the best day hikes in Washington State, and a must for all keen hikers! The path to the top rises moderately through a dense forest, crossing over Porcupine Creek, and rising to a series of switchbacks that will take you to the top of the pass. The views from the top are stunning, with a 360 degree vista over the peaks of North Cascades National Park.

    Challenging Hikes In Washington State

    Ptarmigan Ridge Hike: Want to get away from it all? This hike along Ptarmigan Ridge is the best place to come if you’re looking for solitude and a challenging hike. You’ll cross permanent snowfields, wander through flower-filled meadows and scramble over boulders, all that while enjoying the fabulous Mount Baker. Look out for mountain goats and marmots, and enjoy the majestic beauty of this remarkable landscape.

    Hannegan Pass and Peak Hike: This hike up Hannegan Pass and Hannegan Peak is a steep climb, but it’s well worth the effort! The trail winds in and out of lush forests, across wide, open meadows, and over gurgling mountain streams. The views all the way along the route are simply magnificent, dominated by the snow-capped Ruth Mountain. The 360-degree panorama over Cascade Mountain at the top will certainly make you forget your aching legs!

    Best Hikes In Washington State

    Chain Lakes Loop: This classic circular hike is a wonderful summer trek, and an excellent way to experience the region around Mount Baker. The route begins at the Heather Meadows Visitor Center, and climbs from Artist Point up to the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail. You’ll experience fabulous mountain and lake views, and enjoy the wildflower fields and berry-lined trails to their full advantage.

    Yellow Aster Butte Trail: This challenging ascent is one of the best hikes in Washington State, and one of our favorites in the region around Mount Baker. You’ll pass dense woodland, lively mountain streams, and peaceful tarns, before finally summiting Yellow Aster Butte. This scenic peak offers some of the most spectacular views in the region, and is at its best in autumn, when the turning leaves light up the forest in a blaze of crimson and orange.

    Royal Basin Hike: For a challenging hike where you can escape the crowds, head to the Olympic National Forest, where this wonderful trail begins. The climb is a little difficult as you ascend a steep trail alongside Royal Creek, but the rewards at the top are simply fabulous. Enjoy the views over Greywolf Mountain and the serene waters of the gorgeous Royal Lake.

    Ladder Creek Falls Hike: Looking for a family-friendly hike with plenty of entertainment for younger kids? This short trek to Ladder Creek Falls could be the solution! The trail crosses the river and passes through a rich forest, before emerging at the falls just in time for the evening light show. This innovative performance is a great way to experience the falls themselves, and kids are sure to love it.

    Table Mountain Hike: A trip to Washington State wouldn’t be complete without a Table Mountain hike, and this trail offers some of the best views you’ll find over Mount Baker. You’ll need a head for heights, as this trail is somewhat exposed, but the rewards are incomparable. You’ll get a 360-degree panorama over Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker, and a vista that will take your breath away.

    Lake Ann Hike: This moderate hike is an excellent way to experience the best of the Mount Baker region without too much exertion. The trail runs alongside Swift Creek, before ascending the slopes above the treeline. The summit near Lake Ann is a fabulous place for a picnic, and you’ll be able to enjoy views of Mount Shuksan and its thunderous waterfalls.

    Klahhane Ridge Hike: Looking for a spectacular ridge hike that won’t require too much energy? Try this route over Klahhane Ridge, one of the best hikes in Washington State. The trail begins at the high viewpoint of Hurricane Ridge, meaning that you won’t need to climb up a steep hill to experience fantastic views over the Olympic National Park. Once you’ve summited the pass near Mount Angeles you’ll have an even more impressive vista, taking in Mount Olympus, Mount Angeles and Second Top.

    Maple Pass Loop Hike: This hike is one of the finest in the North Cascades National Park, and a must for all adventure travelers! Make sure you arrive in the right season, and the trail is only accessible during the summer months. However, if you time it right, you’ll experience some stunning views and a deeply satisfying, varied hike. You’ll find ridges littered with wild flowers and a beautiful alpine lake – what more could you ask for?

    Hoh River Trail Hike: This beautiful trail passes through the dense, temperate rainforest that Washington State is famous for. This magical, otherworldly landscape will transport you to a time of myth and legend, as you pass through old growth forest coated with fragrant moss. The River Hoh acts as your guide on this trail, and you’ll follow the path of the water until you come to the Five Mile Island campground, where you’ll have the chance to spot herds of deer and elk.

    Easy Pass Hike: Come to the North Cascades National Park in autumn, when the larches shine in ablaze of yellow glory at the turning of the leaves. You’ll find stunning fall colors, set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Don’t let the name lull you into a false sense of security – this hike is somewhat challenging! However, the rewards are simply breathtaking.

    When Is The Best Time To Hike In Washington State?

    It’s possible to go hiking year-round in Washington State, and this beautiful region has hikes for every type of weather. Spring is a wonderful time to visit, as the forests and meadows will be covered in a carpet of wild flowers and the extra light opens up the possibility of doing slightly longer trails. High-altitude treks will still be covered in snow, but snowshoeing is still a possibility.

    The peak hiking season comes in summer, although over the highest trails it’s confined to July and August. At this time the weather is usually warm and sunny, although the trails may be crowded. For quieter routes, plan your visit in late spring and early autumn.

    Perhaps the most spectacular time to hike in Washington State is September and early October, when the forests erupt in a blaze of autumn colors. However, over the higher peaks, early snows can limit hiking opportunities, so watch out for weather updates and take advice from local guides. Although some low-level trails remain open in winter, the roads through the national parks are typically blocked by snow. This is a fantastic time to get your snowshoes and skis out to enjoy the slopes!

    Best Regions For Hiking in Washington State

    One of the best regions for hiking in Washington State is undoubtedly the North Cascades National Park, a beautiful region boasting dense forests, jagged peaks, and stunning alpine lakes. Close by, the Mount Baker region is another hiking gem. Although it’s best known as a top skiing destination, Mount Baker has some incredible summer hiking trails, offering the possibility of getting up close to the iconic Mount Shuksan. The trails here are typically covered in wildflowers and berries, making this one of our favorite places to hike in the region. Further west, the Olympic National Park offers wonderful hiking trails in a unique, epic landscape. Here, you’ll find coastal trails, atmospheric tide pools and dense temperate rainforest, in addition to mountain and ridge hikes.

    Other Outdoor Activities in Washington State

    Although we love hiking in the North Cascades National Park and the area around Mount Baker, there are many other outdoor activities in Washington State! The national parks of this beautiful region offer many possibilities for backpacking and through hikes, and this could be the ideal spot to try your first long-distance trek. If you’re an avid climber, Washington State is something of a paradise, with more than 100 mountains and climbing routes to suit all levels of expertise. In the coastal areas you’ll also find windsurfing, paddle-boarding and other watersports, and when the snows hit, you can get our your snowshoes and cross-country skis for some serious winter adventures.

    How To Plan A Trip To Washington State

    If these suggestions have got you reaching for your hiking boots, start planning your trip to Washington State today! We’ve got everything you’ll need to get started – our Mount Baker guide is perfect for advice on hiking routes and our Olympic National Park guide has everything you’ll need to plan your trip. Don’t miss our expert tips on planning your visit to the North Cascades National Park. Whatever your question, we’ve got it covered!

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    Hiking regions in Washington State

    Best Hikes in Washington State

    Showing 201 to 220 of 669
      Open details for Third Beach Hike

      Third Beach Hike

      Moderate
      24.6 km
      611 m
      6-8.5h

      Third Beach is one of Washington’s many gorgeous beaches, providing a top-notch Pacific Northwest coastal experience. This hike leads you along the whole beach down to the Hoh River with plenty of camping sites on the way, but you can certainly shorten your trip and hike an out-and-back route if the entire beach is too much.

      There are sections on this hike where you’ll need to ascend and descend via rope, so we don’t recommend it for young kids. Bring some light gloves for the rope if you have them.

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      Open details for Gorge Creek Falls Trail

      Gorge Creek Falls Trail

      Very Easy
      0.8 km
      12 m
      0.5h

      The Gorge Creek Falls Trail is a quick, easy loop trail with a waterfall view. It’s only 0.8km long with 12m of elevation gain, making it suitable for all levels and ages. Part of this trail is paved, making it stroller-friendly. It’s a nice way to stretch your legs before or after a day in the park.

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      Open details for Sahale Arm Trail to Quien Sabe Glacier

      Sahale Arm Trail to Quien Sabe Glacier

      Very Hard
      20.0 km
      1,652 m
      8-11.5h

      Hike through one of the most jaw-dropping locations you can reach on foot in North Cascades National Park on the Sahale Arm Trail to Quien Sabe Glacier hike. This is a difficult hike with heavy traffic, but it’s so worth it. The views of towering summits framing meadows filled with wildlife and the accomplishment of summiting Sahale will make this a hike you won’t forget.

      Come prepared with poles, good boots, sun protection, and lots of water for this trail.

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      Open details for Trail of the Cedars Hike

      Trail of the Cedars Hike

      Very Easy
      2.7 km
      22 m
      0.5-1h

      The Trail of the Cedars is a 2.7 km easy hike in North Cascades National Park. This hike is suitable for all ages and skill levels and presents no challenges to consider. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on a leash. The hike features a pretty rainforest with old cedars and the Skagit River beside you. It’s also an easy outing if you’re staying at the Newhalem Creek Campground nearby.

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      Open details for Humes Ranch Loop Trail

      Humes Ranch Loop Trail

      Moderate
      9.5 km
      314 m
      2.5-3.5h

      Humes Ranch Loop Trail is a heavily trafficked loop hike in Olympic National Park. This trail is very beautiful and there are lots of camping spots along the way. While the marked trail itself is under 10km long, washout on the access road has made it necessary to begin from Madison Falls, making this a much longer trek. Until this is fixed (if ever), come prepared for extra hiking.

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      Open details for West Elwha River Trail

      West Elwha River Trail

      Moderate
      9.8 km
      379 m
      3-4h

      The West Elwha River Trail is a lovely moderate walk alongside the river to the Altair Campground and back. This hike used to begin from the Olympic Hot Springs Road, but a severe washout has closed the road indefinitely. This guide uses the access at Herrick Road as the starting and ending point for the hike, making Altair Campground your turnaround point.

      Beginners and active children will be able to enjoy this trail.

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      Open details for Grand Pass Trail

      Grand Pass Trail

      Very Hard
      22.5 km
      1,789 m
      9-12.5h

      Grand Pass Trail is a beast of a day hike, with over 22.0 km to cover across varied, steep terrain. This is a spectacular, hard day trip or a gorgeous backpacking adventure. Know that many day hikers complete a portion of this trail, often turning back before the steep descent (and subsequent ascent) into the valley at the end of the trail. This still allows you to enjoy the lakes dotted alongside the route and the changing terrain and views that make this trail enjoyable.

      Come prepared with lots of water, food, and good boots and poles.

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      Open details for Deer Lake Trail

      Deer Lake Trail

      Moderate
      10.1 km
      590 m
      3.5-5h

      Deer Lake Trail is a relaxed trip to a pretty lake in the forest of Olympic National Park. This hike is moderate, with just over 10.0 km of distance and just under 600 m of elevation gain required. It’s suitable for families with active children and also frequented by backpackers bound for the camping spots on the lake.

      The trail is rocky and rooty, so good boots are very helpful.

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      Open details for Blue Mountain Trail

      Blue Mountain Trail

      Very Easy
      0.6 km
      40 m
      0.5h

      Blue Mountain Trail is a 0.6 km moderately trafficked loop frequented for its very easy nature and great views. You’ll have a wonderful vantage point over the Olympics without needing to trek far or climb nearly at all. This trail is suitable for beginners and small children and makes a nice cooldown hike after a longer adventure in the area.

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      Open details for Flapjack Lakes Trail

      Flapjack Lakes Trail

      Hard
      25.4 km
      1,182 m
      7.5-11h

      Flapjack Lakes Trail is a hard 25.4 km hike in Olympic National Park that offers the chance to relax or camp among two pretty alpine lakes. This trail is long, but it doesn’t offer technical challenges, so it’s suitable for intermediate hikers. There are lots of spur trails to nice viewpoints, and the lakes themselves are easy on the eyes.

      Hikers report that some parts of the trail are narrow and steep, but they’re passable for most. Download your GPS route before this hike to help with junctions covered by downed trees.

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      Open details for Mount Angeles via Sunrise Ridge Trail

      Mount Angeles via Sunrise Ridge Trail

      Hard
      8.9 km
      615 m
      3.5-4.5h

      Mount Angeles via Sunrise Ridge Trail is a challenging hike that starts out more forgiving before ending with a demanding scramble. This trail is almost 9.0 km long and requires over 600 m of elevation gain, some of which is on the descent. Most hikers don’t actually make it to the summit due to the technicality of the moves required, but great views can still be enjoyed from wherever you decide to end your ascent.

      Poles and boots with good tread are recommended for this hike.

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      Open details for Mount Angeles via Switchback Trail

      Mount Angeles via Switchback Trail

      Moderate
      4.8 km
      435 m
      2-3h

      Mount Angeles via Switchback Trail is an exciting hike that starts out more gradual before ending with a fairly demanding scramble. This trail is just under 5.0 km long and requires 435 m of elevation gain during the ascent. If you stop a bit short of the summit, it’s a moderate-hard hike. If you go all the way, it becomes more technical and challenging, but it’s achievable by some hikers who attempt it.

      Poles and boots with good tread are recommended for this hike.

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      Open details for Lake Sundown Trail

      Lake Sundown Trail

      Hard
      16.9 km
      1,245 m
      6.5-9h

      Lake Sundown Trail is a 16.9 km out-and-back hike in Olympic National Park that sees little traffic. Despite this, it’s quite well-kept and easy to follow. With undulating elevation changes and great viewpoints along the trail, it’s a hike that keeps you engaged despite a slightly longer total length.

      Note that this trail is subject to seasonal closures to protect the elk population of the area. This is normally from October through April.

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      Open details for Mineral Creek Falls via Hoh River Trail

      Mineral Creek Falls via Hoh River Trail

      Easy
      8.9 km
      65 m
      2-2.5h

      The Hoh River Trail meanders along the Hoh River Valley with lush rainforest on either side, leading you to the hidden Mineral Creek Falls. This easy hike is suitable for all ages and perfect on a sunny day. You can plan to camp at the campsites along the trail to make a weekend out of it or just use this trail as a chance to get into nature without much difficulty. Enjoy lush mosses and an enchanting forest.

      This trail does get busy, so try to visit outside of peak hours if you’re able to.

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      Open details for Marymere Falls Trail from Lake Crescent Lodge

      Marymere Falls Trail from Lake Crescent Lodge

      Very Easy
      3.2 km
      93 m
      1h

      Whether you’re staying at the Lake Crescent Lodge or just visiting the area, the Marymere Falls Trail is an easy, quick jaunt to a pretty waterfall in the forest. This waterfall is only 3.2 km away and there is only 93 m of elevation gain to contend with, making this a suitable little trip for most adventurers.

      This hike does get quite busy, so it’s ideal if you can visit outside of peak hours.

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      Open details for Sunrise Viewpoint via High Ridge Nature Trail

      Sunrise Viewpoint via High Ridge Nature Trail

      Very Easy
      1.4 km
      67 m
      0.5h

      We’re all suckers for a good viewpoint, right? Especially at sunrise. Take the High Ridge Nature Trail to the Sunrise Viewpoint, where you can gaze over Olympic National Park all the way to Canada across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This hike is very short, easy, and features wildflower blooms in the middle of summer.

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      Open details for Royal Basin and Royal Lake Hike

      Royal Basin and Royal Lake Hike

      Hard
      25.4 km
      1,159 m
      7.5-11h

      Royal Basin and Royal Lake make for a long hike, hitting over 25.0 km of distance and over 1,100 m of elevation gain. This is a challenging hike, but there are no technical sections to contend with. You can backpack along this trail to break it up or just enjoy a big day of adventure! The terrain changes throughout the hike and the elevation gain is never overwhelming.

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      Open details for Silver Lake Way Trail

      Silver Lake Way Trail

      Hard
      9.7 km
      518 m
      3-4.5h

      Silver Lake Way Trail is a nearly 10.0 km trail in Olympic National Park that sees moderate traffic. We expect the number of visitors to increase, though, since this trail feels like a bit of a hidden gem. It’s not too long, it delivers a good workout, and the views are wonderful. Poles are recommended for the descent, and if you can manage to score a clear day, you’ll have the best experience.

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      Open details for Badger Valley to Grand Lake and Grand Pass

      Badger Valley to Grand Lake and Grand Pass

      Hard
      13.8 km
      810 m
      4.5-6.5h

      Badger Valley to Grand Lake and Grand Pass is a 13.8 km hike that makes for a great day trip or backpacking adventure. This hard trail offers lake and mountain views and the chance to see wildlife. While it can be hiked either direction, going clockwise makes for a less strenuous experience. Poles are recommended for this hike.

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      Open details for Cirque Rim Nature Trail to Sunrise Viewpoint Trail

      Cirque Rim Nature Trail to Sunrise Viewpoint Trail

      Very Easy
      2.1 km
      67 m
      0.5-1h

      We’re all suckers for a good viewpoint, right? Especially at sunrise! Whether you’re visiting early in the day or later, the Sunrise Viewpoint via the Cirque Rim Nature Trail is a fabulous adventure. This hike allows you to gaze over Olympic National Park all the way to Canada across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This hike is very short and very easy and features wildflower blooms in the middle of summer.

      Sunrise Viewpoint is also commonly accessed by the High Nature Trail.

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