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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 241 to 260 of 669
      Open details for Pyramid Mountain Trail

      Pyramid Mountain Trail

      10.6 km
      758 m

      Pyramid Mountain Trail is a hike in Olympic National Forest that is moderately trafficked and just over 10.0 km long. This hike is hard but very fun, with fantastic views at the roomy summit and a landslide to cross that is unnerving to some but thrilling to others. If you’re quite scared of heights, this might not be the one for you, but if you can get across the landslide portion you’ll love the reward.

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      Open details for Dosewallips River Road Trail

      Dosewallips River Road Trail

      20.3 km
      560 m

      Dosewallips River Road Trail is a moderately trafficked hike that begins in Olympic National Forest and ends in Olympic National Park. This hike is very pretty and although it’s quite long, the elevation gain is very gradual and only a couple of sections feel steep. The campground at the end of the trail is excellent.

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      Open details for Lake Constance Trail

      Lake Constance Trail

      Very Hard
      23.3 km
      1,493 m

      Lake Constance Trail is no small feat. In fact, it’s a huge one, often regarded as the hardest hike in the Olympics. This 23.3 km trail requires 1,493 m of elevation gain, but the devil is in the details—parts of this route are very, very steep and dangerous, and there is little respite from the grind. Some hikers can do it in a (long) day, but most adventurers backpack. Come prepared for the adventure of a lifetime!

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      Open details for Spruce Nature Trail

      Spruce Nature Trail

      Very Easy
      2.3 km
      5 m

      The Spruce Nature Trail is an easy trail in Olympic National Park that sees heavy traffic. It’s nestled next to the Hoh River in the much-visited Hoh Rainforest, a great example of coastal temperate rainforest in Washington. This hike is simple but can be combined with other intersecting trails to extend your fun if you’d like.

      We recommend visiting the Hoh Rainforest in off-peak hours to avoid needing to line up for parking.

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      Open details for Twin Firs Loop Trail

      Twin Firs Loop Trail

      Very Easy
      0.5 km
      25 m

      Twin Firs Loop is a 0.5 km hike in Mount Rainier National Park that is incredibly easy, making it a good choice for families with small children and beginners. It’s a good way to stretch your legs or end off a day of hiking in the area. Tall fir trees adorn this trail.

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      Open details for Nolte State Park Deep Lake Loop Trail

      Nolte State Park Deep Lake Loop Trail

      Very Easy
      2.3 km
      16 m

      The loop trail around Deep Lake in Nolte State Park is a quick and easy 2.3 km trail that is suitable for all skill levels. With a mostly flat trail and plenty of benches on the way, this is a good choice for those who need frequent rest breaks as they walk. The loop is dog-friendly (on leash) and a popular stop for families visiting the park. Expect higher traffic on this trail.

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      Open details for Bradley Lake Loop Trail

      Bradley Lake Loop Trail

      Very Easy
      1.4 km
      6 m

      The loop trail around Bradley Lake in Bradley Lake Park is a quick and easy 1.4 km trail that is suitable for all skill levels. With a mostly flat trail and plenty of shade on the way, it’s a popular hike for families and individuals wanting a quick and straightforward break in nature. The loop is dog-friendly (on leash). Expect moderate traffic on this trail.

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      Open details for Paradise Valley Conservation Area Trail

      Paradise Valley Conservation Area Trail

      7.4 km
      95 m

      The Paradise Valley Conservation Area Trail is a 7.4 km easy hike on a pleasant wooded trail. This route is shared by hikers and cyclists. This trail is well-maintained and shaded most of the way. There are plenty of trails in the park that allow you to further explore if you wish. Watch out for exposed roots and cut trees.

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      Open details for Green River Trail Tukwila Section

      Green River Trail Tukwila Section

      Very Easy
      10.0 km
      20 m

      The Tukwila section of the Green River Trail is a 10.0 km stretch of trail used by walkers, runners, and bikers. This trail is flat and easy to follow. While the scenery is more suburban than natural, it’s a great choice for those looking to stretch their legs without going far. The trail remains lightly used, even on weekends, and is paved the entire way.

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      Open details for Green River Trail

      Green River Trail

      12.1 km
      35 m

      The Green River Trail is a 12.1 km multi-use trail used by walkers, runners, and bikers. This trail is flat and easy to follow. While the scenery is more suburban than natural, it’s a nice choice for those in the Kent area looking to stretch their legs without going far. The trail remains lightly used, even on weekends, and is paved the entire way.

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      Open details for Skagit River Loop Trail

      Skagit River Loop Trail

      Very Easy
      3.1 km
      29 m

      The Skagit River Loop Trail is an 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 and the Skagit River beside you. It’s also an easy outing if you’re staying at the Newhalem Creek Campground next door.

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      Open details for Rock Shelter Trail

      Rock Shelter Trail

      Very Easy
      3.5 km
      39 m

      Rock Shelter Trail is a relatively short and easy hike near Newhalem. This trail crosses the Skagit River and takes you to a rock shelter in the forest. It’s a pleasant trip with no real challenges to consider, requiring only a small elevation gain. All skill levels and ages should be able to do this trail.

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      Open details for Bridge Creek Trail

      Bridge Creek Trail

      22.4 km
      1,112 m

      Bridge Creek Trail is a 22.4 km route in North Cascades National Park that is considered hard. This is a point-to-point route that serves to link other trails in the area, including Stehekin Valley Road, North Fork Bridge Creek, Twisp Pass, McAlester Pass, and more. It’s not commonly done as a day trip but you could easily make a portion of this trail an out and back adventure without needing to backpack.

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      Open details for Taneum Creek Trail

      Taneum Creek Trail

      8.7 km
      138 m

      Taneum Creek Trail is a 8.7 km easy hike that is suitable for all skill levels. While this trail has nice views and a low difficulty rating for hikers, you should be aware that it’s heavily trafficked by dirt and mountain bikers. Take care if bringing kids or dogs and remember to share the trail.

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      Open details for Iron Bear via Teanaway Ridge Trail

      Iron Bear via Teanaway Ridge Trail

      9.7 km
      547 m

      Iron Bear via Teanaway Ridge Trail is a moderate hike in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest that sees light traffic. This trail is utilized by hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians, but it’s never too busy. The trail is well maintained and the larches are wonderful in the autumn.

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      Open details for Mount David Hike

      Mount David Hike

      20.9 km
      1,633 m

      Mount David is a 20.9 km hard hike in Henry M. Jackson Wilderness. This hike sees very little traffic, so you’ll likely have the place to yourself. Be prepared for a trail that may not always be very well-defined. We recommend downloading your GPS route ahead of time.

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      Open details for Lake Edna via Chatter Creek Trail

      Lake Edna via Chatter Creek Trail

      17.9 km
      1,501 m

      Lake Edna is a gorgeous spot and the hike there on Chatter Creek Trail is a fantastic challenge. The scenery can distract you from the leg burn… maybe. Expect light traffic on this trail. There is plenty of water on the way if you prefer to filter. There are also plenty of bugs, so bring a good spray.

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      Open details for Kachess Beacon Trail

      Kachess Beacon Trail

      9.0 km
      682 m

      The Kachess Beacon Lookout has excellent views all the way to Mount Rainier. This is a great hike to earn memorable views without needing to hike for miles and miles. At 9.0 km, it’s generally doable for intermediate hikers. Expect moderate traffic on this route.

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      Open details for Old Pipeline Bed Trail

      Old Pipeline Bed Trail

      Very Easy
      3.9 km
      26 m

      The Old Pipeline Trail is a quick and easy nature walk suitable for the whole family. This Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest hike is 3.9 km long and requires almost no elevation gain. You can spot salmon in the river and enjoy the changing foliage through the seasons. It’s a calm place to be despite this being a more popular trail. Expect heavy traffic on this hike.

      This trail is a fun choice for photographers (especially in fall) and sunrise hikers. If you go a bit further past the end of the trail there’s a wonderful sunrise lookout. Dogs are allowed on this trail but have to be leashed.

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      Open details for Sauer’s Mountain Trail

      Sauer’s Mountain Trail

      8.4 km
      570 m

      Sauer’s Mountain Trail is a beautiful hike that is within the ability level of most hikers. This trail is 8.4 km long with 570 m of elevation gain. It’s moderately difficult, but the difficulty is definitely front-loaded with 488 m of that gain happening in the first mile. If you can get past the first 1.6 km, it’s smooth sailing after that!

      This hike begins on private property and then passes into the national forest, but it’s not maintained by the forest service. The trail condition is subject to change. Additionally, there is no public parking besides what’s at the trailhead, so we recommend arriving early. The parking does fill up.

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