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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 261 to 280 of 669
      Open details for Mad River Trail

      Mad River Trail

      Hard
      20.4 km
      613 m
      5.5-7.5h

      Mad River Trail is a 20.4 km hike in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest that is considered hard. This route isn’t as difficult as some others of similar length thanks to a milder elevation profile. The scenery is varied and an even wider variety of wildlife can be spotted on this trail. You can either do this as a day hike or backpack on this route.

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      Open details for Longs Pass Trail

      Longs Pass Trail

      Hard
      11.3 km
      997 m
      4.5-6.5h

      Longs Pass Trail is a unique hike in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This trail clocks in at 11.3 km with a staggering 997 m of elevation gain packed into that relatively moderate distance, but you don’t need to complete the entire trail to get the best views. This trail sees moderate traffic.

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      Open details for Holden Lake from Holden Village Hike

      Holden Lake from Holden Village Hike

      Moderate
      15.4 km
      627 m
      4.5-6h

      olden Lake via Holden Village is a hidden gem in Glacier Peak Wilderness. It’s a gorgeous trail that sees hardly any traffic, making it ideal for hikers who want the views without the crowds. At 15.4 km long with some solid switchbacks to complete, it’s considered a moderately hard hike. Try to visit when the wildflowers are at their best, which is usually in June.

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      Open details for Domke Lake Trail

      Domke Lake Trail

      Moderate
      8.4 km
      400 m
      2.5-3.5h

      Domke Lake Trail leads you 8.4 km above Lake Chelan to the secluded shores of Domke Lake, where people splash their feet, settle in to camp, and toss down their picnics. This hike is mostly uphill and not suitable for young children. You can take the ferry to Lucerne and plan your stay around the boat schedules.

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      Open details for Mount Baldy via Domerie Divide Trail

      Mount Baldy via Domerie Divide Trail

      Hard
      11.3 km
      961 m
      4.5-6.5h

      Mount Baldy via Domerie Divide Trail is a really spectacular hike that sees little traffic. The views of Mount Rainier and the Stuart Range are sublime, but you’ll need to do your fair share of work to access them. Expect brutally steep sections where poles are a must. This hike is 11.3 km long and rated as hard.

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      Open details for Carne Mountain Basin Hike

      Carne Mountain Basin Hike

      Moderate
      10.3 km
      867 m
      4-6h

      Looking for those perfect golden larches? Carne Mountain Basin sees the majority of its yearly traffic in the autumn due to the density of larches along the trail. This hike is 12.4 km long and is considered hard. You can either do this as a day trip to set up camp in the basin. Expect light traffic during most of the summer and heavier traffic in the fall season.

      If you want to bag the summit of Carne Mountain, check out our route guide.

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      Open details for Myrtle Lake Hike

      Myrtle Lake Hike

      Moderate
      13.5 km
      329 m
      3.5-4.5h

      Myrtle Lake is an 13.5 km lightly trafficked hiking and biking trail in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This route is moderately difficult but quite scenic, with the views at the lake enticing many to pitch their tents. This route is shared by mountain bikers and dirt bikers, so hike with open ears.

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      Open details for Fern Lake Trail

      Fern Lake Trail

      Hard
      21.2 km
      979 m
      6.5-9h

      Ferm Lake is a 20.9 km lightly trafficked hiking and biking trail in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This route is considered to be difficult but quite scenic, with the views at the lake often enjoyed unshared by solo hikers due to the extremely light average traffic. Blowdown can be a problem on this route.

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      Open details for Round Mountain Hike

      Round Mountain Hike

      Very Easy
      23.0 km
      1,012 m
      7-9.5h

      Round Mountain is a 23.0 km out and back trail in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest that sees very light traffic. This route is rated as hard with 1,012 m of elevation gain required. The route is known for its wildflowers in the early summer. This guide follows the route to Round Mountain via the Nason Ridge Trailhead.

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      Open details for Rock Pile Trail

      Rock Pile Trail

      Moderate
      1.8 km
      146 m
      0.5-1h

      Rock Pile Trail is a 1.8 km out and back trail that leads you directly up to a viewpoint. This trail is very short, but don’t underestimate how steep it is. Small children may not be able to make it to the top. It’s essentially straight up with occasional slippery sections, but if you can tolerate a short sprint, you’ll have the views to enjoy. Expect light traffic on this route.

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      Open details for Coal Creek Falls via Nike Horse Trail

      Coal Creek Falls via Nike Horse Trail

      Easy
      3.4 km
      82 m
      1h

      The hike to Coal Creek Falls on the Nike Horse Trail is an easy-moderate adventure. This trail is 3.4 km long, making it an easy add-on to a day of hiking or a short trip on its own. For the best experience at the falls, try to visit in late spring or after a good rain. They can sometimes dry up in the late summertime.

      Although this hike is suitable for all skill levels, it’s not stroller-friendly. Dogs are permitted, but remember to keep them on leash, especially with the potential for horse traffic on this route.
      You can also take Cave Hole Trail to get to the falls.

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      Open details for Coal Creek Falls via Cave Hole Trail

      Coal Creek Falls via Cave Hole Trail

      Moderate
      4.2 km
      181 m
      1-1.5h

      The hike to Coal Creek Falls on the Cave Hole Trail is an enjoyable moderate hike. This trail is 4.2 km long and suitable for most skill levels with no major climbs and no technical challenges. For the best experience at the falls, try to visit in late spring or after a good rain. They can sometimes dry up in the late summertime.

      Although this hike is suitable for all skill levels, it’s not stroller-friendly. Dogs are permitted, but remember to keep them on a leash, especially with the potential for horse traffic on the second half of this route.

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      Open details for Kopachuck State Park Lower Loop Trail

      Kopachuck State Park Lower Loop Trail

      Very Easy
      0.6 km
      16 m
      0.5h

      The Kopachuck State Park Lower Loop Trail is a very quick, simple walk in the Gig Harbor area. This loop is just over a quarter of a mile in length with hardly any elevation change, making it a walk suitable for all skill levels. You can also combine this loop with the Upper Loop Trail to make a longer trip out of it.

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      Open details for Franklin Ghost Town Trail

      Franklin Ghost Town Trail

      Easy
      3.2 km
      63 m
      0.5-1h

      Franklin Falls Trail is a 3.2 km heavily trafficked out and back trail that takes you to the site of an abandoned mining town. The hike is 3.2 km long with very minimal elevation gain, so all ages and skill levels can enjoy it. There is also a waterfall on the trail. Note that the waterfall trail is on private property, so you will need to pay $5 to park in the lot and access the waterfall trail. Kids under 12 are free. If you park elsewhere and only hike on the state trails you do not need to pay.

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      Open details for Volunteer Park Loop

      Volunteer Park Loop

      Very Easy
      1.8 km
      25 m
      0.5h

      The volunteer Park Loop is a 1.8 km walk through a very well-maintained park with beautiful flower gardens and a skyline view of Seattle. This park also has the Seattle Asian Art Museum and an amphitheater. The walk mostly hugs the perimeter of the park, giving you the chance to appreciate every corner and unwind in its beautiful scenery.

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      Open details for Lincoln Park Trail

      Lincoln Park Trail

      Very Easy
      3.4 km
      25 m
      0.5-1h

      Lincoln Park in West Seattle boasts so much to enjoy. This multi-use park has this 3.2 km hiking trail in addition to a web of others, bike paths, sandy beaches and dramatic bluffs, picnic areas, and gorgeous views. You could spend a day in the park exploring, but this loop trail takes you through all corners of the park. It’s a great way to stretch your legs, get the dogs out, and enjoy a slice of nature in the city. This trail is easy and mostly flat, so it’s suitable for all skill levels.

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      Open details for Tacoma Narrows Bridge Walk

      Tacoma Narrows Bridge Walk

      Very Easy
      5.5 km
      131 m
      1.5-2h

      The walk across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge gets better every time. This 5.5 km out and back trek takes you over the bridge and back, where you can look out over the islands, the water, and Mount Rainier. It’s a fun walk for kids and anyone who likes an impressive viewpoint. The walk has a gentle incline and is stroller-friendly. There will be traffic next to you on the hike, but hopefully the views are enough to distract you.

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      Open details for Luther Burbank Park Loop

      Luther Burbank Park Loop

      Very Easy
      3.1 km
      38 m
      0.5-1h

      Luther Burbank Park is a multi-use park on the northern end of Mercer Island that offers great walking trails. This guide covers the 3.2 km loop trail in the park, which is the perfect way to enjoy the entire area. See lake views, scope out your future picnic spots, get the dogs out, or just stretch your legs on this easy, moderately trafficked trail.

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      Open details for Lake Union Loop

      Lake Union Loop

      Easy
      10.3 km
      71 m
      2-3h

      The Lake Union Loop is a heavily trafficked 10.3 km loop in Seattle that wraps around Lake Union, as the name suggests. This loop is paved and mostly flat, making it a good choice for strollers, bikers, joggers, and all ages and ability levels of walkers. Keep an eye out for others on this multi-use path, but otherwise, just enjoy the city and lake views.

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      Open details for Lake Wilderness Trail

      Lake Wilderness Trail

      Very Easy
      6.4 km
      28 m
      1-1.5h

      The Lake Wilderness Trail is a 6.4 km moderately trafficked out and back trail in Maple Valley that is frequented by walkers, runners, and dog walkers. This multi-use path is a great choice for an easy stroll and it is suitable for all skill levels, and the view of the lake most of the way is a wonderful sight. The path is mostly gravel.

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