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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 101 to 120 of 669
      Open details for Gold Creek Pond Loop

      Gold Creek Pond Loop

      Very Easy
      1.9 km
      14 m
      0.5h

      The Gold Creek Pond Loop is a 1.9 km heavily trafficked loop hike atop Snoqualmie Pass that is rated as easy. This short loop is ADA accessible, making it a great option for hikers with mobility limitations. The path is also stroller-friendly, making it a common choice for families looking for a quick outing with the kids. This hike features a picturesque mountain pond surrounded by green forest and a frame of mountains.

      Note that this trail is also used for snowshoeing, but the pass requirements for access are different in the winter.

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      Open details for Hole in the Wall

      Hole in the Wall

      Very Easy
      5.3 km
      23 m
      1-1.5h

      This is a jaw-dropping hike from the raw edge of the Pacific Ocean to a collection of massive boulders jutting out of the water. Be sure to go at low tide to more closely enjoy the impressive rock formations at the end of the beach.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.5
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Open details for Pierce Mountain Camp via Sourdough Mountain Trail

      Pierce Mountain Camp via Sourdough Mountain Trail

      Very Hard
      16.9 km
      1,738 m
      8-11h

      Pierce Mountain Camp via Sourdough Mountain Trail is a beautiful, hard trail. This hike is over 16km long and gains an exhausting 1,700 m of elevation, making it a real leg-burner. It’ll be worth it, though! Whether you’re camping at one of the two backcountry sites on the trail or coming out for a day trip, this hike will deliver as much as it demands.

      Poles are recommended for this hike.

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      Open details for Cherry Creek Falls Trail

      Cherry Creek Falls Trail

      Easy
      8.2 km
      194 m
      2-3h

      Cherry Creek Falls Trail is a 8.0 km easy hike in the Marckworth Forest. This trail is suitable for all skill levels and dogs are allowed on leash. The trail winds through the forest to two waterfalls tucked into the mossy trees. This trail is also used by birdwatchers and runners.

      Note that the beginning of this hike passes through private property. It’s very important to stay on the trail, keep dogs leashed, and pack out your trash to ensure access remains granted for hikers after you. It’s also very important to park off the county road and off private property or you may be towed.

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      Open details for Twin Lakes Trail

      Twin Lakes Trail

      Moderate
      10.3 km
      431 m
      3-4h

      Twin Lakes Trail is a 10.3 km moderately difficult hike that takes you to two lakes. This hike is suitable for active children and enjoyable over and over. Routefinding is not a challenge and there are no especially difficult sections except for some light overgrowth in spots. Expect moderate traffic.

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      Open details for Ape Canyon Trail

      Ape Canyon Trail

      Hard
      17.7 km
      635 m
      5-7h

      Ape Canyon Trail is well worth the effort from anyone in the area. This hike takes you through a wonderful section of old-growth forest (one of the few remaining stands near Mount Saint Helens) atop a butte with excellent views of Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.

      The hike is rated as hard with 635 m of elevation gain to complete, but it’s fairly gradual in its gain. Small children may find it too long or difficult, but older, active families often enjoy this hike. We recommend completing this hike in the late spring and early summer when the wildflowers are in bloom for the best experience.

      This trail does get quite busy so we recommend visiting on a weekday or early in the morning to avoid some of the crowds.

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      Open details for Sunrise Rim Trail and Fremont Lookout

      Sunrise Rim Trail and Fremont Lookout

      Moderate
      14.0 km
      595 m
      4-6h

      The Sunrise Rim Trail and Fremont Lookout hike is a 14.0 km moderately challenging lollipop trail in Mount Rainier National Park that offers splendid views of Mount Rainier, Mount Fremont, the Emmons Glacier, and more. This trail loops to several worthy spots, like the Glacier Overlook and the 1st and 2nd Burroughs, so you can customize it as you please. With expansive views and changing terrain, the Sunrise Rim Trail and Fremont Lookout hike is one of the most satisfying trails you can do in Mount Rainier National Park.

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      Open details for Mount Si Trail

      Mount Si Trail

      Hard
      12.1 km
      1,017 m
      5-7h

      The Mount Si Trail is a 12.1 km out and back trail that sees heavy traffic and is rated as hard. This hike is completed by upwards of 100,000 people per year, partly because of its proximity to Seattle and partly because of its wild beauty. On a trail this well-used, exercising good trail etiquette is essential.

      The hike itself is fairly demanding, not just for the elevation or length, but because of the Haystack, a scramble that leads to the mountain’s true summit. While it’s worthwhile to climb the Haystack if you feel comfortable doing so, many hikers enjoy the great views just below the true summit, making this a somewhat easier hike.

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      Open details for Rialto Beach Trail

      Rialto Beach Trail

      Moderate
      21.6 km
      796 m
      6-8.5h

      Washington is lined with incredible beaches, and the wild coastline is always a treat to explore. The windswept beauty of Rialto Beach makes it a top walking destination. At 21.6 km, you can either make this a full-day adventure or just walk a portion of the beach to suit your timing and desired level of activity. Wear good shoes for rocky sections and consider bringing poles to help you along.

      Rialto Beach tends to be somewhat busy, so try visiting in the mornings or midweek if possible. Additionally, plan to arrive as the tide goes out so you’re not trapped by high tide as you try to get back.

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      Open details for Desolation Peak Trail

      Desolation Peak Trail

      Hard
      15.5 km
      1,364 m
      6.5-9h

      Desolation Peak Trail is a hard hike that is accessed by boat rental or water taxi across Ross Lake. This hike packs in the elevation gain, but the views from the top will make it feel worthwhile. There is also a campsite just past the halfway mark of the ascent that you can use to stretch this adventure into a multi-day experience.

      Poles are helpful for this hike.

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      Open details for Burke-Gilman Trail

      Burke-Gilman Trail

      Very Easy
      29.6 km
      118 m
      5.5-8h

      Burke-Gilman Trail is a well-known multi-use pathway in Seattle popular with walkers, runners, and bikers. Most adventurers make use of a shorter section of this trail, so don’t let the distance intimidate you. The whole 32.2 km are paved and the vast majority of the trail, save for one short section, is away from car traffic. While this obviously isn’t a hiking route in the traditional sense, it’s a wonderful way to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors in Seattle.

      There are lots of parks accessible from the path, which gives you the opportunity to break up your walk and enjoy other activities on the way.

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      Open details for Manastash Ridge Trail

      Manastash Ridge Trail

      Moderate
      5.8 km
      480 m
      2.5-3.5h

      The Manastash Ridge Trail is a 5.8 km hike in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This hike is moderately difficult. While it’s not that long, it’s a bit of a stair stepper. The elevation gain is consistent and solid the entire way to the top of the ridge. Expect heavy traffic on this route.

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      Open details for Spirit Falls Trail

      Spirit Falls Trail

      Very Easy
      1.3 km
      154 m
      0.5-1h

      Spirit Falls is a stunning sight. The falls are tucked into the forest off the beaten path, hidden in the moss of the trees until you’re right in front of them. The falls are gorgeous in the warmer months, but they’re especially impressive when they’re surrounded by crystalline white in the winter.

      The hike to the falls is about a mile long, but there are different routes there that may differ in length and elevation gain. While the hike is very short, it’s very steep and descends a slick talus slope. This makes the hike unsuitable for kids and demands careful footing from adults. There are also sheer drop offs near the falls, so we recommend keeping a safe distance from the edge.

      The paths to the falls cross private property and are subject to closure at the discretion of the landowners.

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      Open details for Burroughs Mountain Loop via Glacier Basin Trail

      Burroughs Mountain Loop via Glacier Basin Trail

      Hard
      16.6 km
      994 m
      5.5-8h

      The Burroughs Mountain Loop via Glacier Basin Trail is a 16.6 km hard hike in Mount Rainier National Park that takes you between three peaks to various viewpoints. The trail is long but worth the effort, granting you up-close views of Mount Rainier, the Emmons Glacier, Sourdough Ridge, Mount Fremont, and more. If the full hike is too long for you, you can turn back from the first or second peaks and still have a fantastic day.

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      Open details for Goldmyer Hot Springs Trail

      Goldmyer Hot Springs Trail

      Easy
      17.9 km
      308 m
      4-5.5h

      The Goldmyer Hot Springs Trail is an out-and-back trail near Snoqualmie Pass that is moderately trafficked and rated as easy. This hike passes through lush forest alongside the Snoqualmie River to a wonderful set of hot springs. Make sure you do the legwork before you go, though! The springs are on private property and only 20 permits per day are given to access them. Permits are available at www.goldmyer.org. Please don’t try to hike this trail without a reservation as you will be disappointed. The perk of this system is that you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the hot springs without the crowd!

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      Open details for Sol Duc Falls Trail

      Sol Duc Falls Trail

      Very Easy
      2.6 km
      69 m
      0.5-1h

      Sol Duc Falls Trail is a heavily trafficked waterfall hike in Olympic National Park that is rated as easy. This hike is a favorite for families and beginners due to its extremely modest elevation gain, and it’s a favorite for all others because of its beauty. The falls themselves are gorgeous, and it only takes about an hour to enjoy this entire trail. All that being said, it is an extremely popular hike and the trail sees heavy traffic. Try to hike midweek or early in the mornings for the best chance of a peaceful outing.

      The road to the trailhead is subject to seasonal closure. Please check current conditions if you’re visiting in the winter.

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      Open details for Thunder Knob Trail

      Thunder Knob Trail

      Moderate
      5.3 km
      203 m
      1.5-2h

      The Thunder Knob Trail is a pleasant moderate hike, switchbacking gently to a knob above Diablo Lake with views of nearby mountains. It’s just over 5.0 km in length with around 200 m of elevation gain, making it suitable for families and beginners. The trail is very well maintained and easy to follow.

      Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on leash.

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      Open details for Cougar Mountain Indian Trail

      Cougar Mountain Indian Trail

      Very Easy
      4.8 km
      72 m
      1-1.5h

      The Cougar Mountain Indian Trail is one of the most-used trails on Cougar Mountain. This hike is 4.8 km long but only involves 72 m of elevation gain, making it an ideal trip for those wanting classic hiking scenery without the work that’s usually required to earn them. Very close to Renton and Issaquah and easily reachable from Seattle, this trail is an easy quick trip for adventurers of all skill levels. Expect the Far Country Falls and the serene mossy forest to be the focal point of your adventure. Horses also use this trail, so remember to give horses the right of way whenever possible.

      The falls can dry out significantly when there hasn’t been much rain, so we recommend visiting during a wetter week or earlier in the hiking season if you can.

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      Open details for Saddlerock Trail

      Saddlerock Trail

      Moderate
      4.0 km
      278 m
      1.5-2h

      Saddlerock Trail is a loop trail in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This hike is 4.0 km long and can either be moderate or a bit tougher depending on the route you take on the mountaintop. You can either stick to the back of the peak for an easier go or venture to the front for a more adventurous experience. This trail sees heavy traffic.

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      Open details for Hamilton Mountain and Rodney Falls Hike

      Hamilton Mountain and Rodney Falls Hike

      Hard
      13.0 km
      697 m
      4-6h

      The hike to Hamilton Mountain is a spectacular trip that captures the best of the Columbia Gorge. Admire snow-capped peaks, changing foliage, the deep blue river, and multiple waterfalls, including Rodney Falls. This is a hard hike, but it’s worth the extra bit of work for beginners. The trip comes in at 12.9 km with 697 m of elevation gain.

      This trail can be done either as an out and back or as a loop. This route guide follows the loop, which is a touch longer but offers more varied scenery. While the trail is generally quite well-maintained, poles might be helpful for the elevation gain. You likely won’t need a GPS track for this route as the junctions are very well signed.

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