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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 141 to 160 of 669
      Open details for Lovers Lane Trail

      Lovers Lane Trail

      Moderate
      9.8 km
      180 m
      2-3h

      Lovers Lane Trail is a loop hike that connects the Sol Duc Falls, the campground at Sol Duc, and the resort. It’s a relaxed walk through the forest at first, and then the trail becomes a bit steeper as it crosses through a prime example of temperate rainforest.

      While this moderately trafficked trail is a no-brainer for those staying at the campground or using the resort, it’s a good way to see Sol Duc Falls on a more encompassing route that shows off even more of the area.

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      Open details for Ebey’s Landing Trail

      Ebey’s Landing Trail

      Moderate
      8.4 km
      115 m
      2-2.5h

      Ebey's Landing Loop is a popular 8.4 km loop trail on Whidbey Island that provides stellar views from atop a high bluff over Puget Sound. This hike is moderate in difficulty and offers lots for your effort. Look out over the water, watch for wildlife and birds, or watch life go by on the nearby working farms. This trail is popular, so we recommend visiting outside of peak hours for a quiet experience. It’s especially nice at sunset!

      There are two possible trailheads for this hike, one offering an easier hike and the other providing a little bit more of a challenge. Choose whichever you prefer. Both routes pass through private property, so make sure to stay on the trail and keep dogs leashed at all times.

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      Open details for Lake Stuart Trail

      Lake Stuart Trail

      Moderate
      14.0 km
      558 m
      4-5.5h

      Lake Stuart is a beautiful alpine lake in the aptly named Alpine Lakes Wilderness and a fantastic moderate day hike. Sharing a trail with the renowned Colchuck Lake, you could easily visit both in one go or make a backpacking trip out of it. Expect moderate traffic on this trail. Enjoy lots of wildflowers in the early summer.

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      Open details for Windy Ridge Trail

      Windy Ridge Trail

      Very Easy
      1.0 km
      75 m
      0.5h

      Windy Ridge Trail is true to its name, but it could also be called Windy Scenic Trail. This trail is an easy trip suitable for all skill levels. While you’ll need the windbreaker, the views are worth it. Our section of this route is only 1.0 km long and takes you up to the Harmony Lake Viewpoint. You can go all the way across the ridge to the Smith Creek Trail, which is about a 24.1 km hike in total.

      The drive to this hike is spectacular, too. You’ll have some excellent views from the car windows, so enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

      This route sees moderate traffic. The footing can be a bit rough, with the trail consisting of rocky gravel. Additionally, note that the road to this trail is not always accessible when it’s snowy out. Plan this hike for the summer months.

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      Open details for Sunrise Rim Trail

      Sunrise Rim Trail

      Moderate
      8.9 km
      340 m
      2.5-3.5h

      The Sunrise Rim Trail is a 8.0 km moderately challenging loop 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 shorten it or hike it as an out and back if you’re not up to completing the entire trail. With expansive views and changing terrain, the Sunrise Rim Trail is one of the most satisfying hikes you can do in Mount Rainier National Park.

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      Open details for Lime Kiln Trail

      Lime Kiln Trail

      Moderate
      10.8 km
      280 m
      2.5-4h

      Lime Kiln Trail is a 10.8 km heavily trafficked out and back trail in Washington that is rated as moderate. This trail is very unique; you won’t be seeing sprawling mountain vistas, but you will be finding hints of the area’s history hidden in a mossy river canyon. The hike features an old kiln used to make lime from limestone, and a few artifacts from a long-gone railroad and community remain. The river canyon itself is very pretty, with lush greenery surrounding the calm waters. For a break from the usual, this is a great hike.

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      Open details for Lena Lake Trail

      Lena Lake Trail

      Moderate
      11.3 km
      497 m
      3.5-4.5h

      Lena Lake is a moderate, heavily trafficked route in Olympic National Park. This trail is suitable for many ability levels and ages, and it takes you to a beautiful lake tucked into the forest. It is the perfect place for lunch or an afternoon with friends and family. Old-growth fir trees, Lena Creek, waterfalls, and wildlife make this trail special.

      This can be a very wet trail despite best efforts by trail crews to divert water flow, so be prepared when it comes to your footwear.

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      Open details for Flaming Geyser State Park Loop

      Flaming Geyser State Park Loop

      Very Easy
      1.6 km
      77 m
      0.5h

      Flaming Geyser State Park Loop is a 1.6 km easy nature walk in the park that is suitable for all skill levels. This brief walk passes through the lush forest on one side and the river and ponds on the other. It’s a good choice for families with small children and those wanting a quick outing. This trail can sometimes become busy, so try to arrive early on weekends. You could easily start with this loop and then spend the entire day exploring the park, including the geysers. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on one of the many benches along the path.

      Note that the geyser is not on this trail, but it’s just a short walk from the east side of the loop. Additionally, this path can be a bit overgrown in spots.

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      Open details for Quinault River Pony Bridge Trail

      Quinault River Pony Bridge Trail

      Moderate
      7.7 km
      355 m
      2.5-3.5h

      For a different experience than the many mountain panoramas out there, try the Quinault River Pony Bridge Trail. This moderate hike leads to an impressive view into the river gorge from atop the bridge. It’s a top-notch picnic lunch spot and there’s nothing too strenuous or difficult required in reaching it.

      This trail is heavily trafficked, making a midweek or early morning visit a good idea if possible.

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      Open details for Meadowdale Beach Park Hike

      Meadowdale Beach Park Hike

      Easy
      3.7 km
      122 m
      1-1.5h

      Meadowdale Beach Park is a wonderful destination for the whole family, offering an ecologically diverse area where a creek empties into Puget Sound. The Olympic Mountains, Brown’s Bay, and the surrounding islands make for a great view on this easy-moderate 3.7 km hike. This trail is heavily trafficked, so try to visit outside of peak hours if you’re able to.

      This route follows Lund Gulch to the beach. The forest alongside the gulch is splendid, boasting lively green foliage and a babbling brook. This hike is a treat for the whole family, especially if you take some time to enjoy the beach before heading back up the gulch.

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      Open details for Second Beach Hike

      Second Beach Hike

      Very Easy
      3.4 km
      85 m
      1h

      Washington has no shortage of incredible beaches, and the endless coastline is always a wonder to explore. Second Beach is an example of the scenery that makes the Pacific Northwest what it is, from dramatic sea to salty beaches strewn with driftwood and peculiar rock formations jutting out of the water to fascinating tide pools. The hike is less than 4.0 km long and easy enough for most visitors to enjoy.

      Second 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.

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      Open details for Wapato Lake Trail

      Wapato Lake Trail

      Very Easy
      1.6 km
      6 m
      0.5h

      Wapato Lake Trail is a 1.6 km easy hike in Wapato Lake Park that is suitable for all skill levels. This hike circles Wapato Lake, providing access to a picnic area and dog park on the way. This trail is very easy to follow and a great choice for dog walkers who want to take advantage of the park.

      Once you’re done hiking, check out the pretty gardens and snap a photo in the gorgeous historic pergola.

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      Open details for Lake of the Angels via Putvin Trail

      Lake of the Angels via Putvin Trail

      Hard
      12.6 km
      1,168 m
      5.5-7.5h

      The Lake of the Angels is truly heavenly, but the trail to get there is anything but. If you’re ready for a dose of hard work and a bit of a precarious ascent, this lake is such a fantastic place to celebrate your climb. It’s serene, beautiful, and not too busy. In fact, it’s tucked into the Valley of Heaven, fittingly so. Note that there is a section of hands-on climbing on this hike where a fall could be fatal. There is a rope to assist you, but do not attempt this hike if this level of exposure is too much for you.

      We recommend planning this hike for a dry, clear day to lessen any risk of slipping. Poles will be a huge help.

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      Open details for Penrose Point State Park Trail

      Penrose Point State Park Trail

      Very Easy
      3.7 km
      61 m
      1h

      Penrose Point State Park Trail is a 3.7 km easy hike that loops around this family-friendly park near Lakebay. The hike is mostly flat and offers beach access and great views, making it a perfect outing for the whole family. The trail doesn’t get too busy, so it’s a good option for weekends where other nearby trails might be crowded.

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      Open details for Hoh Rainforest Loop

      Hoh Rainforest Loop

      Very Easy
      0.3 km
      1 m
      0.5h

      The Hoh Rainforest is one of the most visited forests in Olympic National Park. Walk through lush temperate rainforest on an easy, family-friendly trail. The trail presents no real challenge and is conveniently located near a visitor center and a campground. This short loop stays close to the visitor center. If you want a longer walk in the area, try the Hoh Rainforest Hike.

      Although this trail gets busy, we recommend making the trip if you’re in the park. If you can, visiting on a weekday offers the best chance of a quieter trail.

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      Open details for Coal Creek Trail

      Coal Creek Trail

      Easy
      8.5 km
      172 m
      2-3h

      Coal Creek Trail is an 8.5 km easy hiking trail in the Coal Creek Natural Area that is suitable for all skill levels. This hike explores the history of coal mining in the region, showing you artifacts from the mining days and allowing you to check out an old mine shaft. This is a fun choice for families with young children and history buffs.

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      Open details for Lundin Peak View and Red Mountain via Old Commonwealth Trail

      Lundin Peak View and Red Mountain via Old Commonwealth Trail

      Hard
      13.8 km
      1,052 m
      5.5-7.5h

      Lundin Peak View and Red Mountain via Old Commonwealth Trail is a 13.8 km hard hike in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest that provides two mountaintops with a scrambling section. Expect several river crossings, great views, and some hard work.

      There is some overgrowth at the beginning of this hike, but it’s nothing impassable. We don’t recommend Red Mountain for those who are uncomfortable with heights or exposed scrambles. While dogs are allowed on this trail, we do not recommend trying to bring them up Red Mountain, Lundin Peak is a bit more forgiving up to the false summit.

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      Open details for Smithbrook Trail

      Smithbrook Trail

      Moderate
      3.9 km
      202 m
      1-1.5h

      Smithbrook Trail is a quick 3.9 km hike in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest that is rated as moderate. With one little sprint of steep trail and a more relaxed ending, it’s a good way to enjoy the moss-covered trees of the forest and stretch your legs.

      This trail can be used as part of a longer hike in conjunction with other intersecting routes.

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      Open details for Scout Patrol Peak

      Scout Patrol Peak

      Moderate
      7.4 km
      379 m
      2.5-3.5h

      Scout Patrol Peak is a trail that you can hike in all seasons, and it offers some solitude no matter the time of year. The hike isn’t too long and involves less than a low elevation gain, making it a moderate trip. From the viewpoint, you’ll be able to see Granite Mountain, Humpback Mountain, and more. There is some scrambling required on this hike.

      There are some bigger potholes on the road in so drive carefully.

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      Open details for Lake Elizabeth Trail

      Lake Elizabeth Trail

      Moderate
      12.2 km
      381 m
      3-4.5h

      Lake Elizabeth Trail is more of a walk on the road to a gorgeous lake than a hike, but this is the ideal path for those who don’t want too much of a challenge, don’t want to route find, and prefer a nice even walking surface. It’s family-friendly and simple, and the lake is a pretty spot for a picnic.

      You can hike this trail in the winter, but we’d recommend bringing snowshoes if you have them.

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