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08 Best Hikes in Washington State in 2023

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Best Hikes in Washington State: From sprawling meadows, and cascading waterfalls, to the high desert landscape and the majestic Olympic and Mount Rainier, there is no dearth of stunning landscapes in Washington.

The Evergreen State features a range of trails that will allow you to soak in its lush natural beauty. 

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From the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail to the paved Burke- Gilman trail in urban Seattle, there is something here for everyone. With so many options, the state is a hiker’s haven.

Wondering which would be the perfect one for you?

Let’s help you pick the perfect one for your next adventure with our list of the best hikes in Washington State.

Dive in!

Ape Cave Trail, Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument #1

Love the idea of a subterranean adventure?

Ape Cave Trail is the one to go for.

It enables access to one of the country’s longest lava tubes formed around 2,000 years ago.

Don’t mind scrambling?

Explore the Upper Cave trail, which is roughly two miles long. There are numerous Lava falls to climb over here.

Best Hikes in Washington State
  Looking for a relatively easier route? Hike the Lower Cave trail.

What’s more?

You can learn about geology and the volcano’s history through the numerous interpretive boards on the way.

Make sure you carry sufficient light and proper footwear and don’t forget to book your permit in advance.

Sol Duc Falls Trail, Olympic National Park #2

Looking for a family-friendly hike?

Head to the Sol Duc Falls Trail.

This 2-mile hike to the fascinating Sol Duc Falls is easily accessible from the Sol Duc Campground as well as the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Its wide trail and short distance lure many families.

Best Hikes in Washington State
Looking for a longer hike?
Hike to the Seven Lakes Basin for magnificent views of alpine lakes and subalpine meadows.

Got some more time on your hands?

Camp in the park’s Seven Lakes Basin with advanced permits. Keep your eyes peeled for creatures like elk, deer, and black bears.

If you wish to pamper yourself to a lavish stay amidst such beautiful environs, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort offers mineral baths, relaxing massages, and comfortable rooms for a rejuvenating stay. 

Ozette Triangle Trail, Olympic National Park #3

Love going to the beach?

This trail is for you.

The 9.2-mile-long Ozette Triangle Trail in Olympic National Park offers breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding woodlands. Begin your trek at Lake Ozette and go along the Cape Alava Trail to the rocky shore.

Best Hikes in Washington State
Best Hikes in Washington State

Enjoy your walk on the beach, where you’ll also find the Wedding Rocks, a group of petroglyphs on the Olympic Peninsula.

Make your way back to the lake trailhead via Sand Point Trail which goes inland from the beach.

The entire route makes a triangle. The captivating scenery of storm-lashed beaches will leave you spellbound.

Don’t forget to get your camera along for some stunning clicks. It is one of the best hikes in Washington state.

The Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier National Park #4

How about soaking in spectacular views for 14 days?

Go for the Wonderland Trail, an iconic trek that encircles Mount Rainier’s base.

Best Hikes in Washington State
The best time to undertake the trek is in July or August when wildflowers are in bloom.

The 93-mile hike gains an elevation of 21,400 feet and is so popular that they have enacted a lottery system for overnight camp permits.

From witnessing lush meadows, and impressive glaciers to sparkling lakes and river crossings, your efforts will be rewarded with beautiful natural scenery along the way.

Don’t like long hikes?

There are several shorter day hikes that offer stunning views of Mount Rainier.

The Cascade Pass Trail, North Cascades #5

The Cascade Pass Trail is one of the best hikes in the North Cascades owing to its stunning views and easy accessibility.

Feast your eyes on the incredible views of glaciated valleys, alpine meadows, towering Cascade peaks, and multiple scenic waterfalls.

Best Hikes in Washington State
Best Hikes in Washington State

The trail is easy compared to many others on the list, with a seven-mile round trip and an elevation of roughly 2,000 feet.

This makes it a popular choice for first-time hikers.

Got more spirit and strength?

Continue down the Sahale Arm Trail, and witness breath-taking vistas of subalpine meadows. Late Summer is the best time to undertake this impressive hike. 

Skyline Trail, Mount Rainier National Park #6

Have always been fascinated by Mt. Rainier’s charm?

Skyline Trail is the one for you.

Located in the national park’s Paradise hiking area, this trail begins at the Paradise Inn and offers jaw-dropping views of glaciers and the Tatoosh Range.

Best Hikes in Washington State
The 5.5-mile trail also passes through subalpine meadows and waterfalls.

You’ll be greeted by colourful wildflowers along the way.  Owing to its popularity, it attracts a lot of hikers, particularly from late July to early August. 

The Enchantments Trail, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest #7

This 18-mile “Enchantment Core” trek in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of the Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest is one of the most beautiful and challenging hikes in the state.

Best Hikes in Washington State
So, go for it only if you’re in great physical shape.

During your hike, you’ll be greeted with stunning alpine lakes, rugged mountain peaks, plunging waterfalls, and captivating views of Colchuck Lake and surrounding mountains from the Aasgard Pass. The trail gains an elevation of 4,500 feet.

Don’t feel like going for the challenging route?

Enjoy the lush natural beauty and various attractions without going on the 18-mile hike through its core.

You can find many easier day-hike options from the Stuart Lake trailhead.

Wish to stay overnight?

Get advance permits. 

Hoh River Trail, Olympic National Park #8

This magnificent trail located in Olympic National Park goes through lush rainforests, and beautiful waterfalls, and offers picturesque views of the surrounding mountains.

Best Hikes in Washington State
The trail then moves upwards

Begin your journey by hiking along the Hoh River and move along to the rainforest. You’ll find mosses and gigantic trees, some of which are a thousand years old.

You’ll go through a white-water gorge and go on till you reach the impressive Blue Glacier at the foot of Mt. Olympus.

It takes around two to four days to complete the hike.

There are several campsites in the National Park where you can spend the night beneath the stars. 

The trail is open all year, but it is most enjoyable in the summer.

So, pick the one that attracts you the most and get ready for an adrenaline-pumping adventure in the wild. 

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Q. What are the different types of hiking trails in Washington?

There are different kinds of trails in Washington including foot trails, bike trails,boardwalks, and multi-use trails.

Q. What is the most popular and difficult trail in Washington?

The 5.5-mile-long Skyline Trail Loop is one of the state’s most popular and challenging trails. 

Q. What is the most iconic hike in the US?

John Muir Trail is the most iconic hike in the US. It goes through some of the most impressive national parks in the country such as Ansel Adams Wilderness Area, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Park.

Q. Which is the biggest trail in Washington state?

The Columbia Plateau Trail is the longest in Washington state. It stretches for around 130 miles from East Pasco to Fish Lake.

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