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Thursday, October 5, 2023

The 08 Best Hikes in Washington State in 2023

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Best Hikes in Washington State: From traversing through lush national forests, and sprawling fields, to the high desert landscape, Washington offers endless opportunities to enjoy its sublime natural beauty.

The Evergreen State is a haven for hikers with a range of hikes on offer. 

North Cascades, Olympic, and Mount Rainier are particularly famous for the variety of trails they feature.

Whether you’re looking for sprawling meadows, cascading waterfalls, or towering mountain tops, you can find a hike that offers that.

From the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail to the paved Burke-Gilman trail in urban Seattle, there is a plethora of trails to choose from. 

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Wondering which would be the perfect one for you?

We’ve got you covered with our list of the best hikes in Washington State.

Dive in!

1. The Enchantments Trail, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

This 18-mile “Enchantment Core” trail is in Okanagon-Wenatchee National Forest’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness. During the hike, you’ll be greeted by majestic alpine lakes and several mountain peaks.

The stunning view of Colchuck Lake and surrounding mountains from the Aasgard Pass is another notable highlight of the trail.

Best Hikes in Washington State

The elevation gain through the way can be over 4,500 feet so go for this only if you’re in excellent hiking shape.

Don’t feel like going for the physically demanding journey?

You can enjoy the attractions without going for the 18-mile hike through its core.

Beginning from Stuart Lake trailhead, there are numerous easier day-hike options too. 

2. The Cascade Pass Trail, North Cascades

With its easy accessibility and stunning views, the Cascade Pass Trail is among the top hikes of the North Cascades. Soak in the picturesque views of glaciated valleys and towering Cascade peaks on this route.

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

Best Hikes in Washington State

This makes it a popular choice amongst beginner hikers.

Got some more experience and stamina?

You can move further on the Sahale Arm Trail and enjoy stunning views of subalpine meadows. The best time to go for this is during late summer when there’s no snow. 

3. Skyline Trail, Mount Rainier National Park

Have you always been intrigued by Mt. Rainier’s charm?

Go for Skyline Trail.

Located in the Paradise hiking area of the national park, this trail goes through subalpine meadows and fascinating waterfalls.

Beginning from the historic Paradise Inn, this 5.5-mile trail is wider than many other trails.

Best Hikes in Washington State

Your efforts will be rewarded with views of glaciers, above treeline trails, and stunning views of the Tatoosh Range. Owing to its popularity, it draws a lot of hikers especially from late July to early August.

Feel like exploring more?

It offers easy access to many longer hikes.

4. Wallace Falls Trail, Wallace Falls State Park

Listen to the water cascade down into a plunge pool below as you follow the Wallace Falls Trail.

Its moderate grade, easy accessibility, and spectacular scenery draw hordes of explorers to enjoy its offerings.

Best Hikes in Washington State

This 5.6-mile round trip reaches an elevation of around 1,300 feet. There are several waterfalls of the Wallace River to witness on the way.

Don’t feel like climbing up top?

Explore the lower and middle waterfalls for a memorable adventure. Watch your step near the waterfalls as the area can get slippery. 

5. The Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier National Park

How about enjoying 14 days of picturesque views?

Head to the Wonderland Trail, an iconic hike that encircles the base of Mount Rainier.

The 93-mile hike is so popular that there is a lottery system to get an overnight camp permit.

Best Hikes in Washington State

You will be greeted with a variety of spectacular views during the hike, from lush meadows, and impressive glaciers to sparkling lakes and river crossings.

It gains an elevation of 21,400 feet and the best time to undertake this adventure is during July or August when you can see blooming wildflowers. It is one of the best hikes in Washington state. 

6. Ape Cave Trail, Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Want to go on a subterranean adventure?

Ape Cave Trail is the one to choose.

It will take you to one of the longest lava tubes in the country. 

Don’t mind scrambling?

Explore the Upper Cave trail which stretches for about two miles.

Best Hikes in Washington State

If you don’t feel like pushing yourself too much, go for the shorter Lower Cave trail.

Entering these fascinating dark structures is sure to get your adrenaline going. Make sure you pack light sources and proper footwear. 

7. Sol Duc Falls Trail, Olympic National Park

Looking for a family-friendly hike?

Head to Sol Duc Falls Trail.

Easily accessible from the Sol Duc Campground or the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, this 2-mile hike will take you to the fascinating Sol Duc Falls. Its ample width and short distance draw many families here. 

Best Hikes in Washington State

If you’re looking for a longer hike, you can hike to the Seven Lakes Basin to take in the breath-taking scenery of alpine lakes and subalpine meadows.

Wish to spend some more time?

You can camp in the park’s Seven Lakes Basin area with advanced permits.

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. 

8. Ozette Triangle Trail, Olympic National Park

Love the beach?

This trail is for you.

Located in Olympic National Park, this 9.2-mile loop offers incredible coastline views.

You can begin the journey from Lake Ozette and follow the Cape Alava Trail which leads to the rocky beach.

Best Hikes in Washington State

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

Traverse back to the lake trailhead via Sand Point Trail which goes inland from the beach.

The route makes a triangle, therefore the name. The dramatic scenery of storm-lashed beaches makes for an unforgettable experience.

So, get your hiking boots on and start with the trail that attracts you the most for a thrilling adventure. 

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

There is a variety 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 most popular and difficult trails in Washington. 

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