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10 Best Hikes in Washington (A Local’s Must Do Washington Hikes)

North America

The best hikes in Washington State

Hiking In Washington

Washington is a stunningly beautiful state blessed with 3 national parks, 5 major volcanoes, hundreds of gem colored alpine lakes, and old-growth forests and mountain ranges grand enough to rival anything in the lower 48.

Needless to say, trying to pick the best hikes in Washington State is no easy task! In reality, a more fitting title for this post might have been “My Favorite Hikes in Washington.”

Regardless, the following Washington hiking trails are some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of trekking – ANYWHERE. That being said, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list- only a good place to start!

Before you head out on any trail in Washington State, even if it is an easy hike, I always recommend checking the Washington Trails Association website for trail reports. The trail reports often include recent photos and will include current trail and road conditions.

It’s also a great place to get driving directions, find out whether your pupper can join you, and if you need a National Park or Northwest Forest Pass.

For more of the best Washington hikes, check out these posts:

Easy Hikes in Washington That Are Actually Worth It
Best Fire Lookout Hikes in Washington
Best Hikes in Washington in the Spring
Best Golden Larch Hiking Trails in Washington

"The view at sunset from Pilchuck Lookout hike in Washington

This blog post was written in partnership with Backcountry.com. Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission on any purchase made – at no additional cost to you. As always, all ideas and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. I appreciate your support!  

To help you gear up for your next hike I’ve partnered with Backcountry.com to give you 15% off your entire first purchase! Use code JESS15 at checkout. (Some exclusions apply).

Need Some inspiration? Check out my Hiking & Backpacking Gear Guide.

Leave It Better Than You Found It

No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced. – David Attenborough

It is my deepest hope that by sharing these beautiful places, I can help engender a type of ownership and concern for our wild places. I believe that we all have the capacity to act as stewards for the environment now, and well into the future.

Part of our responsibility as stewards is to always practice “Leave No Trace” principles while enjoying the outdoors. For more information please visit The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

Taking a break on the Pinnacle Peak Trail at Mount Rainier. Wearing: Keen  Hiking Boots , Beyond Yoga  Leggings , Patagonia  Day Pack , and drinking out of my  Nalgene . View from Pinnacle Ridge at Mount Rainier.
Taking a water break at Mount Rainier National Park.

The Best Hikes In Washington

Washington state is a hiker’s paradise, boasting a diverse and breathtaking array of landscapes that beckon adventurers from near and far. From snow-capped mountains to lush rainforests, rugged coastlines to alpine meadows adorned with wildflowers, the Evergreen State offers some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the United States. In this guide, I will unveil a curated selection of the state’s most captivating trails, inviting you to embark on unforgettable journeys through the heart of the Pacific Northwest’s natural splendor. So, lace up your hiking boots and prepare to explore the wonders that await amidst the towering peaks and enchanting wilderness of Washington state.

1. Maple Pass Loop

Maple Pass Loop is a classic Washington hike in The North Cascades. It’s particularly beautiful in the fall.
Iconic views of Lake Ann and the North Cascades form the Heather – Maple Pass Loop trail.

Distance: 7.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 2000

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Maple Pass Loop is probably the only hike in Washington that I do every single year. Sometimes more than once. The first half of October is arguably the best time to go because the Larches are likely to be at their golden peak, a sight you don’t want to miss!

You can hike the loop trail clockwise or counterclockwise. I’ve done both, and I’m not sure which way is better.

Going clockwise, you get the steep part of the trail over with, and your knees can enjoy a more gradual descent on the home stretch. If you do the hike counterclockwise the views slowly unfold as you climb, and of course the climb is a little more gradual on the way up. You can’t really go wrong though!

Pro Tip: Located in the heart of the North Cascades Highway, just getting to the Maple Pass trailhead is a bit of an adventure, but the drive is beautiful. It’s also a great excuse to stop and take in one of the best views in North Cascades at the Diablo Lake Overlook.

2. Thornton Lakes & Trappers Peak

Thornton Lakes hike in Washington state
Enjoying Thornton Lakes before heading up to Trappers Peak. Wearing: Keen  Hiking Boots , Patagonia  Nano-Air Jacket , Patagonia  leggings , and Osprey Exos  Backpack
Enjoying Thornton Lakes before heading up to Trappers Peak. Wearing: Keen Hiking Boots, Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket, Patagonia leggings, and Osprey Exos Backpack

Distance: 10.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 2900 ft

Difficulty: Difficult

Trappers Peak offers quintessential North Cascades views without requiring an overnight trip which makes it one of the best hiking trails in Washington.

While it’s not the easiest trail, the combination of alpine lakes and jagged layers of mountains on a clear day makes it well worth the effort.

When you reach the turnoff for Thornton Lakes, you can either head left and relax on the shores of the alpine lakes below, or continue straight and scramble up the rocky ridge that leads to Trappers Peak. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

If you decide to head up to the peak (which I would highly recommend), you’re in for a steep and sometimes exposed final mile. None of it is technical, but you’ll want to be a relatively experienced hiker.

The expansive views of the rugged and remote Picket Range from the top of Trappers Peak will make you forget about your tired legs. This is what hiking in Washington State is all about!

Pro Tip: If you want to overnight at Trappers Peak or Thornton Lakes, you’ll need a backcountry permit from the ranger station in Marblemount.

3. Cascade Pass & Sahale Arm

The hike up to Sahale Arm after Cascade Pass

Distance: 12 miles

Elevation Gain: 4000 ft

Difficulty: Difficult

The views for Cascade Pass start in the parking lot!

The Cascade Pass Trail is one of the best day hikes in Washington with spectacular views of surrounding mountains and icy glaciers. The trail climbs steadily to the pass for 3.7 miles including a section of fairly relentless switchbacks.

Once you reach the pass, enjoy views of some of the Cascade mountains most famous peaks, and layers and layers of mountains for as far as you can see.

I’ve heard that Cascade Pass is the most popular day hike in North Cascades National Park. While I’m not sure if that’s true, it is one of the most popular hikes on this list and can be quite busy on summer weekends, so hit the trail early or go during the week if possible.

For an extended day hike (or overnight trip), head left on to the Sahale Arm Trail. This trail ascends steeply through subalpine meadows and talus fields to the base of the Sahale Glacier.

At the top, you will have views most only enjoy from airplane windows. Plus, you’ll find some of the best camping sites in the State!

Pro Tip: Camping in the Sahale Glacier Camp requires a backcountry permit, available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the ranger station in Marblemount. The designated campsites sit on what feels like the edge of the world – the views will knock your socks off.

4. Hidden Lake Lookout

Hidden Lake Lookout in the North Cascades
"Views from the inside of Hidden Lake Lookout
Panoramic views of the North Cascade range from inside the Hidden Lake Lookout.

Distance: 8 miles

Elevation Gain: 3300 ft

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Hidden Lake Lookout was the first lookout hike I did in Washington, and what an introduction it was! Perched precariously on a mound of rocks at 6,850 feet, Hidden Lake Lookout offers expansive views of southern North Cascades National Park and the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

I generally think of this hike as consisting of three parts. First, the hike begins in dense forest. Then it opens up into a rocky slope with giant zigzagging switchbacks that extend all the way up to the pass.

Once you reach the pass, the trail evens out a little (although it’s still a climb), and you wind your way through a giant bolder field until you come to the large rock pinnacle overlooking Lost Lake far down below.

The lookout is at the top of the rock pinnacle – DO NOT head down to the lake. The lake is a lot further away than it looks and not a fun backtrack.

Route finding can be a little difficult at this point, but there is a trail most of the way up to the lookout. Once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views for your hard work on the trail.

Pro Tip: The lookout is open to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis for overnight use. There’s no easily accessible water source at the lookout, so if you’re planning on spending the night, bring more than you think you’ll need!

Check out all of my favorite Fire Lookout Hikes In Washington State!

5. Park Butte

Park Butte Lookout in the Mount Baker Wilderness, one of the best hikes in Washington state
Although you can’t see it in this photo, Mount Baker looms large just out of frame to the right.
Park Butte Lookout at golden hour

Distance: 7.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 2,200 ft.

Difficulty: Moderate

Washington State is full of hiking trails to old fire lookouts. Most of them are inactive at this point, but a few like Park Butte have been restored, and are maintained by local hiking clubs for the public.

I’ve done quite a few lookout hikes now, and Park Butte is definitely top 3 for me. The trail is beautiful, the lookout is in great shape, and Mt. Baker is so close you feel as if you could easily reach out and touch it!

Pro Tip: Like many of the other lookouts in the area, first come, first-served camping is available at Park Butte. Unfortunately, that seems to mean different things to different people.

I’ve shown up to a lookout to find one other person already there and been turned away. I’ve also been the first person to a lookout, and then had 12 people and 2 dogs decide to camp next to, on top of, and around me. And pretty much everything in between.

So when it comes to fire lookouts, my suggestion, as with most outdoor adventures, is to hope for the best, but plan for the worst!

Check out all of my favorite Fire Lookout Hikes In Washington State!

6. Colchuck Lake

Colchuck Lake is one of the prettiest lakes in Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness and one of my must do washington hikes. Wearing: Rab  Down Jacket , Keen  Hiking Boots
Colchuck Lake is one of the prettiest lakes in Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Wearing: Rab Down Jacket, Keen Hiking Boots
The Larches above Colchuch Lake generally turn cold in early October. Wearing: Prana  Pillar Legging , Rab  Down Jacket , Keen  Hiking Boots
The Larches above Colchuch Lake generally turn gold in early October. Wearing: Prana Pillar Legging, Rab Down Jacket, Keen Hiking Boots

Distance: 8 miles

Elevation Gain: 2300 ft

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Colchuck Lake is the fist stop for many people hiking into the core Enchantments, but it makes a wonderful final destination as well. The Enchantment Lakes are legendary in Washington for a reason.

The peaks and many of the lakes have names based in mythology and magic, and it’s not hard to understand why once you’re there.

Colchuck Lake is the most accessible of these jewel colored lakes, and I would argue that in many ways it’s also the most picturesque. The hike wanders its way through cool forest, across a river, through a bolder field, and then back up through some more trees before finally opening up to Colchuck Lake.

Pro Tip: If you have the time, and you’re up for the challenge, the views looking down on Colchuck Lake from Aasgard Pass are worth the effort. That being said, don’t underestimate the amount of time this undertaking will likely require.

Hiking 2,000 feet in just three-quarters of a mile is no joke! If you think you’d like to spend more time exploring Colchuck Lake and its enchanting siblings you can apply for backcountry permits on the recreation.gov website.

7. Blanca Lake

The first snow at Blanca Lake in Washingto
First snow at Blanca Lake

Distance: 8 miles

Elevation Gain: 2300 feet

Difficulty: Difficult

What makes Blanca Lake unique is its color. Unlike the crystal clear alpine lakes you find throughout most of Washington, Blanca Lake features eye catching milky blue water. The water’s milky appearance is caused by glacial erosion.

A few years ago, the last two miles of road to Blanca Lake washed out, and all of a sudden an already tedious hike, jam packed with switchbacks through monotonous forest, added an extra 4 miles roundtrip.

BUT there’s a silver lining to this story!

First, while those extra miles consist of boring road hiking, they are also relatively flat and tend to fly by. Second, and more importantly, those extra 4 miles seem to deter a lot of people from doing this once extremely popular hike.

I’m not saying you’ll have Blanca Lake all to yourself, but I’ve noticed a pretty significant decrease in the number of people on the trail since the road closure.

Since the road has been restored and washed out again several times, check the Washington Trails Association website and AllTrails for updated conditions.

Pro Tip: Get to the trailhead early, then spend the warmest part of the day swimming and soaking in the sun on the rocks around the lake.

8. Skyline Trail

Expansive views of Mount Rainier at sunrise from the Paradise side of the Mountain on Skyline Trail, one of the best hikes in Washington
Expansive views of Mount Rainier at sunrise from the Paradise side of the Mountain

Distance: 5.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1450 ft

Difficulty: Moderate

The Skyline Trail is one of the most famous hiking trails in Mount Rainer National Park. It forms a giant loop with uninterrupted views above Paradise on Mount Rainier’s south side.

In peak season (the summer months of July and August), your hike will be filled with views of cascading waterfalls, massive glaciers, and subalpine meadows exploding with colorful wildflowers.

The system of trails heading out of Paradise is pretty extensive, so make sure to stop by the visitor center to pick up a free map of the area.

The trail can be completed in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. In the past, I have hiked the trail counterclockwise.

Hiking in this direction gives you the option of cutting a mile and a half off the total length by cutting up through the valley on the Golden Gate Trail. A great option if you are short on time!

Pro Tip: The Skyline Trail is extremely popular, and it is not a great choice if you are looking for solitude on your outdoor adventure. However, getting an early start is a great way to avoid the crowds during peak season.

For an easier hike with great Mount Rainier views, consider the Naches Peak Loop, an easy trail in Washington that is worth hiking.

9. Summit Lake

Summit Lake Hike in Washington offers beautiful views of Mount Rainier. Wearing: Keen  Hiking Boots , Osprey  Sirrus 36 Backpack , and  Hydroflask
Summit Lake Hike in Washington offers beautiful views of Mount Rainier. Wearing: Keen Hiking Boots, Osprey Sirrus 36 Backpack, and Hydroflask
Camp spot at Summit Lake in Washington. Shown in photo:  NEMO Equipment Tent , Marmot 15 Degree  Sleeping Bag
Camp spot at Summit Lake in Washington. Shown in photo: NEMO Equipment Tent, Marmot 15 Degree Sleeping Bag

Distance: 6.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft.

Difficulty: Moderate

One of my favorite hiking trails to do when I’m at home is the Summit Lake Trail just outside the Mount Rainier National Park.

Summit Lake is located relatively close to Seattle, and makes for a great half-day hike, or overnight backpacking trip. From the top of the ridge above the lake, there are stunning views of Mount Rainier and the Carbon River Valley 3,000 feet below.

Because Summit Lake is technically located outside the National Park, it’s a great place to enjoy Mount Rainier without having to deal with the fees, reservations, or permits required for many of the hikes and camping facilities within the park.

Pro Tip: Make sure to follow the side trail up the ridge past Summit Lake for stunning 360 degree views of Mount Rainier and a sea of other mountain tops too numerous to name.

10. Mount Storm King

Views of Lake Crescent from the top of Mount Storm King on the Olympic Peninsula
Views of Lake Crescent from the top of Mount Storm King on the Olympic Peninsula

Distance: 4 miles

Elevation Gain: 2065 ft.

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Mount Storm King on the Olympic Peninsula is a classic Washington State hike that never ceases to amaze.

This Olympic National Park hike is a relatively short 4ish miles round trip, but with over 2000 feet in elevation gain and a few scrambles toward the top, it’s no walk in the park.

Unlike most of the top hikes in Washington, Mount Storm King is generally accessible most of the year, and the physical challenge is a great way to sweat out any pent up energy from the long dark winter months.

But more importantly, the view from the top is sure to get you excited for the hiking season to come in the Olympic mountains!

Pro Tip: The last section of this hike involves a steep scramble and ropes. If you are not good with heights and/or exposure, this might not be the hike for you.

Also, as with all ropes that you don’t set up yourself, and that live outside year round, don’t put all your weight on them! Always make sure that you are only using them for additional support.

11. Chain Lakes Loop

Views of Mount Baker at sunset from the Chain Lakes trail.

Distance: 7 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,800 ft.

Difficulty: Moderate

The Chain Lakes Hike in the Mount Baker has it all. Regardless of which direction you decide to hike, Chain Lakes offers a breathtaking and picturesque adventure for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. The trail winds its way through lush alpine meadows adorned with colorful wildflowers, past crystal-clear mountain streams, and alongside tranquil lakes. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the rugged North Cascades, Mount Shuksan, and the towering Mount Baker.

Starting from Artist Point, you’ll be immediately greeted by breathtaking views of Mount Baker and the surrounding peaks. As you continue clockwise, the trail leads you to the base of Table Mountain, an impressive peak with rugged cliffs and unique rock formations. Eventually you’ll make your way along a spectacular ridgeline offering unobstructed views of the surrounding peaks, including Mount Shuksan.

Chain Lakes Loop can easily be done as a day hike, but it also makes for a great overnight backpacking trip. Camping is permitted only at designated sites, which are clearly marked by posts displaying tent symbols. These designated camping areas are limited to eight sites in total, with four located at Mazama Lake and the other four at Hayes Lake. Please ensure that you pitch your tent within these specified areas to adhere to the camping regulations and protect the pristine natural surroundings.

After our night of camping wildfire smoke started to blow into the Mount Baker area. It was sad to see, but did create some visually stunning light rays over Mount Shucksan.

More Washington Hiking Trails + Travel Tips

There are so many other Washington State hiking trails I love that didn’t make the cut for my top 10 hikes. With the Washington National Parks, Pacific Crest Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount St. Helens, and Columbia River Gorge, there are so many great hikes in both Western and Eastern Washington.

I do have more beautiful hiking trails in Washington throughout my blog though.

Best Spring Hikes in Washington State does not mean you have to hike these in spring. I call them “spring hikes” because most of them are located at lower elevations, meaning that they are snow free, and wildflower covered, earlier in the hiking season. But they are awesome all summer long!

There’s also my guide to the best Fire Lookout Hikes In Washington and easy hikes in Washington that are still worth the effort.

For a fall hiking guide, don’t miss these Golden Larch hikes in Washington. For hikes in the Seattle area, don’t miss Snow Lake.

You can find all of my Pacific Northwest hiking and travel tips here.

I hope this list will help you get outside and enjoy some of the best scenery that Washington has to offer. Let me know which of these hikes you’ve added to your hiking bucket list!

If you have a hike that you’d like to add, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Just like you, I’m always looking for new inspiration. Happy trails!

–  XO Jess

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY THESE HIKING POSTS!

Best Spring Hikes In Washington State

Tips For Hiking The Tour Du Mont Blanc

Hiking & Backpacking Gear Guide

How To Backcountry Camp In Yosemite National Park

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a local's guide to the best hikes in Washington

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  1. Oreste says:

    Wow Jess!

  2. Laura says:

    All of these trails look amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Karen Pichette says:

    Are these round trip miles, Jess?

  4. Tony Cometa says:

    What are your thoughts on Oyster Dome?

    • I’ve done Oyster Dome a few times, and I think it’s nice. To be honest I usually do it during the off season, when the mountains are inaccessible. For me its a good hike to do with friends who don’t want to drive too far out of the city. Then I take them to Taylor Shellfish or one of the yummy places to eat in Edison/Bow.

  5. Jill says:

    Thank you for sharing this. My dad moved to WA and I had no idea there were such gorgeous hikes within a couple hours of his town. I’m so excited to see these places!

    • That’s so awesome to hear Jill! There are sooo many beautiful hikes within 2-3 hours of Seattle, and really pretty much anywhere in the state. I really hope you get the chance to experience some of them!

  6. Margret scott (@margaritaAdventurita) says:

    Hi, Jess!! Great blog!
    Makes me want to visit Washington for a hiking trip! Thanks for the tips!

  7. Shady says:

    Thanks so much Jess! I’ve been following you for quite a while now and I love your pictures and the thoughts you share. These all look amazing! I was just in Seattle earlier this month and did Snow and Gem lake and it was so pretty!

    I’m coming back end of September, I’d love to join you for a hike, if you are organising something.

    • Hi Shady! I have no idea how I missed your message. So sorry! I love Snow and Gem Lakes. Such a beautiful area. I’ll actually be in Hawaii at the end of this month, but I hope you have a wonderful trip. That can be such a beautiful time of year in the PNW. 🙂

  8. Cass says:

    This is my new hiking bucket list!!! I’ve done 2/10, cant wait to check out the others!

  9. Karma says:

    Such a great post thanks for sharing. Please do remember us for Nepal travel and trekking activities.
    http://www.karmaecoadventure.com

  10. Beautiful area Jess. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Shivam k says:

    Great content! I just found this blog through your IG. May i make a suggestion?

  12. Ron says:

    Great Blog Jess. Washington looks very beautiful and your pictures really show this. I do plan to make a trip to Washington and your information gives me a nice feel for the area. Thanks again for sharing you thoughts and knowledge.

  13. Eric says:

    Inspiring post! Just moved to Washington last month. Are any of these doable with a 4 month old baby? If not… any suggestions on trails that are more baby friendly?

    • Hi Eric! I would say that Maple Pass Loop, Park Butte, Colchuck, Skyline, and Summit Lake are all doable with a 4 month old baby. I’m not sure where in WA you are located, but some other hikes you might want to check out if you are going to be carrying a lil person might be Snow Lake, Lake 22, and Winchester Lookout. Happy hiking!

  14. Fred says:

    Almost all of them has difficulty level = difficult

    • Hi Fred. Three out of the ten hikes are rated difficult, but you are correct that quite a few are on the harder side. The best views generally require some effort to get to. If you are looking for some great hikes, that are a little easier, I would check out my post about the best Spring Hikes in Washington. Most of them are good spring hikes because they are located at a lower elevation, which often means they are a little less difficult as well. Happy hiking!

  15. Laura says:

    Jess,
    Did Colchuck Lake with my husband and it was worth the work! We are Az hikers and loved the cooler weather. One thing I wanted to know is the distance. On my GPS it’s a solid 5.3miles from the trailhead to the lake. Many of the trail guides list 8 miles as that distance. Did you stay on the main trail or take the Horse Ford?

    • Hi Laura. As far as I know, I’ve always stayed on the main trail. I’ve wondered that about the distance as well (given the discrepancies across different sources). I’m wondering if maybe it depends are where you stop. The lake is quite big, and if you continue following along the edge, the distance would be longer. I’m doing it again in a couple weeks, so I’ll make sure to take a look at my GPS when I reach the lake!

  16. Hennah says:

    Hello. I am coming to Washington DC on this 16-22 of September. I have asthma, and am wondering if I could do the Maple Pass Loop in a day and also if it’s close to Washington DC?

  17. Jamie B says:

    Any tips on traveling to these places in late November? Hows the weather

    • Hi Jamie. All of these trails will likely be covered in snow by late November, with the likely exception of Mount Storm King. Some will be completely inaccessible due to winter road closures by that time. The best tip I have is to check the trail reports for each hike on the Washington Trail Association website before heading out. If there haven’t been any recent trail reports, it’s likely because the hike has too much snow to complete safely. You might want to look at my Spring hikes guide. Most of those are located at lower elevations.

  18. Cristine says:

    Your pictures are amazing…Never though about putting Washington on my list of go to places but this makes me want to buy a van and drive to check out all of the trails!!

  19. KM says:

    Any recommendations where to stay for a weekend to visit North Cascades (outside of camping?). Thanks so much!

    • Hi Kimberly. It depends a lot on what you want to do while you are there, and what time of year you are planning on visiting the park. It a pretty big park and is much more accessible during the summer. My favorite "town" is probably Mazama (on the East side of the Cascades), Ross Lake Resort is a cool experience, there are lots of cabins around Mount Baker, and Marblemount is a pretty convenient place to stay on the Western side of the Cascades.

  20. Rushil Dedhia says:

    Hi, I loved & followed your blog for the Dolomites and it was amazing! I have read the blogs on Washington hikes too. Thanks for the ideas! Just wanted to ask you – which 2/3 places are ideal to make as our bases while doing these day hikes? By doing some google map R&D it seems one place could be Leavenworth for the Blanca & Colchuck lakes. I have 5 nights in this area starting May 1st.

    • Hi Rushil. It really depends on which hikes you are most interested in. I feel like I should warn you that May 1st is quite early to be attempting a lot of the hikes on this blog post, and many of the trails will likely still be covered in snow (depending on the weather this winter/spring). I would recommend focusing more on the spring hiking guide for that time of year. But in general, Levenworth is a fun location to base yourself for the Central Cascades and Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Mazama is a nice place to base yourself for hiking the east slope of the North Cascades.

  21. I love hiking in Washinton. I did that twice in my life. Thanks for your tips!!

  22. Yassie says:

    Your blog is amazing and your pictures are beautiful beyond words. Thank you for sharing!

  23. Marianne says:

    Just found your blog, looking for my first overnight this year. The pictures are amazing it looks great. Just bought my first pair of Keen hikers I hope they work well.

    • Thanks, Marianne! I’m happy you stumbled upon my blog. I love me Keens, and I really hope yours work out for you. Hiking boots are touch because everyone has different preferences, but I know a lot of people who have been happy with theirs. Best of luck! 🙂

  24. Tiffany Rose says:

    So happy I found your blog! You do an amazing job with information. I am visiting July 16-20th. I will be shooting a wedding while I am there.

    Do you have any recommendations on places to eat. Would love your opinion on local / mom and pop places. Staying near Bellevue – will be traveling all over though.

    I am visiting from NC and would love to try y’alls local food.

    • Thanks so much Tiffany! To be completely honest Covid-19 has hit the restaurant business pretty hard in Seattle, and I’m not really sure what’s open right now. BUT I would highly recommend checking out https://seattle.eater.com/. That’s one of my favorite resources for trying new local restaurants around the greater Seattle area! I hope you have a fantastic trip. 🙂

  25. Vedant says:

    Hi Jess,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. The pictures and descriptions are so good that it makes me want to travel right away!

    That said, do you have any recommendations on any good hidden swimming holes/spots in and near the Seattle/WA or PNW area?

  26. Ksenia Bourne says:

    Hi Jess,

    Your last picture of lake Crescent, was it taken during sunrise? What would be your suggestion in regards to what time would be better for that hike?

    Thank you!

  27. Katie says:

    Hi Jess, in all your times hiking have you ever had to use bear spray?

    • Hi Katie! I’ve never had to use bear spray on a hike before. In fact, I’ve actually only seen bears once on a trail and that was in Wyoming on the Teton Crest Trail. Nevertheless, I always carry it with me in bear country.

  28. Fred Strehlow says:

    Fred Strehlow
    Hi Jess,
    I used to live in the penthouse of old Fairholm Resort. Canoed and sailed my Hobie Cat many a year on Lake Crescent. Best years of my life. Great photos.

  29. Taylor Bain says:

    Hi Jess,

    Do you recommend any of these hikes in winter? We will be in Washington in January. Mainly for snowboarding, but we would like to hike too. Thanks!!

  30. Joshua P. says:

    Hi, I’m writing a book, where a man is going to propose to his girlfriend in a mountain top area with a grand view. I’ve been searching online for best spots to write into the story, and Washington seems to have the most impressive mountain top views out of the search results (WA, CA, CO, and OR). I am probably going to pick one of the locations you’ve pictured here on your page, but if you know of any other trails/mountain ranges with an even more spectacular view that you think would be a good pick for a proposal spot, would you be so kind as to comment here and let me know, as an assistance for my story’s development. I’ll gladly include you as a reference in the book if so desired. Thanks!

    • Hi Joshua. What a great idea! Washington is certainly full of romantic mountain top views. And any of the lookouts would make for a good option. I don’t know of anything in OR or CO quite like the Cascades. CA has Yosemite and some of the iconic views there (like Taft Point or Glacier Point) are pretty hard to beat.

  31. Angelina S says:

    Hello Jess! Thank you so much for gathering your thoughts, experience and posting content in such informative way! Love your blog, taking a lot of ideas from it!
    I’m planning on visiting Seattle and most of hiking destination from your list this August, so I’m checking if this is a good idea weather wise. Can’t seem to find a comprehensive report on temperature on the past several years and rain chances. If you could share your thoughts on that should highly appreciate it!

    • Jessica Dales says:

      Hi Angelina! Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I think that August is a fantastic time to visit Seattle and the surrounding mountains. My favorite months by far to be here are August and September. Obviously, you can’t control the weather, but those are generally the most pleasant. The bigger concern at that time of year is actually smoke from forest fires. But I’m crossing my fingers that somehow we have a relatively uneventful wildfire season up here. . .

  32. Hi Jess
    hope all is well.

    My friend and I are going to Washington beginning of NOV (5,6,7) and we wanted to drive to these hikes.

    I know the weather varies but to plan around any tips on what MAY be open or what trails might be BEST to see? Please advise, thank you!

    • Jessica Dales says:

      Hi Grishma. November is quite late in the season for most of these and you will need to check conditions right before your trip to make sure the roads and/or trails are open and accessible. The one trail on this list that will almost certainly be clear that time of year is Mount Storm King. Have fun!

  33. Amanda V says:

    These are awesome! I’m so bummed I didn’t have your blog as a resource when I actually lived in Washington. Next time I’m in Washington which will be next week I’ll have to check out a few of these. Love all of your information and beautiful pictures.

    • Jessica Dales says:

      Aw, thank you so so much for the message, Amanda. Seriously made my night. October is one of my favorite months in Washington. I hope you have time to do some fun stuff next week while you’re here. 🙂

  34. Heidi says:

    I love this!! Beautiful photography, inspiring descriptions, and very helpful, detailed info.

    Can you recommend any trails good for mom and teen sons who are fit and up to physical challenge, but want minimal navigation through snow fields, and water available every few miles?

    • Jessica Dales says:

      Hi Heidi, I think most of these would fit that description. As long as you are hiking during between July – September snow should not be an issue. And all of these are well maintained trails that don’t require any special route finding. I think Snow Lake is also an excellent option!

  35. Thank you so much for sharing your great travel tips about Washington. But it is Day-hike or multi days! should we bring camping gear? look forward to hearing from you.

    • Jessica Dales says:

      All of these can be done as day-hikes, but couple would be quite long and might be more enjoyable as an overnight trip.

  36. Gaspard de Libran says:

    Fantastic info you’ve generously put together. Thanks! and the photography is beautiful! Well done!

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Hi, I’m Jess, an outdoor enthusiast based in Seattle. I grew up exploring the Pacific Northwest, and early on was infected with the travel bug. I tried to suppress my wanderlust in pursuit of a traditional career path, but after a short stint as a lawyer, I left the confines of my office to get back in touch with my roots. Now, I wander the world taking photos, making memories, and sharing my love for travel with others!

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