Hiking - Destination

28 Best Hikes in Washington: Pick your Favorite Now!

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We believe that the best way to explore a region is to do so by walking through its hidden natural wonders. Hiking is an excellent way to find out more about a place by exploring its mountains and forests and witnessing the mighty waterfalls and gentle streams that cross our path.

At the same time, when one spends their free time hiking they can get that much-needed peace and tranquillity that is easily missed out in everyday routines. We have compiled some of the best hikes in Washington that you should definitely try.

Best Hikes in Washington: Decide Your Next Hiking Destination

Horseshoe Basin

  • Total distance: 12 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy – moderate
  • Maximum elevation: 7200 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Between July and October

The Horseshoe Basin is located at the eastern side of Washington, adjoining the Canadian border. The typical tundra vegetation here is a sight to behold. You will find arctic bears, sheep, and deer marking your route at many places. You can enjoy camping at the trailhead but bring enough potable water.

Horseshoe Basin
Horseshoe Basin

As you explore this Western Washington hiking trail, you will cross a stream that later joins Clutch creek. A steady uphill walk will then take you to the Sunny Pass where the backdrop of majestic mountains will enchant you beyond measure.

This place is an ideal spot for picnic and photography. When you finally reach the basin, you will observe the expansive scenic beauty that is worthy of being framed.

Twin Falls Trail

  • Total distance: 2 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 1000 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to November

The trail that passes through the Snoqualmie river and the forests of Cascade mountain is so breathtaking that it is frequently featured among the best hikes in Washington area. The twin falls that greet you en-route are among the best waterfalls in Washington state.

Don’t forget to find and pick salmonberries on the way.

Twin Falls Trail
Twin Falls Trail

Anderson and Watson Lakes

  • Total distance: 4 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 4900 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Between August and October

This is one of the best hikes in Washington in terms of picturesque surroundings. Also, this trek is ideal for families and beginners. You will pass through mesmerizing forests of hemlock, sparkling lakes and misty valleys with blooms of seasonal flowers on this trail.

Shortly before fall, the meadows in the route are dotted with wildflowers and the beauty of this trek is magnified. The two lakes- Anderson and Watson are on either side of the meadow and both offer perfect camping spots. Don’t forget to pick some juicy berries on way.

Anderson and Watson Lakes
Anderson and Watson Lakes

Rattlesnake Ledge

  • Total distance: 4 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 1080 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to November

One of the best Washington state hiking trails, this is extremely famous for its monolithic rock formations. In addition, the trail on the east side of the Rattlesnake Ridge is also famous for its views ranging from those of Chester Morse lake to the Cedar river.

This trek promises to be fun for the whole family, and makes for some very unique photographs.

Rattlesnake Ledge
Rattlesnake Ledge

Park Butte

  • Total distance: 7.5 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy – moderate
  • Maximum elevation: 5450 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Late summer and fall

This is an extremely popular hike in Washington area because of the unhindered views of Mount Baker and other peaks of Northern Cascades, a fire lookout and well-maintained campsites. You will pass through lush green meadows that are sprawling with seasonal wildflowers, lending a heavenly appearance to them.

Your trail will offer fabulous visual treats and the best waterfall hikes near Seattle in Washington, along with boulder fields and trees overloaded with berries and flowers.

A special feature of this trail is the large number and variety of mushroom that will line your path.

Park Butte
Park Butte

Lime Kiln Trail

  • Total distance: 7 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 750 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to November

This trail originates in the Granite Falls of the Northern Cascades and consists of a largely flat terrain with a slow descent through a forest. The river gives you company for a major part of this trail.

Because of the easy terrain of this trail, it is preferred by families with small children.

Check out Hiking with Kids: Awesome Ideas to Make Your Hike Memorable!

Lime Kiln Trail
Lime Kiln Trail

Chain Lakes

  • Total distance: 8 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 5400 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Anytime of the year

If you are looking for a hiking trail in Washington that has the choicest selection of natural formations, this is the perfect trail for you. The well-marked trail of Chain Lakes offers you majestic views of Table Mountain, Mount Herman, Mount Baker and other peaks in Northern Cascades.

You will also get a chance to have a close look at the Bagley lakes and absorb the heavenly beauty that awaits you there.

The highlight of this trail is the view of the mighty, and very famous mountain Shuksan.

Chain Lakes
Chain Lakes

Poo Poo Point

  • Total distance: 7.5 miles
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Maximum elevation: 2020 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Spring and fall

This trail for hiking near Washington lies between Issaquah and Tiger Point and is among the top hikes in Washington area because of the natural scenery it offers.

Another striking feature of this trek is that the same route has a very famous point for hand gliding and paragliding take-off.

Poo Poo Point
Poo Poo Point

Spider Meadow and Phelps Basin

  • Total distance: 13 miles
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Maximum elevation: 5400 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Late August To October

The hikes to Spider Meadow and Phelps Basin are among the best overnight hikes in Washington, but many people also club them together to make it a long day hike. The first stop in this hike is Spider Meadow, with magnificent views of the glaciers on Chiwawa Ridge. Many small trails also lead to Lake Chelan, and the adjoining Holden Village.

You should follow the fisherman’s trail that starts close to the Spider gap trail, and reach Phelps basin for camping and spending the rest of your time.

Spider Meadow and Phelps Basin
Spider Meadow and Phelps Basin

Bandera Mountain

  • Total distance: 8 miles
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Maximum elevation: 5240 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to November

This trek passing through Snoqualmie Pass is slightly challenging, especially at the end, but the views it offers ultimately makes it worth the effort.

Since this route passes through dense vegetation, it is advisable to bring insect repellents and potable water with you.

Bandera Mountain
Bandera Mountain

Larch Lake

  • Total distance: 12 miles
  • Difficulty level: Moderate– challenging
  • Maximum elevation: 6078 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Late summer and fall

This hike is one of those hikes in Washington that should not be missed. Larch Lake is perched high up in the Chiwaukum Range and is surrounded by rocky terrain, but its pristine beauty is beyond description. This trail is replete with creeks, ridges, pastures and dense forests.

It gives you the option of visiting the Scottish Lakes on a small detour too. Don’t forget to collect blueberries on this trail.

Larch Lake
Larch Lake

Wallace Falls

  • Total distance: 5.6 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 1500 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to November

This hiking trail in Washington is counted among the most enjoyable family trekking Washington trails because of the well-maintained picnic area close to the bottom of the falls. From this point on, the hike gets a bit more challenging but offers magnificent views from the top.

Good hiking shoes and camera are a must for this hike.

Wallace Falls
Wallace Falls

Hoh Rainforest Trail

  • Total distance: 10 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy-moderate
  • Maximum elevation: 500 feet above sea level
  • Best Time to visit: Anytime of the year

This hiking trail remains one of the most loved of all Washington hikes. This is because you will witness the glory of nature in its full form, right from the enchanting Hoh rainforest with its melodious birds, giant trees, and perennial moss, to the backdrop of Olympic mountains and verdant valleys.

This trail is a must for anyone who wants to bask in the warmth of nature.

Hoh Rainforest Trail
Hoh Rainforest Trail

Mailbox Peak

  • Total distance: 6 miles
  • Difficulty level: Challenging
  • Maximum elevation: 4820 feet
  • Best Time to visit: May to November

This trek is one of the rare hiking trails in Washington that are considered to be very challenging. This trek should be attempted only by seasoned hikers because the route has a sharp and steep ascent. However, the views presented to you at the top are definitely worth all the effort.

Mailbox Peak
Mailbox Peak

Rialto Beach

  • Total distance: 4 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: Sea level
  • Best Time to visit: Late summer and fall

This is one of the best hikes in Washington area for you if you are looking for something that is more of an easy nature walk. Running along the Olympic Coast, this hike gives you a pleasant change from the mountainous terrain that you find in other hikes.

It is ideal for family trips and especially enjoyed by children. Choose this hike for its really amazing seascape.

Rialto Beach
Rialto Beach

Sunrise Ridge

  • Total distance: 5.4 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 5540 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Anytime of the year

Get ready to be swept away by the beauty of majestic views on this trail that is much less crowded than others. This trail gives you the perfect opportunity to find company in the form of deer, coyotes, squirrels, and bears, in the melodious background sound of birds.

The trail is also considered to be a photographer’s delight, complete with wildflowers and colourful blooms. The initial part of this trail is paved but the remaining is in raw, natural turf form.

Sunrise Ridge washington
Sunrise Ridge Washington

Quinault River – Enchanted Valley

  • Total distance: 5 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 1200 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to November

If you are looking for the best hikes in Washington area where you get not only a bevy of natural surroundings but also a chance to get up, close and personal with some wildlife, this trail is a must for you.

Include the Pony Bridge in your trail to add magic to the whole experience, crossing three other bridges to reach it. This trek is famous for its pristine appeal and grand views of the huge canyon that it has.

Don’t miss the moss-covered walls that seem to flow down the mountains.

Quinault River – Enchanted Valley
Quinault River – Enchanted Valley

Salmo-Priest Loop

  • Total distance: 19 miles
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Maximum elevation: 1200 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to November

This hiking option in Washington is for those who yearn for some peace and solitude. The sheer vastness of this expanse makes sure that despite it being a very popular trail, there are not crowded regions.

As you pass through ferns, conifers and cedar trees, a distinct woody aroma will fill your senses and make the walk very soothing. You will be rewarded with magnificent views of the Upper Priest River valley that are worth framing.

 Don’t forget to cover South Salmo river and Snowy Top Pass in your trail. It is recommended that you devote 2-3 days for this trek in order to absorb its entire beauty.

Salmo-Priest Loop
Salmo-Priest Loop

Tipsoo Lake – Naches Peak

  • Total distance: 3 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 5850 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to October

This option for hiking in Washington state area is perfect for those who don’t want to exert a lot in order to find glorious views.

Characterized by the sprawling colorful blooms on rich green earth, and the magnificent views of Naches peak, this trail is best made around fall.

This trail is quite flat, and all members of your family will be able to complete this trek without any difficulty.

Tipsoo Lake – Naches Peak
Tipsoo Lake – Naches Peak

Steamboat Rock

  • Total distance: 4 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 2250 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Spring and fall

Another hike in Washington that is on the list of any geologist is the Steamboat Rock trail. This beautiful trail brings you face to face with the implications of ice age floods that happened thousands of years ago, and led to the formation of canyons, leaving a big rock behind like an island in the middle of gushing water. The total area of the Butte here is more than 600 acres.

Try to make this trek in spring so that you can cherish marvelous views of the colorful flowers that line up the flat land.

Steamboat Rock
Steamboat Rock

Tolmie Peak Lookout

  • Total distance: 7.5 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 5900 feet
  • Best Time to visit: July to October

This hike is ideal for families who want to enjoy a hiking session which has diverse views. This trek starts alongside Moich lake and passes through forests with a slow elevation. As you reach the Ipsut pass, you will find that many trails can be made from here, and are quite steep.

As you march ahead and reach Eunice lake and then towards the Tolmie peak, you will cross the Carbon River valley. From this point, you will be able to see Mount Rainier, with the Eunice lake lying at the base of Tolmie Peak.

Tolmie Peak Lookout
Tolmie Peak Lookout

South Coldwater

  • Total distance: 10 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 4600 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to November

This is among the best hikes in Washington from a geologist’s point of view. The starting point of this trail is Coldwater lake, that was formed only after the eruption of Mount Helena in 1980.

This trail takes you through a thick forest cover and provides beatific views of the natural surroundings. Since this trail has no source of potable water, make sure that you carry enough.

South Coldwater
South Coldwater

Harry’s Ridge

  • Total distance: 8 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 4750 feet
  • Best Time to visit: July to October

Harry’ Ridge is named after the curmudgeon who did not vacate his post when Mount Helena erupted in 1980.

The ridge provides magnificent views of the volcanic mountain, the top of which is still smoking. This trail starts from the Johnston Ridge Visitors center, follows a paved pathway through the valley with the Toutle river giving you company.

Don’t miss the huckleberry bushes that line your path. From the final point on the ridge, you will be able to see Mount Adams and Spirit Lake.

Check out the Best National Parks in USA to Visit in Summer 

Harry’s Ridge
Harry’s Ridge

Snowgrass flats- Nannie Ridge

  • Total distance: 20 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy – moderate
  • Maximum elevation: 6400 feet
  • Best Time to visit: August to September

This trek counts among the best weekend hikes in Washington area, and is a must see for anyone who wants to hike in this region. This hike takes you through mountains of granite and over the thick and dense cover of Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

As you cross the Pacific Crest trail, you will be able to see the three peaks- St. Helen’s, Adams and Hood.

Snowgrass flats- Nannie Ridge
Snowgrass flats- Nannie Ridge

Sullivan Lake

  • Total distance: 8 miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Maximum elevation: 2840 feet
  • Best Time to visit: June to November

This hiking trail in Washington area can be perfectly described as having all the features of an ideal trail. This trail is the perfect blend of natural diversity, consisting of forests full of aspen, birch and hemlock; calm waters of Sullivan lake, and animated creeks.

The best part about this hike is the option of overnight camping under the star-lit sky at the Noisy Creek campground.

Sullivan Lake
Sullivan Lake

Wildside Trail

  • Total distance: 54.2miles
  • Difficulty level: Easy - moderate
  • Maximum elevation: 1120 feet
  • Best Time to visit: Late summer – fall

This trail starts from the Cougar mountain and give you a fairly easy terrain to walk on. This region has historical significance because of mining activities that were previously held here.

The hazards that have happened because of past activities are the reason why people are advised to stay on the officially marked hiking trails only.

Wildside Trail
Wildside Trail

Washington and adjoining regions offer innumerable possibilities to the enthusiastic trekker. The most encouraging aspect of the best hikes in Washington area is that a lot of these hikes are not challenging and can be attempted by trekkers of all ages.

Check out Thru Hiking in USA: Know the Challenges, Planning Process and Tips to Accomplish

We hope that our list of trekking destinations in Washington and nearby regions will motivate you to plan your next trek soon!

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