Washington is a total paradise if you love to be outdoors. With so much enchanting, diverse scenery, it can be almost overwhelming to decide where to explore next. If you’re in need of some trip inspiration this spring, here are 15 places throughout the state that should definitely be on your list.
1. Bird Creek Meadows
Bird Creek Meadows is a short, three-mile
in the Mount Adams area in southwestern Washington. This family-friendly hike heads through meadows filled with wildflowers and striking views of Mount Adams (our 2nd tallest peak, after Rainier), as well as Mount Hood down in Oregon.
2. Minotaur Lake
Short and steep, the
to this shimmering, alpine lake is located just east of Steven's Pass. The route passes through vibrant meadows filled with wildflowers early in the season, and huckleberries later in the year.
3. Oyster Dome
While you're out for a trip along Chuckanut Drive, this is a great place to stop and take on one of the most popular hikes in Washington. The
up to this rocky promontory starts out steep, and passes through a forest up the side of Blanchard Mountain. Once you finally reach the top, you'll be rewarded with views of Lummi and Orcas Island, Samish Bay and the Olympics in the distance.
4. Riverside State Park
Riverside is the largest state park in Washington, and can be found just outside of Spokane in Nine Mile Falls. It boasts two campgrounds, miles of serene trails, picnic areas, and even a swinging bridge in the Bowl & Pitcher area.
5. Poo Poo Point, near Issaquah
Poo Poo Point is on the west shoulder of West Tiger Mountain, and a popular spot to go hiking, paragliding or hang gliding. Once you're up at the top, it's a great place to sit and enjoy a snack while taking in panoramic views of the Issaquah Valley and Lake Sammamish.
6. Horseshoe Basin
Horseshoe Basin is a beautiful, remote place on the eastern side of the Pasayten Wilderness by the North Cascades. To reach it, you can take a six-mile
through meadows filled with bright summer wildflowers. Along the way, Sunny Pass is a great place to stop and catch your breath while taking in all of the surrounding views.
7. Dog Mountain
Dog Mountain is more of a challenging hike, but the views and flowers from the top make it well worth your while. The
goes for six miles up a forested mountain, filled with yellow balsamroot flowers that bloom in the late spring and early summer.
8. Cape Disappointment State Park
Contrary to the name, this state park on the Long Beach Peninsula is anything but disappointing. The park features 27 miles of gorgeous coastal beach, two historic lighthouses you can hike to, miles of trails, and plenty of places to head out camping.
9. Fort Worden State Park
Fort Worden is a historic treasure in Port Townsend, and worth taking a day to explore. It was originally built for the U.S. Army to help protect Puget Sound, so you can still walk around and find a number of old batteries and forts. The destination also features miles of saltwater shoreline, camping options, and even a small castle that can be rented overnight.
10. Rialto Beach
Rialto is one of Washington's many picturesque beaches along the Pacific shoreline. It's known for having gorgeous off-shore seastacks, rocky beaches, tide pools, piles of driftwood and a massive Hole-In-The-Wall rock arch.
11. Hurricane Hill Trail
If there's any hike in the Olympic National Park that should be on your list, Hurricane Hill should definitely be it. A short, yet steep
, this route leads to the top of the hill, where you'll be able to catch unbeatable vistas of the Olympic mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
12. Rampart Lakes
Rampart Lakes is an enchanting area filled with puddles and small lakes, all connected by creeks and short, narrow waterways. You can explore around the dazzling bodies of water by way of the Rampart Ridge
, which also features a side path that heads up Alta Mountain.
13. Ebeys Landing, Whidbey Island
Ebeys Landing's is a recognized historic site, set on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound. If you take the loop down to the beach, you'll be able to enjoy a serene walk along the shoreline, with accompanying views of the Olympic Peninsula, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Mount Rainier and the Cascades.
14. Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm
The trail up to the Sahale Glacier is one of the most scenic paths you can take in the North Cascades. It's a steep, yet stunning
that follows the Sahale Arm, along the Cascade Pass Trail through photogenic meadows. The trip is nearly 6 miles out (12 miles roundrip), but offers unparalleled views of summits like Rainier, Eldorado Peak and Johannesburg Mountain.
15. Falls Creek Falls
Falls Creek Falls is one of the most impressive cascades to hike to in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest near the Columbia River Gorge. You can take a trail through the forest to see the upper falls, but the view from the
is much more spectacular.
Have you been to any of these places before? Where are some of your favorite areas to explore around Washington?