You can find some fascinating places all throughout our Evergreen state, but many of our most incredible spots are a bit more secluded. Here are 10 lesser-known gems in Washington that you’ll be glad you discovered:
1. Cedar Creek Treehouse by Mt. Rainier
Cedar Creek Treehouse is a privately owned & operated retreat offering a unique B&B experience up in a 200-year-old Western Red Cedar tree at 50-feet in the air. They also have a Treehouse Observatory where you can catch some phenomenal views, accessible via the Rainbow Bridge.
2. Blue Lake Rhino Cave, Coulee City
This rhino-shaped cave was formed by basalt that was once a Diceratherium bull (an ancestor of the modern rhinoceros) out on the prairie when an eruption started. Its escape route ended up being cut off by a lake, which led to its unfortunate death. Nevertheless, the lava that covered the bull cooled into molten rock and hardened into the shape that you now see today. Not everyone may be able to crawl through the cave, but it's certainly worth a trip to see in person!
3. Stehekin Valley, by Chelan
Despite current conditions, you can usually either hike in, fly in, or most commonly, take a ferry in to enter this amazing remote area at the northwest end of Lake Chelan.
4. San Juan Island National Historical Park
This park on the shores of Garrison Bay has trails for explorers of all skill levels - ranging from a strenuous hike up Young Hill to an easy loop along the bay.
5. Port Williams Beach, Marlyn Nelson County Park, near Sequim
Complete solitude can be enjoyed at this shoreline. The park also offers a saltwater boat launch, four picnic tables (one accessible), vault toilets and a parking area.
6. Afterglow Vista in Friday Harbor
This is definitely not your average burial place! John McMillin was an important figure who helped bring Roche Harbor to life. He wanted the memory of his family to live on forever, so he carefully constructed this site for him and his relatives. After entering through the initial gate you'll stumble upon three flights of symbolic steps. In the middle of the structure is a limestone table, which was made to represent their dining room table. Around this table are chairs, one for each family member with corresponding names on the backs. This location was chosen in particular because when the sun goes down during the summer, light shines through the trees and brilliantly illuminates the tomb.
7. Waterfall Garden Park, Seattle
This overlooked sanctuary lies in the middle of our big city, featuring a 22-ft. waterfall flowing over beautiful granite boulders. You can find this park by downtown and Pioneer Square on 2nd Ave S. & S. Main Street.
8. Temple of Power, near North Cascades Visitor Center
Inspired by the Pantheon in Greece, this public temple was created from recycled bits of giant circuit breakers for its columns. The futuristic work was made in honor of the small town of Newhalem that has a long history of providing electricity to Seattle.
9. Soulful Soups, Spokane
Hidden food gems are a jackpot - and hungry Eastern Washingtonians can score one delicious meal at this Spokane restaurant. In addition to the soups they make here, you can also try some tasty tacos!
10. Beckler Peak, Stevens Pass in Central Cascades
Since it's a relatively new trail, it hasn't been listed in many guides yet - but it's certainly a must-hike for all Northwest adventurers. It goes for 7.4 miles (round trip) with a 2263’ elevation gain, making for an enjoyable yet steady climb through old-growth forests. It's adjacent to the Wild Sky Wilderness, so you'll be able to view photogenic scenery all around!