Washington April 07, 2016
15 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone In Washington Should Take
Hiking doesn’t always have to be long and strenuous. Even if you’re inexperienced, you can still take plenty of shorter routes around Washington to be surrounded by mesmerizing scenery. Check out one of these easy to moderate trails this spring if you’re looking for an adventure that’s 5 miles or less, round-trip.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Trail of the Cedars, 1.0 mile
begins at the foot of Main Street in the town of Newhalem, just off North Cascades Highway. You'll start by crossing this suspension bridge over the Skagit River, then head through an old forest grove past the town's historic powerhouse.
2. Shadow of the Sentinels Trail, 1.0 mile
Half-paved, half-boardwalk, this
winds through old-growth forest with trees that are taller than you can imagine. The towering, ancient trees have actually been growing for the last 500 years. The interpretative signs along the way tell you which ones are Douglas fir and which are cedar.
3. Grove of the Patriarch's Loop, 1.5 miles
The Grove of Patriarch's Loop is one of the easiest, most enchanting trails you can take in Mount Rainier National Park. This short,
heads along a boardwalk through some of the oldest forest in Washington, and over a bouncy suspension bridge to a grove of towering trees.
4. Bagley Lakes Trail, 2.0 miles
Hiking through the Heather Meadows area feels like walking through a fairy tale. This
heads past two alpine lakes and blooming wildflowers, along with a stunning mountainous backdrop and a year-round snowfield.
5. Quartzite Mountain, 3.0 miles
A short, yet steep summit hike, this
will take you to the top of Quartzite Mountain for a 360-degree view overlooking the town of Chewelah. The well-maintained trail heads through wildflower meadows and forest, with wild strawberries growing along the way during the summer.
6. Naches Peak Loop, 3.2 miles
Beginning at Tipsoo Lake, this
offers an easy hike full of alpine scenery. The trail heads along a hillside and through grassy meadows with wildflowers blooming in the spring. With its minimal elevation of 600 feet, hikers of all ages and skill levels can join in.
7. Twin Falls Trail, 3.5 miles
This huge, 135-foot horsetail cascade drops off the south fork on the Snoqualmie River. Despite certain parts of the trail being closed, you can still access the lower viewpoint of the falls by taking the
Homestead Valley Trailhead
, just off I-90 at Exit 38.
8. Comet Falls Trail, 3.8 miles
Not only is Comet Falls the most impressive waterfall to see in Mount Rainier National Park, but it's not very far to hike out to at all. The
winds along the tumbling Van Trump Creek, with several other, smaller cascades to see along the way.
9. Second Beach, 4.0 miles
All of the La Push beaches have a unique, mystic beauty to them, but Second Beach is the longest and flattest, which makes for an excellent, easy coastal hike. The
begins by heading through a forested area before finally descending to the sandy beach. You can hike north a short distance to find a natural arch formation, or head south if you're looking to get more of a walk in.
10. Moulton Falls, 4.0 miles
Moulton Falls Trail
offers a peaceful out-and-back hike in southwestern Washington along the Lewis River. You'll cross over this picturesque arch bridge with plenty of side routes along the way.
11. Silver Star Mountain, 4.0 miles
The hike up this peak may not be easy, but it does offer some of the most rewarding views to make it all worth it. Located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the
offers expansive vistas in all directions, from Mount Rainier and Mount Adams to Mount Hood and even the Pacific Ocean.
12. Rattlesnake Ledge, 4.0 miles
Rattlesnake Ledge is a busy trail, for good reason. The
heads through second-growth forest to a rocky ledge with sweeping views overlooking the bright turquoise lake.
13. Sauk Mountain Trail, 4.2 miles
What makes this steep
worth the sweat is the 360-degree views in all directions. From the top you'll be able to get a glimpse of the Sauk and Skagit River valleys, Cascade mountains, and on a clear day, the Olympics, Puget Sound and San Juan Islands. As you hike up the switchbacks, the views get even better with a huge range of wildflowers to see along the slopes.
14. Little Si Trail, 4.7 miles
A step down from the legendary Mount Si, Little Si still offers extraordinary views on a trek that's just under 5 miles. The
by North Bend heads through an area of woodland before reaching a rocky bluff with phenomenal views of the Snoqualmie Valley and surrounding peaks.
15. Cherry Creek Falls Trail, 5.0 miles
If you're looking to go for a full 5-mile hike, try this
near Duvall to a 25-foot waterfall along Cherry Creek. The picturesque falls drop off a rocky ledge into a pool that serves as a popular swimming hole during the summertime.
Ready for a trip yet? What are some other amazing hikes in Washington that are 5 miles or less?