Washington March 26, 2018
9 Low-Key Hikes In Washington With Amazing Payoffs
Exercise is great and all, but for the most part, hiking is all about the views and the surrounding scenery. Luckily, you don’t have to scale any impossible mountains or navigate tough terrain to reap those benefits here in Washington. These hiking trails are easy enough for beginners, but the payoffs are fantastic.
1. Hurricane Hill, Olympic Peninsula
Not only is this trail a mere 3 miles in length, every foot of it is breathtaking. From the sweeping peninsula views to the abundance of wildflowers, this is a perfect pick for nature lovers. If you want to avoid snow, wait until late June to go.
2. Riverside State Park Loop, Spokane
You'll see a little bit of everything on this 3.5 mile trail: City views, forest, rivers, and a big suspension bridge. Best of all, you won't have far to go -- the loop is right next to Spokane proper.
3. Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail, Issaquah
Like the rest of the Cougar Mountain hikes, this 3.5 mile trail starts with a somewhat steep incline. After that, it's all smooth sailing -- and the lush greenery along the way is beautiful.
4. Ancient Lakes Trail, near Quincy
This is a 4.5 mile loop that's great for all skill levels, and it shows you the underrated natural beauty of Central and Eastern Washington. The trail starts near the head of Potholes Coulee, where the Missoula flood spilled out of the Quincy Basin into the Columbia Gorge. And if you start early in the morning, you just might have it all to yourself.
5. Catherine Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge
Between the GORGEous Gorge views (see what we did there) and the 90+ varieties of wildflowers you'll see from late spring to late summer, it's no wonder people tend to fall in love at first sight with this 2.5 mile trail. Just a heads up: The hike has a lot of poison oak, so wear long pants and be cautious.
6. Twin Falls Trail, North Bend
Located in the highly underrated Olallie State Park, this 3.5 mile waterfall hike is an easy trek that also happens to be easy to find (the trailhead has parking off I-90 Exit 34).
7. Twin Sisters Rock Trail, Touchet
These unique basalt rock pillars look fantastic set against the majestic Columbia River, and you won't even have to hike a full mile in to see them. Geologists say the rock formation is the result of erosion from a great flood near the end of the last Ice Age, about 12,000 to 15,000 years ago.
8. Palouse Falls
Washington's official state waterfall requires a brief, easy hike to see (the "round trip" duration is just over 2 miles). But really, the reward speaks for itself.
9. Bridal Veil Falls, Index
First, a bit of bad news: This trail is currently closed until July 8. But since it thankfully won't be closed forever, we highly recommend you take the 3.7 mile hike -- the waterfall is just one of many spectacular sights.
We definitely have some amazing hiking trails here in Washington. And if you want to hike but you’re short on time, check out one of these
3 mile (or less) trails.