Truth be told, there are few places as magical as the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. The Evergreen State is especially majestic in its rugged coastal landscapes, towering volcanic peaks, and serene waterfalls. It may be no secret that hiking is among the best ways to immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of these natural environments. As such, we’ve prepared a guide to help you discover a wide array of the
best hiking trails in Washington. We also recommend that you so that you can record your hikes, download maps, and search for other trails in your area. try AllTrails+ for free
Best Hikes in Washington
With at least 3,500 hiking trails in the state of Washington, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide where to start when selecting your next hiking adventure. Rest assured that we’ve done the hard work for you: we’ve searched high and low to narrow down the absolute
best hikes in Washington, and we’re confident you’ll love them. With views like these below, how could you not? 1. Rattlesnake Ledge Trail
Rattlesnake Ledge Trailhead, Snoqualmie Valley Trail, North Bend, WA 98045, USA
Location: North Bend, Washington Mileage: 5.3 miles out and back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Prepare for crowds and steep inclines on a well-maintained trail. Leashed dogs are permitted.
When it comes to otherworldly mountain views, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more spectacular trail in Washington than
Rattlesnake Ledge Trail
. To start off, you'll park in the lot on the north side of the lake and then follow the trail as it winds up the mountain. The trail itself is well maintained and you'll want to allow plenty of time to stop and take in the sights of Mount Washington, Mount Si, Rattlesnake Mountain, and the sweeping valleys and Rattlesnake Lake below you. Be prepared: this is a popular trail, so you'll want to arrive early in the morning or late in the evening (or perhaps in the off-season) to avoid some of the crowds. But these breath-stealing views are well worth the journey.
2. Skyline Trail Loop
Skyline Trail, Skyline Trl, Washington, USA
Location: Paradise Inn, Washington Mileage: 5.6-mile loop Difficulty: Hard FYI: Skyline Trail Loop is located within Mount Rainier National Park, therefore you'll need to pay a fee of $30 per vehicle to enter or present your National Parks Pass. Dogs are not allowed on this trail. Skyline Trail Loop
is one of the most iconic trails in
Mount Rainier National Park
. You'll be treated to nearly constant views of the towering and majestic Mount Rainier, cascading rivers and waterfalls (including the stunning Myrtle Falls), and possibly wildlife, especially if you hike in the morning or evening. You'll begin your hike at the Jackson Visitor Center and head northward along the trail. Be sure to stop at the many breathtaking viewpoints such as Glacier View and Panorama Point, which are aptly named for their awe-inspiring vistas. Don't forget to take in the iconic Myrtle Falls viewpoint with Mount Rainier looming behind it, as it is arguably one of the best photographic vantages of the mountain in the whole park.
3. Lake 22 Trail
Lake Twenty-Two Trailhead, Mountain Loop Hwy, Granite Falls, WA 98252, USA
Location: Granite Falls, Washington Mileage: 5.8 miles out and back Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Waterproof hiking shoes or boots are recommended due to stream crossings. Leashed dogs are permitted on this trail. Lake 22 Trail
is unlike any other in Washington, in that it's no ordinary, flat trail. Instead, it provides a much more adventurous experience as you scramble over large boulders and rocks while passing beautiful waterfalls and peaceful mountain streams, such as Twenty-Two Creek. You'll discover a particularly picturesque waterfall when you cross a wooden bridge about a mile into the hike. Finally, you'll reach Lake Twentytwo, where we recommend you spend some time enjoying the peaceful scenery. Then, you can complete the loop around the lake before making your way back to the parking lot. You'll surely add this hike to your Washington favorites list.
Best Short & Easy Hikes in Washington
We acknowledge that there are various levels of hiking ability out there, and we are firm believers that
hiking in Washington is a wonderfully rejuvenating outdoor activity that should be accessible to everyone. If you’re searching for a shorter, easier hike that still offers a taste of Washington’s natural beauty, you’ll be delighted by these short and easy trails. 4. Marymere Falls Trail
Marymere Falls Trailhead, 227693-227769 Olympic Hwy, Port Angeles, WA 98363, USA
Location: Joyce, Washington Mileage: 1.7 miles out and back Difficulty: Easy FYI: Marymere Falls Trail is located within Olympic National Park, therefore you'll need to pay a fee of $30 per vehicle to enter or present your National Parks Pass. Dogs are not allowed on this trail. Marymere Falls Trail
is a whimsical trail that meanders through the lush, old-growth forests within Olympic State Park. From the moment you begin your hike near Lake Crescent, you'll be immersed in an idyllic rainforest with towering trees surrounding you. Once you reach the end of the trail you'll be greeted by the tranquil Marymere Falls before you make your way back to Lake Crescent. This trail is accessible to most levels of hiking ability and can be completed in less than an hour, making it a great option to get the blood flowing without zapping your energy for the rest of the day.
5. Hall of Mosses Trail
Hall of Mosses Trailhead, Hoh Valley Rd, Forks, WA 98331, USA
Location: Joyce, Washington Mileage: 1.1-mile loop Difficulty: Easy FYI: Hall of Mosses Trail is located within Olympic National Park, therefore you'll need to pay a fee of $30 per vehicle to enter or present your National Parks Pass. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to journey into a fairytale,
Hall of Mosses Trail
will transport you there. Begin your forested adventure at the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center at the end of Upper Hoh Road and follow the path as it weaves through the rainforest with otherworldly moss-covered trees that seem like something from a dream. This trail is among the most accessible on our list, and although you may have to contend with some crowds, these fairytale-like scenes make it all worthwhile. It's also a photographer's paradise, and for good reason, as you'll soon discover!
6. Sol Duc Falls Trail
Sol Duc River, Washington 98363, USA
Location: Joyce, Washington Mileage: 1.6 miles out and back Difficulty: Easy FYI: Sol Duc Falls Trail is located within Olympic National Park, therefore you'll need to pay a fee of $30 per vehicle to enter or present your National Parks Pass. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
Another photographic gem within Olympic National Park is the
Sol Duc Falls Trail
. The trailhead is comedic in that it misspells the trail name as "Soleduck Trail", but make no mistake when you see it, you're in the right place. Follow the gently winding trail through the lush, old-growth forest as you make your way to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Washington: Sol Duc Falls. The vibrance of these greens seems otherworldly, and once again you'll feel as if you've stepped into a fairytale.
Hardest Hikes in Washington
If you’re a more experienced hiker craving some serious challenge and endurance in your hiking adventure, you’re in luck: Washington offers no shortage of difficult trails. These trails are quite lengthy in distance and are intended to be approached as backpacking endeavors, meaning you’ll likely be splitting the journey over a couple of days and camping out in the woods. But what better way to immerse yourself in nature? Just be prepared: you’ll need to put some serious work and planning into these hikes.
7. Mount Rainier via Emmons Glacier
Mount Rainier, Washington 98304, USA
Location: Greenwater, Washington Mileage: 19.2 miles out and back Difficulty: Hard FYI: The Mount Rainier via Emmons Glacier trail is located within Mount Rainier National Park, therefore visitors must pay the entry fee of $30 per vehicle or present an annual National Parks pass. You'll also need to purchase a Wilderness / Climbing Permit. No dogs are allowed on this trail.
There are myriad ways to explore the awe-inspiring Mount Rainier, but if you're looking for a hiking experience like no other, why not journey to its summit? The
Mount Rainier via Emmons Glacier
route is a highly technical trail that requires climbing equipment and ample climbing and backcountry experience. Simply put: this trail isn't for the faint of heart. But for seasoned hiking pros, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more challenging and rewarding mountain to summit. After all, how many people can say they've climbed to the top of an active volcano?
8. West McMillan Spire via Goodell Creek Trail
McMillan Spire, Washington 98283, USA
Location: Marblemount, Washington Mileage: 17.7 miles out and back Difficulty: Hard FYI: A $26 backcountry permit is required to camp overnight in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, and must be picked up at the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount. Dogs are not permitted on this trail. West McMillan Spire via Goodell Creek Trail
leads off from the Goodell Creek Campground, about 20 minutes northeast of Marblemount along State Rte 20 E. The first segment of the trail has some overgrown brush but is otherwise fairly easy, but then a right turn will take you straight uphill through steep terrain with some root climbing. You'll then find open terrain for a brief time before crossing Terror Basin, where rockfall can be hazardous. Finally, you'll approach McMillan Spire while traversing a few snowfields and admiring the amazing views of Inspiration Glacier. Prepare for more technical portions of the trail ahead and beware of rockfall as you climb the Class 3 scramble to the summit. This trail is long, dangerous, and challenging, and for those experienced technical climbers up for the task, the views will be quite rewarding.
9. Mount Rainier Standard Summit Route
Mount Rainier, Washington 98304, USA
Location: Paradise Inn, Washington Mileage: 14.9 miles out and back Difficulty: Hard FYI: The Mount Rainier Standard Summit Route is located within Mount Rainier National Park, therefore visitors must pay the entry fee of $30 per vehicle or present an annual National Parks pass. Additionally, you will need a Wilderness / Climbing Permit. No dogs are allowed on this trail.
If you're looking for a longer but slightly less technical route to the summit of Mount Rainier, this trail is the one for you. But be warned that the
Mount Rainier Standard Summit Route
still requires technical equipment (crampons, ropes, an ice axe, etc.), and extensive alpine hiking experience. You'll also want to be well-versed in crevasse rescue, as you'll be crossing several crevasses in the glaciers as you ascend along this route.
The first portion of your ascent will be along the Muir Glacier to Camp Muir, where you'll spend your first night. Then, the second day will take you to the Ingraham Glacier campsite if significant melting has not occurred; otherwise, you may have to prepare for a lengthy alternate route to avoid the more hazardous crevasses. Always be monitoring the weather and snow conditions, and be aware that you'll need to be departing the summit by 10:00 AM before the snow softens too much and makes your descent more hazardous. If you lack adequate alpine climbing and crevasse rescue experience, please hire a climbing guide before attempting this trail. It is spectacular but dangerous for those underprepared or less experienced.
Best Waterfront Hikes in Washington
Who doesn’t love walking alongside a peaceful river or being rewarded with a pristine alpine lake at the end of the hike? Or better yet, how about listening to the rhythmic crashing of ocean waves along the shore as seagulls call to each other while gliding along the gentle coastal breeze? If this sounds like your cup of tea, then you’ll love these
best waterfront hikes in Washington. 10. Snow Lake Trail
Snow Lake Trail, Washington 98045, USA
Location: Snoqualmie Pass, Washington Mileage: 6.7 miles out and back Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This is a popular trail that begins in the Alpental Ski Area. Leashed dogs are welcome. Snow Lake Trail
is a popular trail that begins at the Alpental Ski Area at the Snow Lakes Trailhead in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of Washington. You’ll first travel alongside the South Fork Snoqualmie River, passing by numerous picturesque waterfalls as you do so. Prepare for some steep switchbacks as you ascend higher in elevation, but pausing to drink in the views around you as you catch your breath should offer plenty of distraction. The jaw-dropping views of Snow Lake and the distant Chair Peak at the end of the trail will steal your breath away.
11. Iceberg Point Trail
Iceberg Point, Lopez Island, WA 98261, USA
Location: Lopez Island, Washington Mileage: 3-mile loop Difficulty: Easy FYI: No fees are required to enter San Juan Island National Historic Park. Leashed dogs are permitted.
If you’ve ever visited the San Juan Islands off the coast of northern Washington, you can attest to the pristine beauty of the landscape there. Lopez Island is the third largest of the islands and offers nearly 30 square miles of land to explore. To start off with, we recommend
Iceberg Point Trail
, which is quiet, secluded, and offers some of the most amazing coastal scenery you’ll ever see. And it’s an easy hike, too, so even beginner hikers can enjoy this lovely adventure.
12. Bowl and Pitcher Loop Trail
Bowl and Pitcher, Audubon-Downriver, WA 99208, USA
Location: Spokane, Washington Mileage: 2-mile loop Difficulty: Easy FYI: A Discover Pass is required to enter the park. A day pass can be purchased for $10, or an annual for $30. Leashed dogs are welcome.
One of the more scenic and unique trails near the city of Spokane is
Bowl and Pitcher Loop Trail
. You’ll begin this short and easy trail in near the Spokane House of Riverside State Park. This is a fairly accessible trail, although you’ll encounter some stairs near the bridge that passes over the Spokane River (if you’d prefer to avoid the stairs, you’ll want to park near the Bowl and Pitcher Overlook). The trail loop is otherwise flat and as it runs alongside the river for half of the loop, and you’ll likely complete it in less than an hour, making it a great option for those on a time crunch.
Best Winter Hikes in Washington
Hiking isn’t just a summertime activity; in fact, some of the most mesmerizing landscapes can only be seen and experienced during the winter. You’ll want to bundle up and strap on your snowshoes for these hikes, but we promise you: the winter wonderland scenery you’ll witness is well worth enduring the chilly temperatures for.
13. Upper Lodge to Artist Point Trail Location: Maple Falls, Washington Mileage: 3.9 miles out and back Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This trail sometimes closes for avalanche mitigation work. Please be sure to visit the USDA Forest Service website to check for trail closures before visiting. Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. Upper Lodge to Artist Point Trail
is a beautiful trail located within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in northern Washington. It ranks among the best winter hiking trails in the state with good snowpack and sweeping mountain views everywhere you look. Bring those snowshoes or cross-country skis and poles, and you’ll enjoy panoramic mountain views along this entire trail, making it one of Washington’s winter hiking gems. Bundle up and hit the trail, you’ll thank us later!
14. Kendall Peak Lakes Trail
Kendall Peak Lakes, Washington 98045, USA
Location: Snoqualmie Pass, Washington Mileage: 8.5 miles out and back Difficulty: Moderate FYI: In order to park at the trailhead you'll need to purchase a Snowpark Pass. This pass can be purchased at the ranger station at Snoqualmie Summit. Leashed dogs are permitted on this trail.
Purchase your Snowpark Pass at the ranger station at Snoqualmie Summit and make your way to
Kendall Peak Lakes Trail
in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for scenic snowshoeing. Strap on your snowshoes and you’ll find yourself in awe of the winter landscape that unfolds before you on this trail. It is a longer trail, so you’ll want to pack plenty of water, snacks, extra layers, and a reliable offline map from AllTrails so that you can navigate your path with ease. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a winter wonderland along this magical trail.
15. Skyline Lake Trail
Skyline Lake Trail, Leavenworth, WA 98826, USA
Location: Leavenworth, Washington Mileage: 2.5 miles out and back Difficulty: Moderate FYI: You'll need to purchase a day pass (there is an annual option as well) to enter Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Dogs are permitted on this trail if they are leashed. Skyline Lake Trail
may be on the shorter side for a hike, but it is quite steep and will give your legs and lungs a good workout. While a good portion of the trail is a gravel road, you’ll soon turn off onto a standard trail, but make sure to have the offline map from AllTrails downloaded so that you don’t miss the turnoff for it, as it’s easy to miss. Once you arrive at the lake, you’ll find a tranquil scene. Pack a picnic (and some bug spray) so you can stay a while and soak it all in.
Best Hikes near Olympia
Perhaps you have upcoming plans to visit Washington’s capital city of Olympia in the near future and are hoping to find some nearby hikes to find some quiet time away from city life. If so, you’ll be pleased to discover the many hiking trails of varying levels within a short drive. These trails are not only beautiful, but they are also accessible to virtually all hiking abilities.
16. Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk and Twin Barns Trail
Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail, Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trl, Washington 98327, USA
Location: Olympia, Washington Mileage: 4.6 miles out and back Difficulty: Easy FYI: There is a nominal fee of $3 to enter Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk and Twin Barns Trail
is a fan favorite among hiking trails near Olympia due to its ease of access thanks in part to its boardwalk and level gravel trail. It’s also a very popular trail for birding, so you’ll want to bring your binoculars or cameras with telephoto lenses to spot the variety of avian wildlife that resides in this area. You might spot a variety of fish as you're meandering across the water as well. Ultimately, we think you’ll love the peaceful sanctuary offered by this trail.
17. Ellis Cove Trail
Ellis Cove Trail, Olympia, WA 98506, USA
Location: Olympia, Washington Mileage: 1.5-mile loop Difficulty: Easy FYI: Leashed dogs are welcome on this trail. Ellis Cove Trail
is a picturesque and easy trail found within Squaxin Park in the northern reaches of Olympia. It offers a gentle workout with some hills and stairs as you meander along the fringes of Ellis Cove and the greater Budd Inlet area, with the Olympic Mountains viewable in the distance on a clear day. This trail is beautiful year-round, even offering plenty of shade on a hot summertime afternoon. The short duration of this hike makes it a great option for those with busy schedules that crave a break away from the noise and chaos of life.
18. Watershed Park Trail
Watershed Park, 2500 Henderson Blvd SE, Olympia, WA 98501, USA
Location: Olympia, Washington Mileage: 1.4-mile loop Difficulty: Easy FYI: Leashed dogs are welcome. Watershed Park Trail
is a great urban trail located within Watershed Trail Park (easy to get those two names confused!) on the south side of Olympia. This is another optimal trail for those who struggle to fit outdoor time into their schedules, as it can be completed in less than an hour. The trail itself is well maintained but can get a little muddy at times so be sure to wear a pair of solid hiking shoes and you'll be in the clear. There’s just a touch of an incline and occasional stairs for those wanting more than a flat stroll. The beautifully green, lush forest makes it hard to believe this is a city trail.
Did any of your favorite trails make it onto our list of
best places to hike in Washington? Which hike are you most excited to add to your Washington hiking trail bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
For even more Washington hiking inspiration, be sure to check out these
9 Washington trails that are so beautiful, you’ll forget you’re working out!
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More to Explore
Best Hikes In Washington
Does Washington have good hiking trails?
Washington has an endless number of good hiking trails! A selection of the best hiking trails you won't want to miss includes the following:
You'll find no shortage of beautiful trails of all difficulty levels in the Evergreen State, from gentle boardwalk trails to multi-day backpacking excursions. Washington is home to some of the
most beautiful hiking trails in the country.
What are the best months to hike in Washington?
best months to hike in Washington for the best weather conditions are late spring and summer. Winter hiking is certainly beautiful as well, however, and many hikers love to snowshoe and cross-country ski in the winter months. The plus side of winter hiking - aside from the pristine snow-covered landscapes - is far fewer crowds to contend with. Simply put: hiking in the Evergreen State is stunning year-round. As always, be sure to check trail and weather conditions, and bring adequate clothing and layers for the conditions, along with plenty of water before you head out. And be sure to Leave No Trace and keep these beautiful trails as natural and clean as they were before you arrived.