Washington September 22, 2019
7 Of The Greatest Mountain Hiking Trails In Washington For Beginners
Nothing replenishes the soul like taking a nice, brisk hike through the mountains, breathing in the crisp, fresh air… unless, of course, you’re wildly inexperienced, in which case you’ll just be gasping for air and wondering how to finish. Luckily, Washington has plenty of easy mountain hikes perfect for beginners. These trails are perfect places to start.
1. Tiger Mountain: Around the Lake Trail
Tiger Mountain is located in the Issaquah Alps, and this picturesque trail is just a nice, pleasant, 1.5-mile loop around a lake. If you're feeling especially energized, you can make the loop twice. To reach it, take I-90 to East Sunset Way in Issaquah (exit 18) and follow the signs for Tiger Mountain State Forest.
2. Grove of the Patriarchs
Not only is the Grove of the Patriarchs trail one of the most scenic in Mt. Rainier National Park, it just happens to be one of the easiest. The pleasant 1.2 out-and-back trail is almost entirely boardwalked, taking you through 1,000-year-old Cedar and Douglas Fir trees. The trail is isolated on a little island near the town of Radle.
3. Boardman Lake Trail
Located in Mount Baker National Forest near Granite Falls, this short and sweet 1.5-mile hike is incredibly scenic. Definitely only attempt this trail if you have a high clearance vehicle with four wheel drive, however — the road leading to the trailhead is full of potholes.
4. Trail of the Cedars
Trail of the Cedars Nature Walk is tucked up in the North Cascades near Marblemount. The nice, pleasant 1.9-mile trek takes you over a river and through the woods, past some seriously stunning old growth cedars.
5. Silver Falls Trail
This gem is also located in Mt. Rainier National Park, near the town of Randle. While it was once a 4-mile loop, part of the trail closed in May due to damage, so it's now more of a 2.5 mile out-and-back trek. Not only is it fairly easy to navigate, but the waterfall is a nice, tranquil surprise. For more of a challenge, combine this trail with the Grove of the Patriarchs hike.
6. Ape Cave Trail
The Ape Cave Trail is definitely one of the most popular hikes in the Mt. Saint Helens area. At 3 miles in length, it's short enough for beginners to attempt... but make sure you dress appropriately and pack plenty of lights, as it includes some epic cave exploration.
7. Barclay Lake Trail
Located near Baring in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, this 4-mile out-and-back trail has beautiful scenery around every corner. The trail is nice and peaceful, and it doesn't get as packed as some of the area's more popular hikes. While Barclay Lake is ranked an easy hike by most outdoors sites and apps, there are some rocks, roots, and inclines to deal with, so you may want to avoid making it your first-ever hike.
Hiking is one of the greatest ways to enjoy Washington’s incredible scenery.
These easy trails are all short and kid-friendly.