7 Peaceful Washington Trails You Might Have All To Yourself
Hiking in Washington is an incredible experience. Unfortunately, it can also be a crowded experience if you hike our more popular trails. While there are no guarantees, the spots on this list are a bit more off-the-radar, and if you go in the morning (preferably on a weekday), you might not see another human on your path.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Lake Elizabeth Trail
The road to this moderately challenging 8-mile trail is sometimes too snowy or muddy for many Washingtonians to attempt, but if you have a vehicle that can make it, you'll love the tranquil trek to the lake. The trailhead is located near Skykomish — head west on Highway 2, turn south onto the Old Cascade Highway, then turn south onto Miller River Road #6410, followed by a quick right onto Money Creek Road #6420. The trail is about 7 miles up the road.
2. Bandera Mountain Summit
This 6.7-mile trail is located near Snoqualmie Pass, but because it's a pretty challenging climb, it's often practically empty. But if you're up for the adventure, you'll see sweeping views of the Cascades and beyond.
3. Royal Basin Trail
The northeast corner of Olympic National Park is remote, often only explored by locals and experienced hikers. The Royal Basin Trail is located near Sequim, and it has a little bit of everything: cascading creeks, alpine meadows, and one of the most remote waterfalls in the park. But considering its 16 miles long in its entirety, you may want to start with hiking half.
4. Summer Land Trail
Mount Rainier National Park is full of fantastic hiking trails, and this one is no exception. The 8-mile trail begins near Ashford, taking you past alpine meadows, lush forest, and plenty of wildflowers.
5. Anderson and Watson Lakes Trail
This hike is just over 6 miles in length, and it's absolutely stunning. You'll find the trailhead near Concrete in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, and while it's beautiful, it's somehow less popular than some of the other hikes in the area.
6. Staircase Rapids Loop
Not only is this relatively easy 2-mile hike secluded, but it's also totally kid-friendly. The trailhead is located near Lilliwaup in Olympic National Park. The road to the trailhead is always closed until late May for snow and possible construction, so you'll want to make this a summer hike.
7. The Enchantments Trail
This 8-mile hike (near Leavenworth) will be one of the most visually stunning trails you'll ever see in your life. It will also be one of the most challenging, but you won't mind.
If you’re a Washingtonian and you don’t hike, you’re really missing out. If you’re a beginner,
these trails are all a mile or less in length.