If You Only Have Time For One Hike In Washington This Year, Make It Staircase Rapids
While we have awhile to wait before Washington’s hiking season officially starts (sorry), if you’re like most outdoorsy types, you’re already planning your hikes — and perhaps you’re even taking a few nature walks in our less snowy areas. But if you only have time for one good hike this year, we highly recommend checking out the Staircase Rapids Loop in Olympic National Park. Not only is it great for any skill level, it’s absolutely beautiful.
Staircase Rapids Loop is located near Lilliwaup in Olympic National Park.
The trail is accessible year-round, and although the road leading to it was closed for awhile in 2019, it's open and ready for access again.
The trail is only 2.1 miles in length, ranked as easy, and totally family-friendly.
That being said, there's a lot of moss, and the ground may be slick since the forest is such a damp place. Wear appropriate layers and shoes.
The loop takes you through forests and along a stream to the Staircase Ranger Station on Lake Cushman.
And since the weather in this part of the state really doesn't change much, it makes a great winter hike (although you'll love it in the summer as well).
This nature walk is the perfect way to get away from it all without going too far from civilization.
After all, you will be near both a parking lot and a ranger station.
Needless to say, the trail stays fairly crowded in the summer, but if you go early in the year, you might have parts of the path all to yourself.
Going early in the morning is a great way to beat the crowds.
If you enjoy mossy forests and the sounds of the rushing river, this might be your favorite trail in the Pacific Northwest.
There are plenty of places to stop and take in the stunning scenery.
Ready to give this scenic hike a try? It's a fairly easy trail to reach.
From Hoodsport, turn left onto SR 119 off Highway 101. Turn left at FR 24 and follow the road until it turns to gravel. At the junction, turn right and continue 1.2 miles to the Staircase Ranger Station and park in the nearby lot.
Please note: Olympic National Park charges a fee to enter. You can also purchase a park-specific annual pass. For more information, please refer to the
We hope every Washingtonian gets to go out and explore the great outdoors this year. If you’re short on time,
these hikes are all under three miles long.
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Staircase Rapids, Washington 98548, USA