HIKE WITH GSI: OUR FAVORITE HIKES IN WASHINGTON
It’s officially hiking season and we couldn’t be more excited! To celebrate, we’re sharing our favorite hiking spots in different states. To kick it off, we’re starting with our home state of Washington! Get ready for vast forests, waterfalls and beautiful mountaintop views.
RATTLESNAKE LEDGE TRAIL
This 5.3 mile trail in North Bend is one of the most popular hikes in Washington. Although there’s many switchbacks, Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is great for all skill levels making it perfect for beginners, families, and dogs. Once at the top you’ll be greeted with a gorgeous lake view with mountains serving as your background. Post hike, you can rest your legs at the park and enjoy the lake during the warmer months. This trail is open year round with Spring and Summer being the peak. We’d recommend going during the weekday if you can to avoid crowds.
Snow Lake is a great option for people in Seattle who want to get away from the city for the day. During this 6.7 mile hike, you’ll get to pass by numerous waterfalls, climb steep switchbacks and eventually reach the stunning Snow Lake. In the mood for backpacking? Keep following the trail to Gem lake and camp overnight! Don’t be fooled by the name - it’s very dangerous to visit Snow Lake during the winter due to avalanches.
FALLS CREEK FALLS
Want to experience the big reward of a variety of waterfalls for little effort? Falls Creek Falls is the trail for you! Located on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, you’ll have gorgeous views during your 5 mile loop. Best to go during the spring when the falls are at their peak volume. This is a great hike for families thanks to its easy, thoroughly marked and well maintained trail.
Mailbox Peak is one of the most challenging hikes on this list. The 7.8 mile hike is a steep incline almost the whole way and the later half has no sun covering so come prepared! The steep incline is worth the view though. On a clear day, you’ll have clear views of Mount Rainier. Show off your accomplishment by posting a photo with the mailbox at the top.
MOUNT STORM KING TRAIL
This trail is for those who don’t back down from a challenge. Often referred to as one of the most challenging hikes in Washington for good reason. The first half mile of this hike will try to fool you but after that the rest of the 5.3 miles have very few flat spots and no good rest spots. Sections of the trail have a rope to help you up the steep incline. Safe to say you should leave the kids and dog at home. Once you’ve reached the top, the view is well worth the sweat. You’ll feel like you’re viewing Lake Crescent from the clouds. Our pro tip: wear your favorite hiking shoes. This is not the place to try breaking in your new ones.
CAPE FLATTERY TRAIL
You can’t get any more Pacific Northwest than this, literally. Cape Flattery Trail is located in the most NW corner of the United States. You’ll get to walk through thick forests with elevated boardwalks until you get to the coast. This is an easy, 1.5 mile family friendly hike with stunning views of seaside cliffs and coves. With four observation decks, you won’t be fighting others to get a glimpse of the view. Check in with the Makah community website before you go for openings.
HOH RAINFOREST HALL OF MOSSES
Another family friendly hike is the HOH Rainforest Trail Hall of Mosses in the Olympic National Park. This trail has an amazing variety of huge old trees, ferns and animals like elk and salmon. Make sure to walk under the iconic moss-draped archway! The 1.1 mile trail has signs all along the way sharing fun facts about the plants and animals you’re seeing. A perfect trip for your kids to learn more about the great Pacific Northwest.
Mount Si is one of the most popular hikes in Washington and it lives up to the hype. This challenging 8 mile hike is a must for anyone who lives in Seattle. With its steep incline and multiple switchbacks you’ll earn all the bragging rights for reaching the top. The amazing view is worth all of your hard work! Looking for a little more adventure? Climb up the Haystack and reach the true summit of Mount Si. If you don’t have experience climbing stick to the first viewpoint, it’s still amazing! You’ll feel on top of the world at Mount Si.