Must do hikes for all skill levels
Washington has numerous stunning trails to explore. It’s easy to think that hiking is only for the super fit, but there are stunning views to be had by all hiking skill levels and ages. Check out some of our must do hikes for the summer below.
Franklin Falls Trail is a popular, easy hike that is only a few miles round trip and is easily accessible thanks to the paved road in and the ample parking lot. It is a perfect hike for the whole family, so feel free to bring kids, even the little ones. The path is clearly marked and had plenty of stopping points.
Deception Falls Interpretive Trail is a 0.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Skykomish, Washington that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Barclay Lake Trail is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Baring, Washington that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near North Bend, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Not only does this trail provide you with great panoramic views from atop Rattlesnake Ridge but there is also a great park located down below. Many people come to the use the lake in the warmer months. There are no motored boats or fishing allowed on the lake which makes this place ideal for kayakers and swimmers alike.
Wallace Falls Trail is a 4.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gold Bar, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Wallace Falls is set of nine different cataracts in all which are well worth the hike up. The hike is short enough for a day time picnic outing. Be prepared to get a little exercise as it is a 1200 foot elevation gain up to the falls. On the trail, you’ll find many examples of Cascade regional flora and fauna as well as some old growth forest.
Tolmie Peak Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ashford, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Tolmie Peak Trail is a beautiful hike past alpine lakes and subalpine meadows to a fire tower lookout with great views of the surrounding peaks and a commanding view of Mount Ranier. The two-story structure houses a lookout station on the upper level and storage at ground level. With an elevation gain of 1000 feet, this lake trail takes hikers up to Eunice Lake, Ipsut Pass – part of the Wonderland Trail, and up to Tolmie Peak Lookout.
Lake Serene Trail and Bridal Veil Falls is a 8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gold Bar, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. What the trail lacks in length, it makes up for in elevation gain. The first mile and a half winds across a well manicured and slightly inclined path, at the end of which you can choose to go another mile on Bridal Veil Falls Trail to Bridal Veil Falls or another two miles to the main trail to Lake Serene. The extra mile is certainly worth the side trip to see the falls.
Mount Si Trail is a 7.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near North Bend, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The hike starts at the parking lot and the trail head is clearly marked, in a couple hundred yards you will begin your ascent to the top of Mount Si. The trail is well-maintained and dog-friendly, but be aware that there have been reports of bear spottings on the trail (although not very often). Most of the hike is under the shade of the trees which makes it a good hike even in the heat of summer.
Blanca Lake Trail is a 13 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Index, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Blanca Lake Trail is a popular mountain trail through Wild Sky Wilderness and Henry M. Jackson Wilderness with fantastic views along the way. On a clear day visitors will be treated to great views of Glacier Peak and Columbia Peak across the valley as well as the peak of Monte Cristo once you reach Blanca Lake. The highest point of the trail is at Virgin Lake and then descends to the southern shore of the gorgeous blue lake below. Waterfalls feed the lake from the Columbia Glacier which also gives the lake its turquoise green color.