Hiking in Washington State

Thousands of square miles of untamed wilderness tempt the backpacker to the Washington hiking trails in the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges.

Hikers all know what a great feeling you can get from enjoying a relatively relaxed outdoor activity, all the while enjoying great views and taking in fresh air. Hiking in Washington can be a highlight of a vacation in Washington State and one of the most exhilarating experiences of your life.

From the beaches of the Washington Coast to the sub alpine meadows of the North Cascades, Washington hiking lets you access remote areas that offer you unequalled views of the Pacific Northwest wilderness.

The Olympic Peninsula dominates the western part of Washington State. In this area, whale watching is a popular outdoor activity. Beyond Puget Sound and Seattle, Washington hiking in the Olympic Mountains offers the visitor everything from glacial treks to travels through temperate rainforests. The mild weather of the Washington Coast keep the temperature in the lower elevations relatively warm, and the peaks of the western summits of Washington Mountains are 8,000 feet less than the ones to the east, like Mt Rainier.

In the summer, of the most popular areas for hiking in Washington State is Mount Rainier National Park. From late May to early October, the area is filled with tourists exploring the verdant wildflower meadows and shaded glory of the old growth forests. While not many visitors will actually want to scale this ice-covered volcano"s peak, there are more that 240 miles of Washington hiking trails to safely explore. There is no lack of campgrounds either, allowing room for everyone.

The well-known Pacific Crest Trail is a destination for visitors who want to walk on one of the most famous Washington hiking trails. A small stretch of the hundreds of miles of this world-renowned trek runs through the state in the Cascade wilderness. At Snoqualmie, the trail rises to precarious ridges with commanding views of the surrounding wilderness. On this trail, the path descends through a creek and a river, and then it resumes its winding path along a number of scenic lakes before it reaches Stevens Pass.

North Bend has some of the best hiking in Washington State; with three excellent hikes you can take. Mason Lake at Mount Defiance is one of the more challenging hikes, with a boulder field, and steep terrain. Annette Lake has excellent trails around its perimeter. If you enjoy relaxed strolls, this area has the most invigorating and scenic Washington hiking. Dog lovers enjoy the lack of crowds and wide paths at Big Creek Falls at Taylor River. This trail is no more than an old road that"s been reclaimed from the forest, so it is a relaxed, level hike.

If you're out camping as well as hiking in Washington State, it's essential to pack light so that you can hike comfortably. It"s wise to spend more to get good backpacking gear that is lightweight and waterproof. The varying terrain of Washington means that from your parka to your tent, your backpacking gear needs to be lightweight, insulated, and waterproof. Layers are essential to keeping warm. Stores like REI and North Face have durable, high quality backpacking gear. One you've gotten all your equipment, prepare yourself mentally for a great Washington hiking trip that you will never forget.

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