Exploring the Best Hiking Trails in Washington State

July 14, 2023


two person walking towards mountain covered with snow

Here we will explore the best hiking trails in Washington State.

Washington is the fourth most beautiful state in the country because it is home to some of the most diverse landscapes, infamous mountain ranges, and breathtaking scenery. The state has everything a nature lover could ever want; stratovolcanoes, lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and thriving ecosystems.

Naturally, Washington’s astonishing environment makes it the perfect place for hiking, which is why according to World Population Reviews, the state ties for first place with Colorado when ranked by hiking trails. If you plan to pitch up a tent for an overnight stay when hiking, make sure you know how to stay warm when camping in the winter.

Let's jump right in.

Rattlesnake Ledge Trail

Location: North Bend, WA

Skill Level: Moderate

Length: 5.3 Miles

Washington’s Rattlesnake Ledge is one of the most popular trails near the Seattle and Bellevue areas.

This 3-hour hike follows a well-maintained trail through dense forest, around Rattlesnake Lake, and to various viewpoints. The first viewpoint is 1.3 miles into the trail and brings you to a close-up overlook of Rattlesnake Lake and the southeast mountains. The second viewpoint is 2.1 miles in and overlooks Mount Si, Little Si, and Mount Washington. The last viewpoint is just a short distance further and shows you a different view of the same picturesque mountains and lake.

The Enchantments Trail

Location: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Leavenworth

Skill Level: Hard

Length: 18 Miles

Hiking the Enchantments is a challenging trail that is best when split into multiple days. To hike and camp along this trail, you will need to apply for permits that can be obtained from May-October. If you receive the proper documentation and green light to hike, you should prepare with expert-level equipment since it can be quite the feat for even the most experienced explorers.

The trail takes you to an elevation of 4,400 feet and offers continuous views of the forest, wildflowers, the Snow Lakes, and the mountains. If you are lucky, you may come across the mountain goats that hang out on the trail cliffs.

Coyote Loop Trail

Location: Bridle Trails State Park near Kirkland

Skill Level: Easy

Length: 3.6 Miles

The Coyote Loop Trail is one of four trails within Bridle Trails State Park and is perfect for beginners looking for a casual adventure.

Coyote Loop takes roughly an hour to hike and because of its accessibility, it is quite popular for bird watchers and equestrians. The trail is also a popular day activity for the nature-lovers in the cannabis community since it is located near various dispensaries. If you are like many others and plan to hike Coyote Loop after shopping at a dispensary, you can apply for a medical marijuana card here.

Marymere Falls Trail

Location: Olympic National Park near Joyce

Skill Level: Easy

Length: 1.7 Miles

Marymere Falls, located in the famous Olympic National Park is a popular hiking trail that offers the beauty of more experienced trails in a short 48 minutes.

This trail starts at the Storm King Ranger Station and follows a path through the old-growth forest to canopies of conifers and maples. Roughly .05 miles into the hike, you meet a junction where you can follow the path left to Marymere Falls. This trail crosses Barnes Creek and Falls Creek. Shortly after the creeks, the trail forms a loop that provides two viewpoints of the 90-foot-high waterfall.

Marymere is kid friendly and offers one mile of wheelchair-accessible trail.

Skyline Trail Loop

Location: Mount Rainier National Park near Paradise Inn

Skill Level: Moderate

Length: 5.6 Miles

The Skyline Trail Loop is the main route that intertwines a crosshatched system of intricate trails, each of which provides various viewpoints and sceneries (be sure to pick up a map from the Jackson Visitor Center). Upon departure, you quickly reach your first fork in the path that leads to popular destinations like the waterfall trail and Dead-horse Creek Trail. Regardless of which trail you choose to follow, you can expect to see impressive views of Mount Rainier, diverse wildlife, rivers, meadows, waterfalls, and glaciers.

Talapus Lake Trail

Location: Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest near Snoqualmie Pass

Skill Level: Moderate

Length: 3.4 Miles

The Talapus Lake Trail is another popular hiking destination that offers beautiful views of various landscape features.

Hikers appreciate that the trail offers ample shade on hot days and is family-friendly. Along the trail, you see various cascading waterfalls and a dense forest of tall cedars and hemlock. Olallie Lake is only about one mile along the trail and offers a place to camp, rest, have a picnic, or swim in the cool pristine water.

Talapus Lake Trail is great for tourists because a short drive from the park brings you to a plethora of attractions, restaurants, and hotels. The most notable are the Northwest Railway Museum and Bellevue Botanical Gardens.


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