But once the rain comes and the days get shorter and colder the crowds thin out and the waterfall is even more impressive! Check out recent trip reports as well for more information on current conditions.
At 4 miles round trip and 1000 feet of elevation gain, it’s never extremely steep and meanders through the forest to a beautiful alpine lake. NOTE : Another great lake hike this time of year is Heather Lake, a very close second (and probably better if you live in North Seattle or north of Seattle).
This is a beautiful forest hike that will get up your heart rate at about 4 miles and 1200 feet of elevation gain. If you want MORE of a workout, a couple of nearby longer and steeper hikes include Margaret’s Way and the May Valley Loop.
Winter in Washington causes most people to stay inside, avoiding the cold weather with rain and snow that the PNW is famous for. Winter hiking requires the same 10 essentials as in the summer, but with more warm clothes to layer and more caution.
Awareness of avalanche risk is an important skill for any winter adventures on or near steep, snow-covered slopes. Coming from the east, cross under the freeway after exiting, and shortly after, turn right into Gold Creek Snowpack.
Gold Creek Pond is a beautiful Washington winter hike and a great beginner-friendly snowshoeing trail. While walking around the pond, enjoy the mountain views and the surrounding forest.
For a slightly longer hike from Gold Creek Pond, you can follow the trail through the forest on the east side of the lake. If you venture out to Gold Creek Pond on a clear winter day, staying until sunset will also provide you with a beautiful view of the stars, as there is minimal light pollution in this area.
Cross the freeway, and then turn right at the stop sign onto Denny Creek Road/Forest Road 58. In early winter, the road will likely be passable to the summer trailhead, 3 miles until the parking lot after Denny Creek Campground.
Micros pikes are helpful in the winter, as the traffic on this trail can make some sections icy. South of the Dry Falls Visitor Center on SR 17, turn into Sun Lakes State Park.
This hike circumnavigates the rock, giving you full views of the area. The formation and the nearby falls and lakes were carved by melting glaciers around 15,000 years ago.
When the glaciers of the last ice age began retreating, 800-foot deep floodwaters shot over Dry Falls carving the rock into its current formation. If you have time, Dry Falls and the Sun Lakes are other great attractions within the park.
Artist Point is a recreational center during summer, but in the winter when the road is closed, it makes an excellent destination for a wintry Washington snowshoe hike. With such a large amount of snowfall, you will definitely want to bring your snowshoes for this popular Washington hike during the winter.
The trail is well-traveled and usually easy to follow, but in bad conditions it is possible to wander in the wrong direction, so make sure you are prepared with a map and route-finding skills. When traveling out to Artist Point, be sure to check the avalanche forecast, and choose a route that avoids the steepest slopes.
Like any winter adventure, be prepared for changing conditions and be careful to stay within your skill level. The rocky surroundings of this feature are also full of tide pools with a great variety of species.
The trail follows the shoreline from the parking lot until you reach your destination. While walking through the Hole-in-the-Wall and through the tide pools, take caution to avoid sea life growing on the rocks, as this sea life may be adapted for surviving powerful ocean waves but can not survive repeated trampling.
Continue north on SR 225 for 7.5 miles until you find a fenced parking area on the west side of the highway. They are most active during early morning hours, when you may hear them howling back and forth, but you may spot them here during the day as well.
This is a great location to wander around as you like, although the very top of the hill is closed for public access. Fall means incredible colors, weird fungus and mild temperatures.
Winter is the perfect time to explore trails close to home or head out on a snowshoeing adventure. From waterfalls to early wildflowers, spring is a great time of year to get a jump start on the hiking season, especially on lower elevation trails.
It was tough, but taken together, we felt these hikes do a great job of showing off Washington's incredible trail diversity. Climb the local peaks, check out the Canadian border monuments, or kick back and watch the marmots.
Day hike it or backpack here in late summer or fall, when it really shows off the best of autumn foliage. Along with unobstructed panoramic views of Mount Baker, the Twin Sisters, and the rest of the North Cascades, the route to Park Butte offers campsites, wildflower-filled alpine meadows, rushing waterfalls, and a stunning variety of mushroom species.
This challenging yet rewarding hike is known for the brilliant gold colors of western larches. Against a backdrop of blue autumn sky and the magnificent peaks of the Cascades, they are a dazzling sight and a Washington essential.
With so many mountain hikes to choose from, many hikers forget about the glories of Washington's coast. You can't go wrong finding wildflowers at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.
In this short window of time, hikers will rejoice by frolicking along the trail surrounded by fields of wildflowers and soaking in one of the classic views of The Mountain. A classic Mount St. Helen's hike, leaving from the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
The hillsides are alive with wildflowers at mid-summer, and the view from the end of Harry's Ridge has you looking straight into the mouth of the crate, not to mention views of Spirit Lake, Mount Adams and even Mount Hood on a clear day. A ten-mile loop that shows off the lakes, meadows and vistas (not to mention huckleberries) of Indian Heaven Wilderness and Mount Adams with a southern section of the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Goat Rocks Wilderness is a beauty, and this less-traveled access point is a great way to explore the area for yourself. Whether you want to visit a historic lighthouse, hit the sandy beach, or stroll through coastal forests and overlooks, there is something for anyone.
The full loop provides fantastic views of the Columbia River Gorge, an intimate look at the Cape Horn Falls and a challenging workout as it climbs and descends the rocky slopes of Cape Horn. Save a visit to this dramatic State Park for Spring or Fall (when things cool off).
This hunk of rock in Banks Lake is a distinct example of massive Ice Age floods 15,000 years ago. From massive sand dunes to river vistas and excellent shrub-steppe, this unique are is a delight for hikers' looking to switch up their usual forested treks.
Mount Misery is a delightful hike to the Oregon Butte Lookout, situated on a hilltop in the remote Blue Mountains. In the spring, this hike is a great one for wildflower meadows dotted with scarlet cilia, Dutchman's breeches, calypso orchid, sulfur lupine, giant-head clover, elk horn Clark, and more.
The Kettle Crest is a high-country route stretching 44-miles along some of the most glorious areas of northeastern Washington. While this trail makes for an excellent thru-hike, it can also be easily split into smaller chunks for a day hike or overnight.