Best Washington Lake Hikes

David Lawrence
• Saturday, 19 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Lake 22 Trail Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Length: 5.7 mi • Est. The trail can be accessed off of Mountain Loop Highway in the North Cascades area of Washington State.

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Gentle but persistent switchbacks lead to a long talus slope with the wall of Lake Twenty-Two looming above, seemingly insurmountable. The trail switches back and heads toward the large stream which outlets from the lake where it finally flattens out.

A path goes around the entire lake, and it is worth the time it takes to do this extra loop trail. Snow Lake Trail Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Length: 6.4 mi • Est.

A beautiful hike past numerous waterfalls, with an ending at a gorgeous alpine lake. The first 2 miles are direct, and the final has rock blasted switchbacks to the top of the ridge.

Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Length: 7.5 mi • Est. Lake Serene Trail is a popular hike within the Mount Baker Snoqualamie Forest.

The trailhead can be accessed off of Mount Index Road near Stevens Pass. Make sure to get an early start in order to get a parking spot at the trailhead.

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Approximately 1.4 miles into the lake trail, you will encounter a very steep grade. Find a spot along this gorgeous lake to eat lunch and take a rest.

From the lake, you can also cross a log bridge and take a short trail that will take you to a large, smooth rock named “Lunch Rock”, where you will find people relaxing and jumping into the lake. Note: The road leading to the trailhead may be closed during the winter and will add 8 miles to your overall trip.

Please note that it's a heavily ticketed and towed area so be sure to park properly. This is a challenging hike with beautiful scenery in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area of Washington State.

The parking area can be busy, as visitors access the Enchantments and Stuart Lake from this trailhead. The hike starts out with an easy mile and a half, creek sidewalk through the forest.

At some points along this portion of the hike you will catch a glimpse of Mountaineer Creek. After the walk through the woods, you will cross the creek on a bridge before beginning the first real incline of the hike.

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After a series of rocky switch backs you will reach the trail junction for Stuart, and Col chuck lakes. Stay to the left, and you will happen upon another log bridge, stunning vistas that act as the gateway to the wilderness.

You will stay to the right after crossing the bridge, and walk along the creek before your next big push uphill. The climb remains pretty consistent rocky, and with tree roots but manageable.

The trail continues past Col chuck Luck up Asgard Pass to the Enchantment Lakes if you choose to extend your hike. Maple Pass TrailOkanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Length: 7.1 mi • Est.

This is a loop hike with option of adding 2 miles to include 2 lakes on its way. It offers stunning beauty all the way till the highest point of hike at 6995 ft “Maple Pass” then you have to descend back to trailhead.

Tommie Peak Trail Mount Rainier National Park Length: 6.4 mi • Est. NOTES: The road leading to the trailhead closes seasonally due to snow.

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Log footbridges frequently wash out during the winter and the snow can be deep. Tommie 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 Ranger.

An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous United States, spawning six major rivers. Heather Lake Trail Mount Chuck State Park Length: 5 mi • Est.

There's a boulder that overlooks the lake and makes for a great place to sit for lunch or just lay back and relax. Annette Lake Trail Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Length: 7.8 mi • Est.

In the wintertime, you may need to bring special equipment such as spikes or waterproof shoes (gaiters are nice to have but not necessary if you stay on trail). Note that you MUST have a permit to camp in this area, and they are distributed months in advance, so plan ahead and see below for more info.

This area is thought to be discovered by A.H. Sylvester, who was originally a topographer for the USGS but went on to supervise Wenatchee National Forest starting in 1908. ), Spring, Ira; Manning, Harvey, 1993] and the permit system, designed to protect the area from destructive humans, was not put in place until 1981.

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The permit lottery system might actually decide this for you based on what zones you're allowed to camp in! If you have a light pack, it's possible, but bring a headlamp and enough food and gear to spend the night if you have to.

Mount Rainier National Park Length: 5.7 mi • Est. The beginning of the trail started at the ranger station of the sunrise visitor center with grassy meadows full of wildflowers.

Towards the end of the trail the landscape was mainly rocks with incredible views of Trainer and surrounding mountains. Best Hikes in Washington State | REI Co-op JournalReflection Lake in Mt.

(Photo Credit: vaqueros under CC BY-SA) Stay updated on the latest news, deals, & more. It was tough, but taken together, we felt these hikes do a great job of showing off Washington's incredible trail diversity.

A stunning North Cascades alpine hike just south of Mount Baker. Day hike it or backpack here in late summer or fall, when it really shows off the best of autumn foliage.

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The miners who originally constructed it had little time for switchback or nicely graded trails. If you plan on spending the night here, please note that Gothic Basin is an extremely fragile area.

Location: Snoqualmie Region -- Snoqualmie Pass Length: 12.0 miles, round trip Elevation Gain: 2600 feet The Highest Point: 5400 feet Best Season: Late July – September This narrow and rocky trail also includes old-growth forest, gorgeous wildflowers, and stunning views into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness from both sides of the pass below Kendall Peak, where the Catwalk begins.

Against a backdrop of blue autumn sky and the magnificent peaks of the Cascades, they are a dazzling sight and a Washington essential. The huge trees, the cascading moss, the birds and Roosevelt elk, the Olympic Mountains rising above and the broad river valley extending up and downstream, all make this a hike that must be done at least once in a lifetime.

Location: Olympic Peninsula -- Pacific Coast Length: 4.0 miles, round trip Elevation Gain: minimal Best Season: Year-round 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. While many folks head up the paved path to Hurricane Hill, solitude seekers climb up the Mount Angeles trail and branch off to attain Sunrise Ridge.

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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.

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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.

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