Washington, like Oregon is sometimes forgotten when deciding on a hiking destination vacation. While, they are known for having three of the most beautiful national parks in North Cascades, Olympic and Rainier most people think of Seattle and the amount of rain (even though it isn't that much). It is mostly the cloudy days and so if you get a glimpse of Mt. Rainier you are lucky!
Forget the rain and the clouds, which can actually make for some dramatic views and do some research as it will make you realize that Washington has some of the most beautiful spots for hiking, some epic mountain biking trails and a beautiful coast. We have hiked in all the national parks and the other areas known for having some intense natural beauty. So, we decided to provide our top three hikes that are worthy of a trip on their own or added to a travel itinerary.
The Best Hiking in Washington State
All three of these hikes are best starting in the summer through fall. The end time, really depends on the weather and when the first snow comes. I hope you get to enjoy one of them!
Lake Twenty-Two (22)
Located in between Mt. Rainier and North Cascade National Parks, it calls Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest home. Easy to get to since it is on the western most point in the national forest. At 7 miles round trip and 1,473' in elevation gain it is considered a moderate hike. This hike is great for someone trying to add mileage to their normal hikes or to get the challenge of elevation gain. the highest point on this trail is 2,400' so that will add a slight challenge if you come from 0', but not the challenge you get from 6,000'+. Dogs are allowed on this trail on leash.
Lake of Angels
Location in Olympic National Park on the east side of the peninsula, this hike is amazing! The best time to attempt this hike, in my opinion, is in September when the temperatures are lower and the blueberries are in abundance! This is a challenging hike and if you are a beginner, just take it slow, but this is a great challenge for an intermediate hiker. At 8 miles round trip and 3,832' in elevation gain, this isn't a stroll in the park. BUT! There is something new an exciting the entire hike. From little obstacles like rope climbing, to small lakes, big views and wild blueberries, you are distracted the entire time. Your thighs will burn but it is worth every step to get to Lake of Angels. The lake sits at just under 5,000' so you will feel the decrease in oxygen. Make sure to bring plenty of water. Dogs are allowed on the trail until you hit national park land and then they are not, so I would highly suggest leaving them at home for this one if the goal is to make it to the lake.
This hike had been on the hiking bucket list for years and we were finally able to do it. Located just outside the cute town of Leavenworth, it is a very popular hike and the start to The Enchantments. The lake sits at 5,500', which will notice the lack of oxygen while breathing and in your muscles. Just take it slow and drink a lot of water and don't forget snacks. At 8 miles round trip and 2,316' of elevation gain you will need it. When we get into the tougher or longer hikes we love bringing not just healthy and calorie intake snacks but fun ones, like Starburst Jelly Beans or Twizzlers!