Washington provides some beautiful scenery throughout the year. From mountain peaks to the Columbia River gorge to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, it’s hard not to find breathtaking landscapes wherever you are in the state.
We are Stacy and Brandon of Pacific North Wanderers and we’ve compiled a list of our favorite hikes. We’ll give you a brief introduction to these places and let you know what makes them special. To read more about each hike click the read more link below it to be taken to the full story on our website.
1. Shi Shi Beach
This is by far our favorite, most memorable hike and camp so far. Shi Shi Beach is part of Olympic National Park and lies along the Pacific Ocean. It’s only accessible by an hour long hike. The 2.5 miles of coastline, far away from any major city, provides hikers with tide pools, sea stacks, caves, sunrises/sunsets, stargazing, and more opportunities. On the south end of the beach is Point of the Arches, an archipelago that reaches into the sea.
Located in the northwest region of Mt. Rainier National Park is Spray Park and Spray Falls. Access to these spots is via a trailhead at the beautiful Lake Mowich area. Bring your rain jacket if you plan on getting close to the falls, which you’re certainly able to do. They call it Spray for a reason! After you’ve spent some time at the falls continue on the trail to Spray Park. An alpine meadow of wildlife, wildflowers and photo opportunities awaits. This is a perfect spot to have lunch!
If you’re of the more daring type, and want to live, err… hike, close to the edge, there’s no better place than Rattlesnake Ledge. Located in the Issaquah Alps this is a 4.4 mile roundtrip hike that provides views of nearby mountains and the lake below. If you’re bringing children or pets along use caution at the top as there’s a 300ft drop off the cliff.
Another hike with dangerous cliffs is Oyster Dome. The dome provides breathtaking views of the San Juan Islands, Canadian mountain ranges, and on a clear day you can even see all the way to the Olympics. This is probably the toughest hike in this list but it is doable. The 6.5 mile round trip is steep in spots. Allow 3-4 hours to complete this one.
There are many hikes in the region that lead to fire lookouts. This is one of them. The hike is pretty easy and should take you less than an hour to reach the top. Once at the top you can climb the stairs of the lookout tower to a viewing platform high in the sky. You’ll be able to see nearby Mt. Index, Baring Mountain, and more.
This one is more of a bonus. It isn’t your typical hike on a dirt trail that goes on for a few miles. Instead, this is a ¾ mile trail that wraps around a 848-foot monolith. The trail consists of 52 switchbacks and 22 steel bridges. This is a quick and fun hike to the top which overlooks the gorgeous Columbia River Gorge. It’s located in Beacon Rock State Park along WA-14, 36 miles east of Vancouver, WA.
Stacy & Brandon are Pacific North Wanderers. Both transplants to Washington state, they spend their free time outdoors exploring, hiking, and camping all across the glorious Pacific Northwest. They started www.pnwanderers.com in 2015 to share their adventures and inspire others to enjoy the outdoors.