Washington State is also known as the Evergreen State for a reason. Full of lush forests, gorgeous coasts, and home to the Cascade Mountains, it’s no surprise that this state is also home to a variety of hiking trails. For those hiking with families or looking to get started in hiking, finding trails that are both scenic but not too difficult might feel overwhelming. Look no further, because here are 10 memorable, beginner friendly hikes in Washington State that are perfect for your next adventure.
1. Blackbird Island Trail
For those interested in a casual hike or nature walk at a unique location, check out Blackbird Island outside of Leavenworth. A gentle trail winds through lush Pacific Northwest greenery, crossing two bridges. Along the way, there numerous picnic locations and a playground. The trail is also just next door to Leavenworth, WA, a popular tourist destination thanks to its unique Bavarian theme. Swimming and other water activities are also a possibility along the river.
2. Snoqualmie Falls Trail
Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington’s most iconic waterfalls, so why not visit it in person? The Snoqualmie Falls Trail is a 1.6 mile out and back trail leading to an area to view the waterfall. While it is a well maintained, fairly short trail, it may be worth keeping in mind that the hike back from the waterfall will be mostly uphill.
3. Cape Alava Trail
Located in Olympic National Park, Cape Alava Trail is a great option for those that are looking for a slightly longer, but still beginner-friendly hike. The entire trail includes both a section that winds through the forest and a section on the beach, and is in total approximately 7 miles. Visitors can also traverse a smaller portion of the trail and enjoy the gorgeous scenery and boardwalks.
4. Rialto Beach and Hole-in-the-wall
Another beach hike in the Olympic peninsula area, this trail is generally listed as being a 4 mile roundtrip. Because a portion of it consists of walking on the beach, it could be lengthened for those looking to continue to explore in one direction or another. Visitors will be able to explore the beautiful Olympic Peninsula area. Additionally, if the tide is out, it’s possible to catch a glimpse of some interesting wildlife in the tide pools.
5. Panther Creek Falls Trail 137
For those looking for a stunning destination and a short hike, look no further than Panther Creek Falls Trail 137. This 0.3 mile trail leads to Panther Creek Falls, a 130 foot tall waterfall near Carson, WA.
6. Gold Creek Pond Loop
Located near Snoqualmie Pass, this 1.2 mile loop trail circles the gorgeous Gold Creek Pond. The trail is mostly level, making it a great option for those looking for a fun and casual hike. Some roads may be affected by seasonal or weather related closures, so be sure to check prior to heading out.
7. Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail
Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail is another hiking option in Olympic National Park. Located near the Sol Duc Hot Springs, this 1.6 mile out and back trail leads to a beautiful waterfall. The trip there is equally scenic, winding through the Olympic rainforest.
8. Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail
If you’re looking for a hike near Seattle, look no further than Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail. This 4.4 mile loop trail circles Discovery Park. Visitors can not only enjoy views of Puget Sound, but also possibly spot some wildlife in the area!
9. Myrtle Falls Viewpoint (Skyline Trail)
Washington State is full of gorgeous waterfalls, and this trail offers another chance to visit one. Located in Mt. Rainier National Park, this is a great option for those looking for a shorter hike. The skyline trail is a short 0.8 out and back trail leading to Myrtle Falls viewpoint. The area does get quite a bit of snowfall, so it is worth taking current trail conditions into consideration for those hiking in the spring or fall.
10. Iron Goat Trail
This 6 mile loop trail combines hiking with history. The trail runs along an old railroad grade that was built over the Cascades in the late 1800s, and features many of the old tunnels. The first 3 miles of the trail are ADA-accessible as well.
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