Hiking is one of my favorite activities to do on the weekends when I’m not traveling. It beats working out in a stuffy gym any day, I get to bring my two dogs, and it’s a great social activity to bring your spouse or friends on. Washington has so many amazing hikes that it’s hard to pick a few to share, but here are some of the best Washington summer hikes in my opinion
Bare Minimum Hiking Gear Needed
Reusable waterbottle – You’re going to get dehydrated fast, especially on a hot day, so always makes sure you bring a water bottle. Not all hikes have a drinking fountain (in fact, most don’t), so fill this up at home before leaving for the day) to make sure you stay hydrated.
Study pair of hiking shoes – I have a pair of hiking boots by Northside USA. These are exactly what I’ve been looking for – stylish, supportive, and waterproof. For someone who likes to hike during multiple seasons, that last one is a huge factor you’ll want in a shoe you’re considering. If you step in a puddle from a recent rainstorm, the last thing you want is your shoe staying wet all day.
Supportive backpack – If you’re going on a longer hike, you’ll want to bring snacks to keep up your energy along the way. You’ll also have your keys, wallet, and cell phone at a minimum, so get a backpack with straps that go around your waist for back support.
For a more detailed hiking packing list, read this post!
I went to college in Bellingham at Western Washington University, so I’m biased to any hikes in this area. This is one of my favorite hikes though– at 6.5 miles roundtrip, it’s challenging, has several viewpoints throughout the hike that shows the ocean, and the end is extremely rewarding. You can even see Canada from here on a clear day. Bring a lunch, as you’ll want to enjoy your viewpoint at the end of the hike. Stop by Boundary Bay Brewing after for a cold pint.
There’s technically two parts to this mountain – Little Si, which is 4.7 miles roundtrip, and Mt. Si, which 8 miles roundtrip. Both are great depending on how experienced you are and how long you want to be hiking for. This picture of me and my beloved dog is from the top of Little Si. You get to overlook the entire area of North Bend, and there’s a several large rocks to stop on at the end for snacks (or beer, depending what time of day it is!). If you decide to go for the more challenging Mt. Si, you’ll get an even better view and often can see multiple mountains in the Cascade Range on a clear day. Either one will give you a great workout.
Camping at Moran State Park on Orcas Island is a new tradition I’ve started with my friends. The trailhead for Mt. Constitution is right at our camp, so there’s no reason not to go on this hike. We always bring our dogs, so they get an extra workout in and sleep well later that night. Depending on where you start the hike from, it’s about 8 miles roundtrip. The last mile gets pretty steep, so save your energy. You can drive to the top, but don’t do that – it’s much more rewarding to get there panting with your legs burning, knowing you just got yourself to the very top. The view overlooks other San Juan Islands and part of Canada.
This is by far the easiest and shortest hike on this list, but a beautiful one at that. Park in the parking lot at the bottom of Snoqualmie Falls, and head to the river first to walk along the boardwalk. You get a view of the falls from below, which is pretty astonishing depending on how much water is flowing through at the time. When you’re done, head up the trail to the top for some stunning views from above. There’s a gift shop and the famous Salish Lodge to check out as well when you’re done.
Located at the very southwestern corner of the state, you’ll most likely want to stay in Long Beach for a weekend to fully enjoy it. Check out the trails around Cape Disappointment while you’re there. You get small views of the ocean like above when walking the trails. There’s several you can take, but I recommend heading to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse to really be wowed. The end of the trail overlooks the Pacific Ocean as far as you can see, and possibly even Oregon on a clear day. It’s a moderate hike with the exception of the last few hundred feet being pretty steep, so anyone who’s someone fit can do it.
If you’re looking for a long, challenging hike, I’ll be honest – this isn’t it. What I do love about this though is it’s not far from the city, and virtually any day of the week you can head here for a moderate challenge and a great view. There are multiple trails of varying length to chose from, whether you want to stay in the woods, walk through the meadow, or head to the beach. Switch up your normal after work happy hours for a hike in the park. With a sunset like that, there’s no way you won’t feel more relaxed after you’re done.
Where’s your favorite hike in Washington State?
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