Hiking has been a staple activity for most outdoorsy and adventurous people for decades. There are entire department stores dedicated to hiking products and the best shoes to wear for extreme hiking. Or the best energy powder to mix with your water in order to fully replenish electrolytes. But intense, extreme, and professional hiking isn’t for everyone, that doesn’t mean it can’t be an activity for all to enjoy. In the State of Washington, you’ll find a lot of amazing hikes that are also some of the easiest hikes you’ll ever experience! No matter what your experience level in hiking, Washington has a delightful hike for you! Enjoy experiences to meander through Instagram-worthy photos, watch amazing wildlife through the parks, and refresh your spirits in nature.
Easy Hiking in Washington State
‘Easy’ hiking tends to refer to hikes that are 5 miles or fewer with less than 1000 feet of elevation gain. However, proper shoes and preparation should still be taken into account for your own safety before engaging on any of these hikes.
Gold Creek Pond
Gold Creek Pond is an ADA - accessible loop hike around a beautiful mountain pond at the top of Snoqualmie Pass. Early in the quiet of a peaceful morning, everything in the shimmering evergreen forest reflects off of the pond like sheer glass. The top of Central Cascades is mesmerizing! In the mornings you might even have this magnificent space all to yourself for personal meditation and reflection to start your day off right. However, because of its close proximity to Seattle and easy accessibility, it’s a reasonably popular trail. Take this opportunity to make new friends who share similar interests and expand your hiking!
This is one of the best family-friendly trails and offers you the most for your experience as a group. The trail follows Barclay Creek through a thick deep green forest for about two miles until you come upon Barclay Lake. Once there, let your sight be captivated by the grand Baring Mountains in the distance. This perfect picture view will leave you and the family breathless. This amazing place is well maintained and offers many opportunities to play in the woods, in the lake, and enjoy a day outside soaking up the delightful pleasures of nature with the whole family.
This is one of the shortest trails offered, but it is a little more on the steeper side than most of the hikes on this list. HeyBrook is not an exception to most fire lookouts as it tends to occupy locations that provide panoramic views of the surrounding land. It is a bit of a climb 67 feet above the ridgeline) to reach these magical views, but it's completely worth it!
Second Beach Trail
This amazing hike is located on the Washington Coast, just south of a small town you might remember from the hit movie and book series Twilight. The town is La Push and the trail to Second Beach is short and sweet, offering a perfect view and experience of this famous location. After just a little less than a mile, the smooth path splits and gives you a clear opening to the beachfront filled with iconic scenes from the Twilight movie. There are often large pieces of driftwood offering amazing decor for a photoshoot!
Tipsoo Lake and Naches Loop Trail
This trail is pretty easy given that it is a simple loop trail on Mount Rainier’s eastern side. This hike has magnificent views of all that nature has to offer with trees, wildlife, and clear water paths. The trail begins on the Pacific Crest Trail at Chinook Pass and traverses the east side of Naches Peak before the intersection at Naches Loop Trail. Although you can hike either loop in either direction, they both offer a wide range of beautiful sceneries and deep connections with the pure nature there. The optimal time to visit this particular hike is between late July and early August to witness the wide range of wildflower fields full of lupine, bistort, and paintbrush blooms. Perfect for amazing Instagram photos!
Leave No Trace
Most sites for amazing experiences in nature have a standard ‘Leave No Trace’ policy in order to protect the outdoors and wildlife in each area. It’s important to remember that these rules are in place simply to protect nature and the sacred spaces. They are not in place to judge or exclude any particular groups or individuals from experiencing all nature has to offer. It’s simply a guideline to help people enjoy the outdoors responsibly.
These principles include (but are not limited to):
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire)
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
If you ever had a desire for hiking but felt like these experiences were out of your reach, set your sights on Washington State and head to these simple and magical hikes. Even you can become a regular hiker!