It’s a surprise to me when people visit the Pacific Northwest just to visit cities. This is like visiting a Ferrari dealership to sample Folger’s coffee. But, hey, not everyone realizes that the background canvas of Mountains, water and rainforest surrounding Seattle are things you can jump into and explore.
Here are 5 incredible places to visit in Washington State. Note, a few of these are workouts, and you will have to work for the reward.
The Enchantments — Core Zone
The one-way hike through the Enchantments is 18 miles of visual and physical breathtaking. To camp, you will need to win a permit in the yearly lottery. If you don’t have a pass, be ready to do a marathon day through the mountains to see views like this:
The Washington Wilderness Coast — La Push
Pristine temperate rainforest meets the sea a long 73 miles of primitive coastline. At just 3/4 mile one-way, La Push is an easy back country advenutre. Once you reach the beach, head south to find your own solitary piece of wilderness.
*Pro tip: If you are planning to camp on the beach, you will need a permit and a bear canister. If you don’t have either of these, a $75 ticket will find you.
Lake Crescent — Mount Storm King
Lake Crescent is stunning from sea level, and it’s immensity is best taken in from above. The Storm King trail is a quad-burner and may test your fear of heights at the top. I was slightly nervous long the precarious final portion of the trail, which includes ropes and a bit of scrambling. This is not for everyone, but for those who it is for, you will get this view:
Mount Rainer — Skyline Trail
Quick facts: Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous USA, is an active volcano, and has more vertical prominence than K2. Friends that have visited the mountain for the first time are always enthralled by the magnitude and majesty of this prehistoric landmark.
The SKyline trail is accessible from the Henry M. Jackson visitor center at Paradise. No matter what the season, be prepared!
The Channeled Scablands
Carved by a catastrophic flood just over 10,000 years ago, the canyons, ancient lakes and gorges of Eastern Washington have a prehistoric lure. Only three hours from Seattle, it is easy to say goodbye to modernity for a weekend getaway.
Over to you
Remember to be prepared when persuing backcountry adventures, and don’t be overconfident. Sometimes the shortest hikes can be the most dangerous. Most of all, enjoy, respect, and adventure.
What are your favorite Washington State hikes?