Hiking isn’t just a great way to get fit; it’s also an excellent way to explore the country and experience the natural environment. In the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find endless opportunities to see spectacular sights. From the vast ocean to the Rocky Mountains, take a look at the top five places to hike in the Pacific Northwest:
Stretching to almost 15,000 feet above sea level, the iconic Mount Rainier is a stunning backdrop to enjoy while you’re hiking no matter how experienced you may be. With over 260 miles of hiking trails, Mount Rainier National Park is known for its beautiful wildflower fields, open meadows, forest, and many glaciers. While you certainly want to be sure you’re well-equipped with bear mace and other essentials, the National Park is an excellent place to hike. The Wonderland Trail circumnavigates the peak, but you’ll want to build your endurance before you take on the full 93 mile route.
At 20 miles, the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness Loop is a great option for a strenuous weekend hike. There is over 5,000 feet of elevation gain on this hike that will take you by Strawberry Falls, lakes, and a mountain summit. If you want to turn your adventure into an overnight stay, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of places to camp, as well as fishing spots to explore. Situated close to the center of the state, the isolated location ensures you’ll have epic views of the Strawberries and the local vistas.
Another top spot to hike in the Pacific Northwest is located in Willamette National Forest. If you’re an avid hiker in the northwest, chances are you’ve already hiked the Alpine Trail. However, it’s well worth another visit to explore Goat Lake. Although the route is fairly short at just 7.6 miles, the varied terrain ensures you can explore for the whole weekend, if you choose to. For new or intermediate hikers, it’s a rich and exciting trail that shouldn’t be missed.
Situated in Olympic National Park, the Mount Storm King Trail is perfect for hikers who want challenge themselves. While it’s only a 4.7 mile round trip hike, it features an elevation gain over 2,000 feet. What’s more, you’ll need to use ropes tied to the side of the mountain to help you keep your footing. If you’re up for a challenge, the panoramic views of Lake Crescent and the mountains make this a top hiking trail.
If you’ve always dreamed of hiking around alpine lakes, surrounded by picturesque mountains, then Colchuck Lake is exactly what you’re looking for. This amazing hike in the Pacific Northwest is a highly-rated, popular hike, that takes you to one of the best lake views in the Cascade Mountain Range. The 8 mile out-and-back route can be completed in a day, but you may want to use it as a gateway to a multi-day hiking trip. You’ll be climbing around boulders, ascending more than 2,000 feet, and dealing with rocky switchbacks on this trail, so be sure you’ve got the experience and confidence to handle the obstacles you’ll face.
The Pacific Northwest is well-known for its stunning scenery and varied terrains, which makes it the ideal place for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers. Be sure to bring with you all the necessary equipment and permits you’ll need before setting off for your hiking adventure. All in all, there are a ton of amazing places to hike in the Pacific Northwest, and each one can guarantee you some unforgettable memories.
What are your favorite Pacific Northwest hikes? Let me know in the comments!
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