Backpacking, Family Camping, Hiking, Outdoor Education, Top Outdoor Lists

The 10 Best Hiking Trails In Washington 

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just getting started, Washington is an amazing place to explore. There are plenty of trails that will challenge even the most experienced hikers and plenty more that are perfect for beginners who want to start exploring nature. No matter your experience level our 10 best hiking trails in Washington are sure to make your hike memorable.

We’ve rounded up the 10 best hiking trails in Washington so that you don’t have to do all the legwork yourself and can focus on what matters most: getting outside! 

So take a look at our list below and get ready to explore some of the best hiking spots in the state. 

Touring the Pacific Northwest? Then check out the Top 10 trails in Oregon.

1. Mount Ellinor 

The trail leading to the summit. Photo by swell. Credit: Washington Trails Association

If you’re looking for the best hiking trails in Washington, Mount Ellinor is a must. The out-and-back trail provides views of the Olympic Mountains, Lake Cushman, and the Puget Sound. 

Visitors have described this trail as ‘magical’ but also warn it’s ‘hard work!’ 

If you choose to tackle Mount Ellinor, you have two trailheads to choose from: a lower one that’s more gradual than the upper one. However, if you choose the upper one, be prepared, you’ll need a pass! 

If you choose to visit during winter rather than summertime, be warned: It will be very different! It definitely shouldn’t be attempted without previous hiking experience or without proper traction gear such as hiking poles or axes. 

Not surprisingly. dogs are welcome on this trail but must be on a leash. 

The best times to visit this trail are from May to October  

Difficulty: Hard  

Length: 6.4 km  

Best for: Experienced hikers 

Dog friendly 

2. Mount Pilchuck 

The second trail to make our list is another challenging one, but we promise they’ll be easier ones to check out later on! 

Best Hiking Trails In Washington

The hiking trail is in Mount Pilchuck State Park and despite its difficulty rating of ‘hard’, this popular hike is one of the busiest trails in the area and has been described as ‘majestic’ by previous visitors. 

It’s a well-maintained trail and there’s varied scenery as you climb, with forests at the start and dry rocky overlooks closer to the top, making for plenty of different photo opportunities and no time to get bored! 

Visitors say it’s one of the more snowy trails in the state and recommend using spikes and poles as well as advising others to pack plenty of bug spray. 

The numerous potholes in the trailhead road can mean very bumpy conditions, so if you’re driving there make sure your car is in good shape! 

But don’t let these warnings stop you! This hike promises to be one of the most rewarding hikes in Washington state! 

The best times to visit this trail are June to October. 

Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash. 

Difficulty: Hard 

Length: 8.4 km  

Best for: Snowshoeing 

3. Hurricane Hill  

This moderate trail is located at the end of Hurricane Ridge Road in the Olympic Mountains. Additionally, the Hurricane Hill Trail is an incredible hike to a fantastic viewpoint, taking an average of 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete. It climbs to a panoramic view of the Olympic Range, Puget Sound, and Vancouver Island. 

This trail is under an hour from Port Angeles so it’s highly popular among tourists who want to see some of Washington State’s most beautiful scenery. Hikers will love keeping a lookout for mountain goats as they are commonly seen here and they’re especially cute when they jump! 

The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is a great place to stop post-hike to grab some food or memorabilia before heading home. 

The trail is paved so it’s accessible to wheelchair users and strollers. However, wheelchair users might need some assistance at times as the majority of the trail is estimated to be moderately steep (5-8%). 

Difficulty: Moderate  

Length: 5.5 km  

Best for: Families 

Wheelchair and stroller friendly 

4. Sammamish River Trail: Best for Families  

As promised, we have found one of the best hiking trails in Washington with an easy rating perfect for families: The Sammamish River Trail. 

The Sammamish River Trail is a great way to get a taste of nature without straying too far from civilization. It’s an easy hike with beautiful river views, and the trail is wide and smooth, making it popular with cyclists. 

Best Hiking Trails In Washington

It is perfect for kids: not too long, not too difficult, with plenty of playgrounds along the way if you need a break from hiking! 

There are benches and portable toilets along the route as well as places where you can refill your water or picnic in the wide open grassy area near the river. 

Difficulty: Easy  

Length: 15.3 km  

Best for: Families and cyclists  

Wheelchair user friendly  

Learn these backpacking food storage tips before you adventure out.

5. Snoqualmie Falls Trail 

If you’re looking for a short trail with a big payoff, the Snoqualmie Falls Trail is the one for you. 

The payoff? Spectacular views of the Snoqualmie Falls; so beautiful that they’ve been featured in many movies and TV shows! 

Best Hiking Trails In Washington

The trail is only 2.3 km long and won’t take you more than 45 minutes to complete (depending on how fast you walk). 

If crowds aren’t your thing though, or if you’d rather avoid tourist spots altogether, then this may not be the hike for you. 

However, if you’re willing to brave a crowd or two in exchange for one of the best views around, then this trail is sure to please! 

Difficulty: Easy 

Length: 2.3 km  

Best for: Families  

Dog friendly  

6. Maple Pass Trail: Top Rated!  

The Maple Pass Trail is one of the most popular and highly rated of all the best hiking trails in Washington. It takes around 4 hours to complete, and it’s very popular with hikers online who rave about it. Many people say it’s their favorite hike ever! 

What everyone agrees on is that it offers truly amazing views in all directions. You’ll see incredible views of the Northern Cascades as well as lakes and meadows with wildflowers. Not to mention the wildlife in the area. Having a guide to show you all the flora and fauna is key on this trail.

It’s helpful to walk this trail counterclockwise to avoid steep switchbacks and note that snow can remain on the trail until mid-July so go prepared! 

Difficulty: Hard 

Length: 11.9 km  

Dog friendly  

7. Mount Shuksan via the Fisher Chimneys Route: Best for backpacking  

Best Hiking Trails In Washington

If you’re the kind of person who likes to go where others fear to tread, then Mount Shuksan via the Fischer Chimneys Approach trail is the hike for you. 

This route is regarded as a favorite mountaineering route for many adventurers in Washington, but it’s not for the faint of heart, or those who aren’t experienced with glacier travel, crevasse rescue, scrambling, route-finding, and more. 

The trail is 25.3 kilometers long and takes an average of 11 hours and 17 minutes to complete but the view from the summit will make it all worth it. 

Difficulty: Hard 

Length: 25.3 km  

Best for: Backpacking  

No Dogs  

If backpacking you should consider some of these additional backpacking tips.

8. Rainforest Trail  

Another Rainforest Trail Credit: NPS

If you’re looking for the best hike in Washington that’s also free from other people, the Rainforest Trail is perfect. 

This out-and-back trail is popular among solo hikers who recommend going early to avoid crowds. The trail is relatively short and easy to follow, but some of the switchbacks are challenging. 

The canopy of trees along the trail is beautiful, and the stunning waterfalls on the route make this one a hidden gem. 

There are helpful information boards all along the trail explaining how the forest maintains itself and its ecosystem, making it really informative and fun at the same time! 

It takes an average of 1 hour 57 minutes to complete. 

Difficulty: Moderate  

Length: 3.7 km 

Bet for: Solo hiking  

9. Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail: Best Waterfall  

If you’re a fan of waterfalls and want to see some of the best, don’t miss this one. 

Best Hiking Trails In Washington

This trail is a beautiful walk through a magnificent forest, leading to a roaring three-prong waterfall that comes from the Sol Duc River. 

The spray from the falls cools you off and creates rainbows, making it an incredible sight! 

There’s even a wooden bridge you can cross and a wooden platform at the end of the trail—a nice place for some rest and relaxation as you enjoy this beautiful nature spot! 

Difficulty: Easy 

Length: 2.6 km 

Family friendly  

No dogs  

10. Kamiak Butte County Park 

The last entry on our list of the best hiking trails in Washington is Kamiak Butte, County Park. This trail is an excellent choice for those who love to view the landscape and enjoy birding, camping, and hiking. 

The trail takes an average of 1 h 23 min to complete and is very well maintained. Most of it is shaded and will keep hikers cool during the warm summer months. 

It is a recreational area offering hiking, picnicking and scenic views of the Washington landscape. Excellent facilities are available at the trailhead for hikers to enjoy before or after their hike! 

You’re sure to be mesmerized by the panoramic views from up high, and if you take this trail don’t forget to look out for wildflowers blooming among the hillsides! 

Only part of this route is dog-friendly. The summit area and upper portions of the trail do not allow dogs. 

April and November are the best times to visit Kamiak Butte County Park! 

Difficulty: Moderate  

Length: 3.9 km 

Best for: Camping & Solo Hikers 

Family Friendly 

Consider bringing along some of these camping items under $50 when you head to Washington.

Final Thoughts on the 10 Best Hiking Trails in Washington

So there you have it, our top 10 best hiking trails in Washington.

We’ve reached the end of the 10 absolute best hiking trails in Washington. We hope you’ve found some to add to your bucket list! While they range from easy to hard there is something for everyone. From the the soaring mountains to the rainforest canopy, you should explore them all. In fact, why not make a tour through Washington on just these 10 hikes?! However, give yourself the time to really enjoy everything each hike has to offer.

We hope you enjoyed our list, and that you’ll use it to find your next great adventure. 

Now that you’ve read about these hikes, we want to know: Which is YOUR favorite? Are there any on this list that we missed? Let us know by commenting below, on our Facebook, or on Reddit!