Located in the US, the hiking in Washington offers over thirty trail routes from which to choose. The best Washington hiking based on popularity are considered to be North Fork Nooksack Trail, Hoh River Trail, North Cascade National Park, Pacific Crest Trail, and Wonderland Trail. For a detailed trail description and printable trailhead map, just select a Washington hiking trail below.
Northeast of Bellingham near the Mt Baker, there are several magnificent routes along the North Fork of the Nooksack through virgin forests. These hiking trails include Watcom Pass (#674), Nooksack Cirque (#680), Swift Creek Trail (#607) and Silesia Creek Trail (#672).
The 500,000 acre North Cascade National Park consists of the most rugged, glaciated peaks of the Cascade Range. There are roughly 400 miles of hiking trails through old growth red cedar and hardwood forests. On the eastern edge of Ross Lake, the route up Desolation Peak has 4,500 feet of vertical and provides beauty and solitude in sub-alpine meadows.
Starting from the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, the Hoh River Trail is a 17.5 mile trek through forests of Douglas Fir, Hemlocks and Big Leaf Maples with ever-present cougar, bobcat and elk. The first 11 miles of this rain forest hike are an easy, gradual ascent through lush rain forest. There are sitka spruce, hemlock, red cedar, and bigleaf maple shelter a forest floor carpeted with an incredible array of plant life.
West of Forks along the wild Pacific shoreline, the 15 mile South Coast Trail is the best wild beach hike in the US. The trail runs from the LaPush trailhead in the north to the Oil City trailhead (near the Hoh Indian reservation) in the south and follows beaches, overland trails, and headlands that can only be passed during low tide.
Northeast of Aberdeen and Lake Quinault, the East Fork Quinault River Trail is by far the most popular backpacking route in the park since it passes through the Enchanted Valley. From the Graves Creek trailhead, its a 13+ mile hike up 1,400 feet to the beginning of the Enchanted Valley, a vast glacial cirque with numerous waterfalls tumbling off the sheer cliffs. Think of it as a mini Yosemite in a temperate rain forest of hemlock, cedar and bigleaf maple.
Northwest of Olympia, Hoodsport and Duckabush, the 14 mile Duckabush Trail (#803) is a challenging hike through old growth forest beyond Big Hump with numerous campsites along the river. Plus, there is plenty of fishing and wildlife observation. The nearest potable water is at Collins Campground during camping season. The total elevation gain is from 270 feet to 1750 feet.
Northwest of Olympia and Hoodsport near Lake Cushman, the 7 mile Dry Creek Trail is a nice hike along shore of Lake Cushman for 1 1/4 mi. with views of lake and Mt. Rose. The hiking trail starts to climb at this point and the old growth forest begins at half-way point.
West of Forks along the wild Pacific shoreline, the 21 mile hike along North Wilderness Beach from Sand Point in the north to Rialto Beach in the south is an amazing adventure. This 20.8-mile hike from Rialto Beach (near Ozetta) to Sand Point (near Mora) follows beaches, overland trails, and headlands that can only be passed during low tide. Along the route, you will find rich tidal pools, harbor seals, bald eagles, and gray whales.
Northwest of Olympia and Hoodsport near Lake Cushman, the 16 mile North Fork Skokomish Trail follows the river closely through virgin forest carpeted by moss, sword ferns and salmonberry. Starting from the Staircase Ranger Station, the trail leads into the remote backcountry quickly. At Nine Streams, the route climbs out of the valley and over First Divide to the Duckabush River.
Southeast of Forks, the South Fork Hoh Trail is a remote, off-the-beaten-path rain forest trek. Just as beautiful as the much more popular Hoh Trail, this shorter jaunt is a quieter paradise that leads through virgin Sitka Spuce and western hemlock in a jungle-like rain forest setting.