Here are some of the top locations to explore
1. Olympic National Park: Located in the Olympic Peninsula, this diverse park features lush rainforests, stunning coastline, alpine meadows, and snow-capped mountains. Popular attractions include the Hoh Rainforest, Hurricane Ridge, and the picturesque coastal areas of Rialto Beach and Ruby Beach. https://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm
2. Mount Rainier National Park: Home to the iconic Mount Rainier, this park offers breathtaking scenery, wildflower meadows, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails of various difficulty levels, such as the popular Skyline Trail and the challenging Wonderland Trail that circumnavigates the mountain. https://www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm
3. North Cascades National Park: Known as the “American Alps,” this park boasts jagged peaks, glaciers, and pristine alpine lakes. It offers numerous hiking opportunities, including the breathtaking trails around Diablo Lake and the iconic Cascade Pass Trail. https://www.nps.gov/noca/index.htm
4. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest: While not a national park, this expansive forest is a popular outdoor destination. It offers diverse landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, old-growth forests, and stunning waterfalls. Hiking highlights include the picturesque Lake 22 Trail and the challenging climb up Mount Pilchuck. https://www.fs.usda.gov/mbs/
5. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument: This monument showcases the aftermath of the 1980 volcanic eruption. Visitors can explore the blast zone and hike along trails that offer close-up views of the volcano, such as the Ape Cave and the Harry’s Ridge Trail. https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/destination/mount-st-helens-national-volcanic-monument-0
These are just a few of the incredible national parks and hiking destinations in Washington State. Each offers unique experiences and natural beauty that make them worth exploring. Remember to check the official websites for updated information, trail conditions, and any necessary permits before visiting.