Social distancing is tough, and it’s hard not to miss all the outdoor fun that we’re used to in our beautiful corner of the country. However, being cooped up inside for a awhile gives us a great opportunity but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan your next trip! Here is a list of some of Washington’s most beautiful hikes, viewpoints, and parks.
Rattlesnake ridge is arguably the most popular trail in the state of Washington. It is located just south of North Bend at Rattlesnake Mountain; the main trail is about 4 miles round trip. If feeling exceptionally active, the trail splits and offers a more difficult route that is quieter and offers more expansive views than the main ledge. Either way, this viewpoint is perfect for family and friends (including the furry ones)!
Franklin Falls, located at the south fork of the Snoqualmie River, is a 2-mile roundtrip trail that will lead you to a wonderful waterfall! It is a very easy hike, making it accessible to all ages. Franklin Falls is especially popular in the winter when the frozen water creates a whimsical landscape. Make sure to be careful on slippery rocks!
Mailbox Peak is a fun longer hike located in the North Bend area. At the summit of the 9.4 mile roundtrip is a beautiful view into the valley below and, of course, the iconic mailbox! What’s inside the box is always changing so don’t forget to peek inside.
Second beach is located just outside the town of La Push. A charming spot on the Pacific Ocean, witness the many sea stacks that lineup along the coastline. Not only is the beach a perfect place for a day hike or photos, it is also a popular place to beach-camp during summers.
Palouse Falls State Park
Palouse Falls State Park spans 94 acres and is located in eastern Washington. Standing at 198 feet tall Palouse falls has been deemed the official waterfall of Washington state - making it a must-see attraction. Camp at the park’s campsite and try and catch the falls at sunrise or sunset! Also, on the way to the falls, stop at popular roadside attraction known as That NW Bus and take some pictures!
Situated on the rugged edge of the continent, Cape Flattery is the most northwest point in the contiguous United States. Walk along the well-maintained trail (managed by the Makah tribe) and check out the viewing platform where you can see where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific Ocean.
The Hoh rainforest
Located in Olympic National Park, the Hoh Rainforest is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world. Camp in one of the rainforest’s 88 campsites or hike along the Hoh River trail and take in the scenery. It is said that the Hoh Rainforest is one of the quietest places on earth, making a deep trek into the canopy perfect for those seeking peace and calm.
High Rock is a short but steep (and precipitous) 3.2-mile roundtrip hike that leads up to a fire lookout cabin. Once at the top, step onto the balcony of the cabin and face a breathtaking view of Mount Rainier!
Beacon Rock Trailhead
Beacon Rock trailhead is built directly into the rocky mountainside and is made up of 52 switchbacks. While making your way up, glance down into the Columbia River gorge and the Pierce Wildlife Refuge or peer across at neighboring Oregon! Once at the top, take a look upriver at the Bonneville Dam. After making your way back down, enjoy a nice rest at the picnic area located at the bottom of the trail!
Deception Pass State Park
Deception Pass State park is located at the north end of Whidbey Island. The park offers boat launches, picnic shelters, and three separate campgrounds. The park has 40 miles of trails where you can hike or stop for views of the Skagit Bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Don’t miss the famous vantage point pictured below!
Remember to stay up-to-date on trail and park closures and follow all stay-at-home and social distancing orders as per the state of Washington. Find more information at https://parks.state.wa.us/, seattle.gov, and @seattleparks on twitter.