When it comes to geography and climate, Washington state is spectacular and diverse at almost every turn. The cascade mountain range, soaring volcanic peaks, the rugged coastline, the temperate rainforests of the Olympic. The landscapes are ever-changing and often breathtaking. Hiking Washington's diverse landscapes is an experience like none other. Our picks for the best day hikes near Seattle include both, easy, popular, and toughest day hikes around Seattle. We have also comprised a list of items that you need to pack for Seattle hiking trails.
- Rattlesnake Ledge (Snoqualmie Pass) (map)
Length: 4 miles round-trip
It's a relatively easy and short day hike with a stunning view of Snoqualmie Pass and the Southern Cascades, and a trailhead only 40 minutes east of Seattle. The path is steadily uphill but never overly difficult.
- Snow Lake Trail (Snoqualmie Pass) (map)
Length: 6.4 miles
A continuing trail takes you through dense wild forests and various waterfalls before dropping you at splendid Snow Lake. You can extend your hike to visit some of the other lakes in the area or relax and enjoy the beauty of this alpine gem.
- Summerland (Mt. Rainier National Park) (map)
Length:8.4 miles round-trip
A very popular hike in Mount Rainier National Park, and you'll see why once you're on the trail. Summerland, which is 4.2 miles from the trailhead, is an open meadow full of marmots, wildflowers, and spectacular views of Mt. Rainier.
- Granite Lakes (North Bend) (map)
Length: 8.8 miles round-trip
8.8-mile hike up Granite Creek Trail to Granite Lakes is less crowded. The trail, which climbs 2,300 feet to reach the lakes, is an old logging road that's been converted into a scenic hiking trail through second-growth forest. Drive Interstate 90 east from Seattle for 40 minutes to reach the trailhead near the town of North Bend.
5.The Enchantments Traverse (Central Cascades) (map)
Length: 18 miles one-way
You'll get great views of most of the peaks and get to travel over challenging mountain passes. This is a must-do for everyone's northwest bucket list. Given that this is a point-to-point, you'll need to drop a car or arrange a pickup.
What to Pack
While you know the essentials that are needed for hiking (water, snack, camera, hiking shoes) here's a list to remind you the easily forgettable yet important stuff:
Refillable hydro flask: It will not break easily, and will maintain the temperature of the water. Here's an idea to make your hiking trip instagrammable: get cool hydro flask stickers for the best pictures.
Hat: A must-have hiking apparel to protect your hair and skin from the harmful UV rays and wearing a hat with protective sunglasses can keep you from squinting and help prevent wrinkles around your eyes. Plus, it will add a style to outfit.
First aid kit: A portable first aid kit comes in handy to help you with those bruises, scrapes, and boo-boos on hiking trips.
A light jacket: PNW weather can be unpredictable. It is a good idea to carry an extra jacket with you.