Hiking as a Family- Washington State

Summer is here! School’s out. Vacations are in the works.

Here are some amazing hikes you can take as a family in Washington State.

*Leavenworth- Icicle Gorge. This is a great 4 mile loop. You hike along the river, so it’s a bit cooler and damper. Sounds good on a hot day.  There is a camp ground along this trail too and many people wade in the river.

*Thunder Knob- North Cascades Highway. 3.8 miles. 650 feet in elevation gain. This trail is across the street from Colonial Creek Campground. Enjoy nature in the Cascades. About a mile in the sound of birds will over power the sounds of the highway. Lots of over looks along the way.  The best view awaits at the top- the blue green water of Diablo Lake. Stunning!

*Deception Pass– Up to 5 miles, this is one I remember doing as a young child.  Tide pools, beaches forever, skipping rocks and tons of moss covered trees! 4,000 acres including old growth forests and shoreline.  Camp at the campground or just make it a long day trip from Seattle.

*Boulder River Waterfall- near Darrington.  Only 2.5 miles (with the option to continue on for 4).  Beautiful, classic, Pacific Northwest.

*Paradise Valley- near Woodinville.  This is perfect for those busy Seattlites or East Siders who don’t have a lot of time to drive somewhere but still want to get out and enjoy nature. 1-5 miles on mostly level trails. Wetlands and the headwaters for Bear Creek (shout out to those who love Bear Creek!), this Snohomish County park is great for ages 2 and up!

*Fort Worden State Park- near Port Townsend.  A beautiful light house (Point Wilson) and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Sandy beach. Views of Mt. Baker, San Jaun Island, the Olympics and even Vancouver Island. This is such a beautiful place. 2.5 miles one way, this is great for kids of all ages. Side note- I went to camp here once as a teen!

*Ancient Lake- near Quincy.  A waterfall in the desert is what draws people to this simple but beautiful hike. 4 miles and no elevation gain. Wetlands, birds, paradise!

*Riverside State Park- Spokane. One hiker says “Start your hike by crossing the swinging bridge at Bowl & Pitcher. “- doesn’t that just sound fun?

*Catherine Creek- Columbia River Gorge. This is a stroller and wheelchair friendly hike. Up to 3 miles long, and more wild flowers then you can count! Stay on the trail- Poison Oak is nasty here.

*Denny Creek Campground- by Snoqualmie Pass. Another great memory from my teen years. This camp ground is abundant with trails going in all directions! I particularly like the that heads to the Denny Creek Water Slides! Natural slides carved into the river rocks. Yes, it’s freezing but WHO CARES! So much fun.

*Mount Rainier- Paradise Trail to Pebble Creek.  This is beautiful but all UP HILL trail.  Wild flowers, Views for days and even snarling Marmots! Take lots of water and wear your sunscreen. Enjoy the changing landscape as you make your way from Forest to Tundra. Turn around at Pebble Creek for safety reasons.

*Steamboat Rock State Park- Grand Coulee. There are two great hikes at this camp ground. Steamboat Rock and Lenore Lake Caves.  Steamboat Rock is 4 miles and about 600 feet in elevation gain. Lenore Lake caves takes you along the Grand Coulee to a bunch of cool basalt caves. Only 1.5 miles and 200 feet of elevation gain. A great place to explore.

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