One of the best things about Washington State is that there is no off-season for outdoor recreation! When it comes to hiking, many favorite trails are open in the winter months, providing hikers with a completely new experience to the surrounding landscape compared to the summer.
Here are four of the best winter hikes around the state!
Palouse Falls State Park
Travel the 1.2-mile gravel loop around the canyon to enjoy every view of this beautiful frozen waterfall! To make the most of this winter spot, take advantage of the short trail and make it a sunset hike, enjoying the magic of the sun setting over the canyon rim. The trailhead starts at Palouse Falls State Park in Franklin County and is classified as moderate difficulty with an elevation gain of 50-200 feet.
Sol Duc Falls
Olympic National Park
Starting at the North Side of Olympic National Park, this short 1.6-mile out-and-back trail does not disappoint! One of the best parts about this location is that it is situated in a rainforest, so it remains open mostly all year long. Though hikers may not find snow, this trail provides the rainforest experience, waterfalls and even hot springs at a nearby resort! With the difficulty level classified as easy and an elevation gain of 200 feet, is the perfect spot for families and first-time hikers!
Gold Creek Pond
Located in the Snoqualmie Pass area of the Cascade Mountains, this short loop has a 2.3 miles out-and-back trail that is a great spot for scenic winter views of the lake and surrounding evergreens! Because of the elevation level, this trail is almost guaranteed to have snow all winter long. With 100 feet of elevation gain and a difficulty level classified as easy, this is the perfect place for snowshoeing beginners!
Lake Wenatchee State Park
East Stevens Pass
With a classified difficulty level of very easy, a trail length of about half a mile and less than 50 feet elevation, our easiest hike on the list does not disappoint when it comes to winter scenery! Located in East Stevens Pass, Lake Wenatchee State Park provides breath-taking views of a snow and ice-covered Emerald Island located in the middle of the lake! Though the trail is easy, be sure to bring a backpack to keep your hands free to climb over a few rocks and fallen trees.
Proper preparation for any outdoor activity is always of the utmost importance, so make sure to pack the following essentials:
- Warm clothing
- First Aid Kit
- Water and food supplies