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Hikes of the Week 2009 Archive

Each week, Washington Trails Association features one hike that is particularly appropriate for the season. In winter, we include a mix of snowshoe excursions and generally snow-free lowland hikes.

These are hikes that were featured on the WTA website in 2009. Do note that conditions each year will be different - what was a great hike at a certain time in 2009, won't necessarily be a great hike this year. Also note that in September 2009, Mountaineers Books began providing content for WTA's Hiking Guide with more 800 entries to date. You can also access our Hikes of the Week archive for 2008 and 2010.


Hikes of the Week Archive for 2009


Holiday Excursions

Ebey's LandingDecember 23, 2009

From wildlife watching to storm watching, Washington's backcountry offers plenty of options for getting outside during the holiday season and beyond. Take your visiting relatives on a hike, your kids sledding or simply plan a trip to Washington's coast to watch the big surf.  Read more.

Spruce RailroadLake Crescent Spruce Railroad trail

Olympic Peninsula - North
December 16, 2009

Hop aboard the Spruce Railroad Trail for a scenic and historic hike along the sparkling shores of massive Lake Crescent. For 4 nearly flat miles you'll saunter along one of Olympic National Park's most alluring natural features. More.

Greenwater Lakes

Greenwater Lakes in winterMt. Rainier area
December 9, 2009

Lush old-growth forest; dark, mysterious forest lakes; and a wonderful chance to meet and see wildlife await hikers here. Read more.



Fragrance Lake

Puget Sound & Islandsfragrance lake
December 2, 2009

A popular spot in the heart of the Chuckanut Mountains, little Fragrance Lake makes for a fine destination any time of year. Read more.

Mt. Rainier Snowshoe

Mazama Ridge snow viewMt. Rainier National Park
November 25, 2009

It's snowing in the mountains - time to go snowshoeing! You'll get a welcome dose of alpine elixir - fresh cold air, powdery snow, and snowy peaks in every direction. Read more.


West Tiger Mountaintiger mountain sign 150

Issaquah Alps
November 18, 2009

Follow Tiger Mountain's finest old rail line while exploring some of the wildest and remotest stands of forest remaining on the mountain. You'll even find some outstanding views during this long, gentle hike. Read more.


Umtanum Canyon in FallUmtanum Canyon

Eastern Washington - near Ellensburg
November 11, 2009

Colorful aspens still dotted Umtanum Canyon a week ago. This hike near Ellensburg is a little known gem and one the best hikes in spring and fall for spotting wildlife, including big horn sheep.

Heather Lake

Mountain Loop HighwayHeather Lake in November
November 4, 2009

A hike that is enjoyable and different in every season. In November, the lake is just starting to freeze and is particularly beautiful. Be prepared for ice and snow as you go, however!

Tunnel Creek

Tunnel Creek by JanerSue

Olympic Peninsula
October 29, 2009

Enjoy solitude and quiet of this Olympic National Forest trail. Towering old growth hemlock and fir provide the canopy and moss, mushrooms and lichen cover the understory. Tunnel Creek is a good choice on a rainy fall day. Read more.


Goose Rock

Whidbey Island
October 21, 2009

Goose Rock

Sublime Puget Sound and mountain views are yours when you climb Whidbey Island's "mountain." This easy hike in Deception Park State Park is the perfect destination for a sunny fall weekend.
Read More.


Second Beach

Olympic National Park
September 30, 2009Second Beach SQ

Taste some salty spray along a sandy shoreline in Olympic National park. Second Beach is just right: a hike just long enough to discourage crowds, yet short enough to encourage all who want to see this beautiful beach.  Read more.



Palisades Lake

Mount Rainier National Park

September 24, 2009Palisades_Lake_hikingqueen

The combination of sprawling meadows, few trails, and virgin forest for cover makes the Palisades Lakes basin a haven for wildlife, and a good choice for relative solitude. Read more.




Grasshopper Pass

Pasayten Wilderness
September 2, 2009Grasshopper_pass

The chillier days of early fall make it the perfect time to hike this trail that offers incredible ridgeline views but almost no shade. It starts high and stays high.  Read more.



Royal Basin

Olympic National Park
August 27, 2009

Royal Basin


Hike to a beautiful alpine lake flanked by some of the highest, craggiest snow- and ice-covered peaks in the Olympic Mountains.  Read more.




Mount Rainier National Park
August 20, 2009



Head up the cushy Wonderland Trail, where old growth, a roaring river and snow capped peaks will keep ones interest.  Read more.




Harmony Falls

Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument
August 12, 2009

spirit lake Overlooking the east bay of Spirit Lake at Mt. St Helens, this trail drops from the Harmony Falls viewpoint on gentle switchbacks. Trees lie parallel to each other like matches in a matchbook, pointing away from the volcano's crater. At the bottom of the trail are Spirit Lake and Harmony Falls.  Read more.


Park Butte

North Cascades - West Slope
August 8, 2009

Park Butte SQ



Fall in love with Baker on this wildflower-laden trail to an impressive old lookout tower. Beware: this hike may become a favorite, but that's no problem. You will want to return in September for huckleberries and in October for fall foliage. Read more.


Bogachiel River Bogachiel_bird

Olympic National Park
July 26, 2009

It's hot! Cool down with a river hike under the enchanting, shady canopy of the rainforest. Ancient trees line this Olympic National Park trail that almost guarantees solitude. Well, except for the elk. This is a great backpacking trail, and perfect for beginners that want minimal elevation gain on their first overnight in the woods.  Read more.


Snowgrass SQSnowgrass Flat

Goat Rocks Wilderness, South Cascades
July 13, 2009

Do this hike as an 8-mile day excursion, or join it up with Goat Ridge for a 2-3 day loop hike. The fragrant fields of purple lupine and lazy marmots await you. Read more.


Crystal Lakes

Mount Rainiercrystal lakes
July 6, 2009

Timing, they say, is everything, and according to WTA Trip Report poster "Hikingqueen" this may be the time for a stroll to the gorgeous Crystal Lakes. Her report, posted in early June, told of a slushy, slippery trail. A warm and sunny month has passed and we're willing to bet the flowers are out, the trail is in better shape and the views... well the views don't need any improvement. Read more. 


theler wetlandsTheler Wetlands

Kitsap Peninsula
January 2, 2009

For a breath of nature -  minus the snowshoes - visit Theler Wetlands near Belfair. Four trails navigate 100+ acres of wetlands, where kingfishers and herons, fox and mink, frogs and salamanders and more creatures of all sorts soar and scamper. Read more.

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