You are here: Home Hiking Info Hiking Basics

Hiking Basics

Information on hiking and backpacking in Washington, hiker safety and etiquette, preparing for your hike and more.

It's important to head into the mountains prepared, and this is where you can find plenty of information that can help you have a fun - and safe - time in Washington's backcountry.

nullHiking 101

New to hiking? WTA provides information about how to choose the right hike, select the appropriate clothing and gear, and how to be safe on the trail.  >> Read more

nullBackpacking 101

We love backpacking - and you will too. Check out WTA's advice on how to plan your trip, what to do while you're out there and recommendations for kids, overnighters and weekend backpacking trips. >> Read more

nullChoosing the Right Pass

Northwest Forest Pass. Discover Pass. America the Beautiful Pass. Golden Eagle Passport. Sno-Park Pass. WTA runs down all of the recreation passes and helps you figure out which one(s) you'll need and where to purchase them. >> Learn more

nullRanger Station Information

Calling ahead of your trip to a ranger station can help you assess road and trail conditions. We have compiled the websites and phone numbers for all Forest Service and National Park offices in the state, as well as several state and county agencies. >> Learn more

nullHiking with Dogs

Hiking the trail with your dog can be incredibly rewarding for person and pooch. But there are several things dog owners need to know before heading out. WTA runs down leash rules, doggy etiquette and where to go. >> Read more

nullLeave No Trace & the Ten Essentials

Make sure you have what you need in your backpack by bringing the Ten Essentials, and practice Leave No Trace by minimizing your impact on the landscape.


You've trusted Washington Trails for gear reviews. Here, you'll find even more outdoor gear reviews, plus comprehensive charts and related gear tips. >> Read more

Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
More hikes » Hike of the Week
Diablo Lake Trail (Apr 17)

Diablo Lake

North Cascades

Follow the Diablo Lake Trail up and across talus slopes on the flanks of Sourdough Mountain to impressive cascading waterfalls and stunning views. This hike in the North Cascades Institute's backyard makes a great option for an early season hike in stunning North Cascades National Park, much of which is inaccessible during the winter and spring.