Hikes of the Week
Explore seasonal hikes featured on the WTA website in 2013. Be sure to follow the links to see full hike descriptions, driving directions and Trip Reports in our Hiking Guide. You can also access our Hike of the Week archives for 2008, 2009, 2010 , 2011 and 2012.
Head to Dog Mountain for Columbia River Gorge views and an explosion of wildflowers. Eager to get in shape for summer? Head straight up the mountain on the northern side. Take the slow and steady eastern flank trail to stop and smell the flowers. (See if you can spot recent work by WTA trail crews.)
Looking for warm, dry hiking with stunning views and a post-hike swim? Climb to the top of Steamboat Rock and ramble the butte top for dramatic views of Banks Lake and coulee country. Desert wildflowers and camping options sweeten the deal.
The 2.5-mile hike to scenic Lena Lake is a summer favorite, but the trail is clear and snow-free now. Pack a picnic lunch or try a first-time backpack and practice your Leave No Trace skills. And, after WTA volunteers help clear the Upper Lena trail in June, you can return for a longer hike.
Climb gentle hills exploding with lupine, paintbrush, balsamroot and other wildflowers. Make it multi-day adventure by camping in Columbia Hills State Park and hiking Horsethief Butte, The Dalles Mountain or Beacon Rock. Go prepared for ticks.
Craving mountain views and the first wildflowers of spring? On this two-mile climb to the saddle overlooking Leavenworth, you'll get both, along with a taste of the hiking season ahead. Do it early for a spectacular sunrise or pack a picnic lunch.
Stunning views of the North Cascades peek out between firs and cedar remains on this relatively flat trail hugging the eastern shore of Baker Lake. A choose-your-own-adventure trail that a range of hikers will enjoy, hike it from the north or the south, for 1 or 14 miles, or overnight in one of the campgrounds.
Few hikes so near Seattle pack the punch of Rattlesnake Ledge: the hike is short, providing a good work-out and stellar views on a clear day. Pack water, lunch and a rain jacket, then join the masses on the climb to this fine promontory.
With a seasonal waterfall and the first yellow bells blooming, this easy 4-mile hike only a few miles off of I-90 between Ellensburg and Moses Lake makes for a great spring warm-up in the desert. Pack a picnic and your binoculars to watch rock climbers scale the stunning basalt columns.
Spend spring break on six miles of shoreline and Scotland-like bluffs. On the southern end of San Juan Island, Mount Finlayson provides an excellent vantage point to view the annual grey whale migration (look for the water spouts).
Wild and mercurial, the Olympic Coast has a special appeal this time of year. Grassy bluffs, cliffside caves and tidal pools are all to be found along this four-mile beach hike near the Kalaloch Campground. So shrug on your rain gear and enjoy the bird watching, sense of solitude and stunning seascapes.
The short, steep hike to the lookout sports vibrant spring mosses (and some mud) at the bottom and stunning views of snow-covered Mount Index at the top. It's a good option for an early season ramble, training hike or photographer's study in the Stevens Pass corridor.
Your challenge on this nine-mile loop: identify the first of more than 800 species of wildflowers that bloom in the Columbia River Gorge. The Hardy and Rodney Falls trail, also in Beacon Rock State Park, makes a shorter, fun alternative for families.
Start off heading downhill on this gentle winter hike outside Sequim. You'll roll up and down through lush forest and along the river bottom where the Gray Wolf crashes and bubbles next to the trail. You'll spot birds, fungi, mosses and even a few forest views.
In Seattle's backyard, the short loop east of Lake Sammamish wanders through wetlands, meadows and forests. Great for beginning hikers, families and dogs on leash, these trails are great for a quick winter outing or an early morning on trail before work.
Take advantage of the long weekend and trek out to Palouse Falls. With stunning falls, the big sky of the scablands and the antics of resident marmots, this relatively short hike is photographer's dream. If you're lucky, you might even snag one of the park's ten tent sites.
The road to the summit of Mount Walker is gated in winter, leaving hikers to travel a peaceful and meticulously maintained trail to the top of the Olympics most eastern peak. Atop, bask in views of Hood Canal, Seattle and even the Cascades on clear days.
Big Four is an excellent beginner snowshoe, with a flat walk along an unplowed road and a picturesque ramble along a creek. Listen and watch huge avalanches crash down the vertical face of Big Four Mountain. Just don't venture close!
Ebey's Landing on Whidbey Island is a natural and historic treasure. Bluffs, beach and a saltwater lagoon. Eagles, shorebirds and ships passing through the Strait. And an old prairie homestead that speaks to the history of Whidbey Island.
Enjoy the long weekend (and a base of 6-8 feet of snow) with a lovely snowshoe route in view of Mount St. Helens.Try the gentle climb through snowy forest to half-frozen June Lake and its waterfall, or explore one of the many other trail options out of Marble Mountain Sno-Park.
Take advantage of a streak of sunshine forecast near Yakima by hiking this gentle six-mile trail that used to be an old railroad. Enjoy the crystal clear views, craggy rock formations and winter wildlife that make hiking Washington's deserts so rewarding. Go prepared for at least a few inches of snow on trail.
On this stretch of the Washington coastline only an hour and a half from Olympia, the dunes and beach are equal attractions. Bundle up, pack a picnic, look for bald eagles or other shorebirds, and take in the wonder of Pacific waves in winter.