11 Date Hike Ideas That Are Actually Good
You're planning a date with that special someone, and love is in the air. Or, at least, it could be! When considering date activities, some hikers’ brains immediately jump to — you guessed it — hiking. And it makes sense — hiking can be a great way to spend time with someone and get some fresh air while you’re at it.
But you might want some help to pick the right trail — who knows if you’ll get along swimmingly or if you'll be looking for an excuse to head out? Maybe you want trails that give you flexibility. Or maybe you want to plan a special date with your significant other but aren't sure what to do or where to go. We've got some ideas on where to take your date, whether you are on your first date or you've already been together for a while.
Take a Long walk on the beach at
Clallam Bay Spit Community Beach County Park
Features: Great for tidepooling; space to roam and chat; quiet; romantic ocean views
Location: Olympic Peninsula — near Sekiu
Length: 1.2 miles, one-way
Elevation gain: 10 feet
Your date's online dating profile said they love "laughing," "having fun" and "long walks on the beach," so consider taking them on a hike along the spit at Clallam Bay Spit Community Beach County Park.
With views of Vancouver Island and tide pools to explore, you'll have plenty to do on a date here. Not only that, but you'll also be able to see how well your date handles one of the most annoying things ever: pebbles and sand in their shoes.
> Plan your visit to Clallam Bay Spit Community Beach County Park using WTA's Hiking Guide
Explore all corners of the
Dishman Hills Natural Area
Features: Trail network provides many hike options; close to the city; seasonal wildflowers and beautiful views
Location: Eastern Washington — near Spokane
Length: 4.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation gain: 800 feet
A date can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are meeting the other person for the first time in real life. If your date seems promising, consider taking them to Dishman Hills Natural Area.
Heading up to Eagle Peak, you’ll get expansive views of the area, and wildflowers and fall colors in the right seasons. And it has a great trail network — so it’s perfect for a choose-your-own-length kind of hike. It’ll be easy to make your hike longer if the date is going better than you expected.
Bonus: You’re only a short drive from Spokane, so if you want to extend the date even more because it’s just going that well, you can head to the city for a post-hike dinner.
> Plan your visit to the Dishman Hills Natural Area using WTA's Hiking Guide
Picnic (or pack up) at
South Fork County Park
Features: Wide open space for picnicking or lawn games; easy to spread out; easy access to parking lot
Location: Puget Sound — near Deming
Length: 1.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation gain: 317 feet
You couldn't find a better place for a couple of rounds of cornhole or a picnic. A trail circumnavigates the park, where you can take in views of the nearby peaks. The huge grassy field that takes up most of the park offers you the chance to set up your home base in your own quiet spot, away from others.
Another perk of this park: If you're just getting to know your date and want the option to leave early, the parking lot is within sight from most of the loop trail around the county park. If you’re ready to cut the date short, you can easily end your date by packing up and walking across the field to the parking lot, instead of having to spend miles hiking back to the trailhead.
> Plan your visit to South Fork County Park using WTA's Hiking Guide
Share your love of nature at
Heart Lake in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands
Features: Within city limits; trail network provides many hike options; lakeside views; great for wildlife sightings
Location: Puget Sound — in Anacortes
Length: 2.9 miles, roundtrip
Elevation gain: 130 feet
It can't get more romantic than taking a hike to a lake called Heart Lake. Take a loop hike around the lake with your date, walking past large cedars and hemlocks with views of the water. It'll help to have a map with you as you navigate through the maze of trails. You can grab a map in Anacortes (a great opportunity to grab some breakfast or lunch before your hike). And it can be an exercise in teamwork to make sure you always know where you're going.
If you want to make your date longer, you can explore more of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands — if you cross Heart Lake Road, you'll have miles and miles of trail to discover in a large trail network within the forest lands.
> Plan your visit to Anacortes Community Forest Lands - Heart Lake using WTA's Hiking Guide
Cozy up on a
Hurley Road Snowshoe
Features: Opportunities for snowball-fighting fun and sharing a treat; fun snowshoeing experience
Location: Central Cascades — Blewett Pass
Length: 5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation gain: 550 feet
Few things are as cozy as warming up with hot chocolate or tea on a snowy day. Take that whole concept outside on your date! First, pack a warm beverage in your thermos — or piping-hot water along with some instant ramen cups, if you really want to take your date's breath away. Then, head out to Hurley Road for some snowshoeing.
This snowshoe trip will provide chances for chilly cuddling during breaks and flirty snowball fights. Plus, if you and your date are still getting to know each other, any awkward silence can just be filled by taking a sip of your hot chocolate or ramen soup — awkwardness averted.
> Plan your snowshoe on Hurley Road using WTA's Hiking Guide
Visit a must-see spot, but with a twist
Around Seattle's Most Popular Hike
Features: Many options for both length and difficulty; nice open views of the area; opportunity to show off hiking prowess
Location: Snoqualmie region — near North Bend
Elevation gain: varies
Amaze your date with your insider knowledge on trails near Rattlesnake Ledge, Seattle's most popular hike. If you want to keep it casual, walk around Rattlesnake Lake and enjoy the view of the ledges as other hikers make the climb. For a less-trafficked summit hike, try nearby Cedar Butte.
You can also start from the other side of Rattlesnake Mountain at Snoqualmie Point Park, and you'll have the option of stopping whenever you like to turn around. Just 2 miles in is Stan's Overlook, where you can share a seat on the bench while checking out the view. Or, if you're both looking for a long day, continue on and hike the whole mountain traverse. You'll need a car shuttle for that one, so do your best to not get in a fight before you reach the trailhead.
> Plan your visit to Cedar Butte using WTA's Hiking Guide
> Plan your hike across Rattlesnake Mountain using WTA's Hiking Guide
walk side-by-side on the
Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway Trail
Features: Within city limits; accessible by public transit; plenty of space to walk next to each other; no equipment needed but shoes
Location: Southwest Washington — in Vancouver
Length: 16.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation gain: 200 feet
The Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway Trail is a great place to see all that Vancouver can offer a hiker. You'll be able to catch glimpses of the local flora and fauna, and the trail is wide enough so you and your date can walk side-by-side — no need to pretend like you heard them while trying to keep up behind them. And, of course, a trail like this is very conducive to hand-holding.
And if you end up in an argument on your hike, you don’t have to dread the awkward drive back to the city if your date drove you there — you can take public transit home from various points along the trail! (Check out our driving directions to help you find your way.)
> Plan your hike on the Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway Trail using WTA's Hiking Guide
Visit an outdoor art museum at
Price Sculpture Forest
Features: Built-in conversation topics; interesting local art; close to the city; short and sweet hike
Location: Puget Sound — Whidbey Island
Length: 0.6 miles, roundtrip
Elevation gain: 120 feet
Nervous about running out of stuff to talk about? Price Sculpture Forest is essentially an art museum on a nature trail. As you amble along the short winding trail, you’ll encounter sculptures made by local artists. You can even do a self-guided tour — instructions are provided at the trailhead.
When the conversation runs dry on your date, make a comment on the deeper meaning of the next sculpture — not only will you fill the silence, but your date will be impressed by your art expertise.
> Plan your visit to Price Sculpture Forest using WTA's Hiking Guide
Avoid idle chitchat at
Features: Harder hike; opportunities to pause the conversation to think of more topics; beautiful lookout at the top
Location: Puget Sound — near Enumclaw
Length: 1.8 miles, roundtrip
Elevation gain: 1,000 feet
If small talk sounds like the worst thing ever, consider a butt-kicking hike like Mount Peak. Hopefully, you’ll have enough to talk about as you walk through the forest and check out basalt outcroppings. However, if you end up finding yourself talking about the weather, this hike’s got your back. With a relentless 1,000-foot climb over less than a mile, you’ll both be too out of breath to hold a real conversation. Problem solved!
Save all of your questions and conversation topics for the summit, where you'll be able to enjoy views of the surrounding area together from the top of the lookout tower.
> Plan your visit to Mount Peak (Pinnacle Peak) using WTA's Hiking Guide
temper your expectations at
Cape Disappointment State Park
Features: Romantic ocean views; lighthouse overlooking the water; old-growth forest walk; a clear misnomer
Location: Southwest Washington — Long Beach
Length: 1.8 miles, one-way
Elevation gain: 420 feet
You’ll have a lot to work with for your date on this WTA-maintained trail at Cape Disappointment that provides a beautiful nature walk surrounded by old growth, with access to the beach and the North Head Lighthouse.
Although we hope your date also isn't a disappointment, you’ll be emotionally prepared if it starts going downhill after repeating the word “disappointment” so many times when planning your hike. As they say, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. (But we genuinely think you'll have a great time here. With all that it has to offer — despite its name — Cape Disappointment is anything but disappointing.)
> Plan your visit to Cape Disappointment using WTA's Hiking Guide
work hard and play hard at
A WTA Work Party
Features: Plenty to do; learn trail work skills; build teamwork skills with date; maintain trails for future hikers going on dates
Location: all over the state!
Elevation gain: varies
Alright, depending on the WTA volunteer work party you end up joining, you might not be doing a lot of hiking. But it's still a great way to spend most of the day outside with your date.
A date in a group setting like this means you'll be able to spend some time chatting with just the two of you, but you won't have the pressure of being "on" for the entire date. There won't be any lulls in the conversation because if it seems to be heading that way, you can just turn to the trail and get in a few whacks of your grub hoe to give yourself time to think of another topic for discussion. Plus, you can see how your date interacts with strangers in a group setting and how they handle challenging (but fun!) work — many projects will even give you the chance to see how the two of you work together.
> Check out our volunteer work party schedule and join us on trail
Planning a date can be stressful, but planning your hike doesn't have to be. Make sure to check out our Hiking Guide and trip reports before you head out to get the latest on trail and road conditions. And don't forget to file a trip report when you get back from your own hike!