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State Park Hikes

Explore Washington state parks in spring. Buy your Discover Pass, hop in your car (or a rental if you don't own one) and head out to visit some of Washington's more than 100 state parks.

With more than 100 state parks, Washington has one of the largest state park systems in the country. Nearly every park offers trails for hiking or running, and many are full of wildlife, plant life and gorgeous landscapes.

Remember, if you do encounter any animals on trail, to give them their distance (even for a photo), and that wildflowers grow for everyone to enjoy; please don't pick them.

Whether you want to check out just one or all of them, the list below will help inspire your next spring getaway.

Go prepared

Get your Discover Pass. If you don't have one already, get your Discover Pass. The Discover Pass is $35 for an annual pass ($11.50 for a day pass). It lets you park at any of Washington's first-class state parks, and helps directly fund the state parks. Alternatively, visit on a fee-free day.

Check out what's openBookmark the winter schedule and check WTA's Hiking Guide alerts before you go. They will tell you where you can camp, hike and which services (like restrooms and interpretive centers) will be open.

Puget Sound and Islands

Camano Island State Park

Location: Camano Island
Length: 2.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet

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Camano Island State Park. Photo by geezerhiker.

Wonderful trails, coastal bluffs, majestic madronas, bald eagles, Puget Sound views — and you don't need a ferry to get there! Welcome to Camano Island State Park, where you can do a 2.5-mile hike that gives you a taste of it all.

> Plan your visit to Camano Island State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Dash Point State Park

Location: Seattle/Tacoma Area
Length: 11 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: varies

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Glowing green foliage on a gorgeous day at Dash Point. Photo by JetCityCobra. 

Though most flock to Dash Point for the beachside rambling, there are miles of hiking trails at Dash Point, too. Stitch together a trail running route, or simply wander to your heart's content in the quiet woods, but do stop by the water for a breath of air before you go.

> Plan your visit to Dash Point State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Fort Casey State Park

Location: Whidbey Island
Length: 2.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet

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A bunker with a view. Photo by ejain.

Great for those looking for a stroll, Fort Casey offers visitors an enjoyable route along bluff and beach, with panoramic views of Puget Sound, the Cascades and Olympic peaks, plus guided tours of a historic lighthouse (check website for tour hours).

> Plan your visit to Fort Casey State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Spencer Spit State Park

Location: San Juan Islands
Length: 2 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: 60 feet

Playing with framing on a rainy day at Spencer Spit. Photo by nwroth.

You have to take a ferry to Lopez Island to access this state park, but it's worth the visit, with upland forest and beach walking, as well as driftwood structures and plenty of great opportunities for photography. A campground sits at the northern edge of the park. The network of hiking trails loops around the edge of the park, heads along the edge of a lagoon and extends out onto the spit.

> Plan your visit to Spencer Spit State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Snoqualmie Region

Lake Sammamish State Park

Location: I-90
Length: 1.5 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: minimal

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Lake Sammamish State Park has opportunities to enjoy beach, forest and wetland environments. Photo by Gurpreet Sachdev.

With beach, forests, wetlands and the potential to spot wildlife, Lake Sammamish State Park has it all. Geocache, rent bikes or kayaks, or simply wander the many trails. If you want to extend your adventure, consider heading next door to Beaver Lake Preserve, where WTA volunteers have built some of the trail system.

> Plan your visit to Lake Sammamish State Park using WTA's HIking Guide

Squak Mountain State Park

Location: Issaquah Alps
Elevation Gain: varies. minimal to strenuous

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So many shades of green on Squak Mountain in the spring. Photo by nwroth.

Squak Mountain features everything from short, kid-friendly walks, to multiple hike options between 5 and 10 miles, and with so many trails interconnecting, you can spend all day and upwards of 11 miles on trail out here. Spring is a particularly good time to visit, when the greenery everywhere will knock your socks off.

> Plan your visit to Squak Mountain State Park with WTA's Hiking Guide

Lake Easton State Park

Location: Cle Elum Area
5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: varies

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A wintry day at Lake Easton State Park. Snow can stick around late into the season — be ready for it! Photo by emeraldyellow.

Despite its proximity to I-90, this little state park has plenty to offer year round. In winter, you can snowshoe or cross-country ski right from the parking area. In spring, as the snow melts, head west back toward the Palouse to Cascades trail for a nice walk through the woods to views of the lake. The 5-mile loops is possible if you're ok with a short jaunt through the town of Easton.

> Plan your visit to Lake Easton State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

South Cascades

Ike Kinswa State Park

Location: White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
Length: 1.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal 

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Spring clouds and Lake Mayfield at Ike Kinswa State Park. Photo by Andrea123.

This is a short but sweet little trail in a lovely lakeside state park. Lose yourself for a few minutes among towering trees before settling in for a rest lakeside. Take in Lake Mayfield, and enjoy the trees, sky and quiet in this infrequently-visited spot. 

> Plan your visit to Ike Kinswa State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Federation Forest State Park

Location: Chinook Pass - Highway 410
Length: 5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 150 feet

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Hike beneath towering moss-covered old-growth trees or visit the Catherine Montgomery Interpretive Center at Federation Forest State Park. Photo by Rachel Wendling.

This quiet state park is just outside the boundary of Mount Rainier National Park. That makes it an excellent option to stretch your legs on the way to the park, or as an adventure in and of itself. This one can take a little while to melt out from winter snows, so save it in your My Backpack account for a late spring or early summer hiking inspiration.

> Plan your visit to Federation Forest State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Nolte State Park

Location: Chinook Pass - Highway 410
1.45 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
: minimal

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Nolte State Park spring colors on a dramatic, stormy day. Photo by Marley.

The loop trail around Deep Lake at Nolte State Park is a good option for cold, rainy days when you want to get out into the woods without venturing too far from the comforts of town. Great for kids, too!

> Plan your visit to Nolte State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Olympic Peninsula

Anderson Lake State Park

Location: Hood Canal
Length: 8 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: 80 feet

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Located just eight miles south of Port Townsend, Anderson Lake State Park has 10 trails for you to explore. Photo by Mike.

There are 10 trails circling Anderson Lake, just 8 miles south of Port Townsend. Bring the kids, the dog, your mountain bike and even your horse, and mix and match the trails to your heart’s content to explore a little over 8 miles of multi-use serene and shady forest trails. 

> Plan your visit to Anderson Lake State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Kopachuck State Park

Location: Kitsap Peninsula
Length: 1 mile, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 25 feet

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Take an easy stroll and take in the delightful native flora at Kopachuck State Park. Photo by Cagey.

If you're looking for forest or beaches, Kopachuck State Park can deliver both. The lush forest has been described by state park employees and trip reporters as "fairytale." Take advantage of the 1-mile loop trail here and enjoy it. When you're finished, check out the beaches, which offer plenty of opportunities to view wildlife. 

> Plan your visit to Kopachuck State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Fort Worden State Park

Location: Northern Coast
Length: 2.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal

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Visiting Battery Kinzie is a great distractions for families, photographers and fans of the Fleet Foxes. Photo by Tom Thompson

On the shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, you can walk a fine sandy beach between high bluffs and two access points to reach the Point Wilson Lighthouse at Fort Worden State Park. Water and sand play possibilities for children of any age are infinite. 

> Plan your visit to Fort Worden State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Southwest Washington

Rainbow Falls state Park

Location: Lewis River Region
Length: 3 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet

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Rainbow Falls State Park is an island remnant of exquisite old-growth forest in the upper Chehalis Valley, with a small cascade as the centerpiece of the park. But in addition to waterfalls, you'll also find incredible, up-close wonders like this slime mold. 

> Plan your visit to Rainbow Falls State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

WEstport State Park

Location: Long Beach Area
Length: 2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 15 feet

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This paved trail is an excellent way to see the dunes and grasses of the sSouthwest Washington coast, take in an historic lighthouse, and enjoy the sea and sun without getting sand in your shoes! Stop by the lighthouse to find out why it's so curiously set back from the water. 

> Plan your visit to Westport State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Columbia Hills State Park

Location: Columbia Gorge - WA
Length: varies
Elevation Gain: varies

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Sunset near Horsethief Butte at Columbia Hills State Park. Photo by tinytrees.

Columbia Hills State Park is among Washington's most dramatic. Whether you're taking in the views of Mount Hood from the Stacker Butte road-trail, wandering the hills of Horsethief Butte or enjoying the flowers at Crawford Oaks, there are plenty of options to soak in the springtime here. Just beware of ticks!

> Plan your visit to Columbia Hills State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Battle ground Lake State Park

Location: Vancouver area
Length: 1 mile, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 120 feet

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Quiet Battle Ground Lake is a wonderful destination. Photo by rosemarylp.

Battle Ground Lake is situated in a small caldera — an ancient volcano! This particular crater formed when a steam explosion ripped away this small volcano’s top, leaving behind a bean-shaped depression (maar). Over time, the void filled with water and created the lake. Now it's a quiet lake that often hosts paddlers and wildlife, and features a trail encircling it that is perfect for kids. If you need further adventure, explore the extensive trail system.

> Plan your visit to Battle Ground Lake State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Central Cascades

Lake Chelan State Park — Little Bear Trail

Location: Entiat Mountains/Lake Chelan
Length: 2.3 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 250 feet

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Gorgeous views on the Little Bear Trail, uplake to snowy peaks in the the distance. Photo by Gena79.

Named after a bear cub spotted by surveyors when they laid out the trail here, this short and sweet trail offers striking views of Lake Chelan. You can pick from several loop options, and because it's so low-elevation, these trails are mostly accessible year-round! 

> Plan your visit to Lake Chelan State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Peshastin Pinnacles State Park

Location: Leavenworth area
Length: 1.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 400 feet

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Snow-dusted peaks in the distance, seen from Peshastin Pinnacles. Photo by Sesalie. 

The short trail system here offers a nice zigzagging, moderately steep loop tour of the base of the climbing areas, and a picnic area makes for a great way to finish the visit off. Stretch your legs here on your way to or from a visit to the Cascade mountains. 

> Plan your visit to Peshastin Pinnacles State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Lake Wenatchee State Park

Location: Stevens Pass — East
Length: 4 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: 75 feet

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Standing lakeside at Lake Wenatchee is a peaceful experience. Photo by vikr. 

A short detour off Highway 2 east of Stevens Pass will lead you a montane masterpiece tucked in the foothills of the Central Cascades. Gentle meandering hiking trails along the 489-acre state park offer scenic views of Nason Ridge, Dirty Face Mountain and the iconic Emerald Island.

> Plan your visit to Lake Wenatchee State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

North Cascades

PearryGin Lake State Park

Location: Methow/Sawtooth Area
Length: 3.1 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal

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Dramatic skies at Pearrygin Lake State Park. Photo from WTA archives.

A stunner in the fall, Pearrygin Lake State Park is also a great spring destination for a low-country outing when the rest of the North Cascades are melting out. Try the Rex Derr Trail, or simply sit by the lake for a little time to chill out in the mountains.

> Plan your visit to Pearrygin Lake State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide


Location: Highway 20
Length: 3 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 20 feet

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Big skies and rushing waters await at Rasar State Park. Photo by HikerSam.

Rasar State Park, along the Wild and Scenic Skagit River, presents a variety of trails for exploring the park’s second-growth forest, native wildlife and pioneer history. You can also catch views of nearby Sauk Mountain on clear days from the Field Trail, a mowed path which returns you to the impeccably groomed, large campground.

> Plan your visit to Rasar State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Central Washington 


Location: Tri-Cities
Length: 7.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet

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Sunset from the Fish Lake section of the Columbia Plateau Trail. Photo by Aram.

The Columbia Plateau State Park is a 130-mile railbed of the old Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway that has been converted in two parcels as a multi-use trail. The 23-mile section south of Cheney bisects the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge and passes through channeled scablands, lakes and high-desert sage country.

Another 15-mile section north of Pasco travels along the Snake River. It's wide open, lonely country. Chances for seeing a variety of wildlife is high, especially early in the morning or in the evening.

> Plan your visit to Columbia Plateau State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide


Location: Wenatchee
Length: 2.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 640 feet

Confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers. Photo by Bob and Barb..jpeg
The Horan Natural Area is a year-round oasis where the Wenatchee River meets the Columbia, just outside of Wenatchee. Photo by Bob and Barb.

Birds, birds, birds! The park is just a few minutes from the heart of Wenatchee, but you can hardly tell you're near a bustling urban area — not with all of the bird calls. The Horan Natural Area is the prize for hikers here. Easy walking takes you along and over the Wenatchee River, traversing wetlands and fields and offering broad vistas. It's worth a visit in any season, but is especially teeming with birds in spring.

> Plan your visit to Wenatchee Confluence State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Location: Grand Coulee
Length: varies
Elevation Gain: varies

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See the spectacular Umatilla Rock and other magnificent geological formations at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. Photo by Walter Hughes.

The evidence of the floods that shaped so much of Central Washington is on grand display at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. From the overlook off Highway 17, gape at the skeleton of the waterfall that submerged this land thousands of years ago. If the scenery is calling, head south on Highway 17 and into the park, where you can wander to your hearts content. Just be sure to have reliable navigation at hand — many of these trails are hard to follow and rugged. 

> Plan your visit to Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

Eastern Washington

Centennial Trail

Location: Spokane Area/Couer d'Alene
Length: 37 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain: minimal

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The Spokane River Centennial Trail is a state park, and a long one at that, at 37 miles one way. You can hop on or off for as long as you like, take your bike or just go for a short hike. Winter, summer, fall or spring, this is a great outing you'll want to try.

> Plan your visit to Centennial Trail using WTA's Hiking Guide

Curlew Lake

Location: Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range
Length: 2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal

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Two kids enjoy a little hammock time at Curlew Lake state park. Photo by Rachel McClary.

Popular with fishermen, this little state park outside of Republic also features a camping area and a short, 2-mile nature trail to explore if your legs get tired sitting shoreside. It's also a nice place for a hammock sesh.

> Plan your visit to Curlew Lake using WTA's Hiking Guide

Crawford STATE PARK — Gardner Cave

Location: Selkirk Range
Length: 1 mile, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet

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Take an underground tour of the third-longest limestone cave in Washington at Crawford State Park — Gardner Cave. Photo by Pribbs

You've heard of the Ape Caves, but did you know there are other caves in Washington? Gardner Cave is in the northeast corner of Washington and is rich with history. However, because of the winter weather, this state park is only open seasonally. Typically it's open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but call ahead to be sure. Free tours of the cave are available too, and they're popular; plan on arriving an hour early to be sure you get on one.

> Plan your visit to Crawford State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide