5 Must See Spring Hikes around Washington State

Spring has officially sprung here in Washington state! What better way to celebrate the warm weather, and break out of hibernation than to hit the trail and go for a hike. To find some of Washington’s most beautiful spring hikes, we contacted the experts. Our friends Nathan and Jer at HikingWithMyBrother.com have hiked just about every trail here in western Washington, and they have compiled a list of their top 5 favorite spring hikes.

1. Spruce Railroad Trail

Spruce Railroad TrailThis trail is an early season hiking option as the lake tends to minimize snow.  It is relatively flat, with just a few portions of elevation as the trail deviates from the railbed, making it a good choice for bringing along the whole family or maybe some of your non-hiking friends. This is also a mixed use trail, and one that allows mountain bikes and stock. So you can expect a variety of company along the way during the warmer months. Two trailheads serve the Spruce Railroad Trail, allowing hikers to start at either end, or take two cars and shuttle between the trailheads for shorter hike. The trail features big views of the lake and surrounding mountains such as Mount Storm King, Mount Aurora and Mount Sugardough. Read more >

2. Boulder River

Boulder RiverIt’s unsurprising that the Boulder River Trail is a popular hike. This trail gently takes you through a dramatic and impressive landscape and the low elevation is perfect for an early season trek.  A number of waterfalls appear along the trail as the forest transitions from sections of young trees and brushy undergrowth into older stands of moss-laden forest.  The Boulder River is a nearly constant companion, always within hearing distance even as it slips from view. Streams of water cut across the trail, winding down to the river in contrast to the more dramatic cascades on the opposite bank. Expect a variety of wild life, everything from water ouzels to wood ducks to hummingbirds. With only a few hundred feet of elevation gain and worthy destinations early-on, this trail is an excellent way to give children or the reluctant hiker a taste of the wilderness. Read more >

3. Rattlesnake Mountain Trail

Rattlesnake Mountain TrailHikers flock to Rattlesnake Ledge only to turn around after taking in the big views.  Most hikers do not continue to follow the trail the spans the length of Rattlesnake Mountain.  With trailheads on both ends, this can easily be made a through hike that escapes the crowds near the ledge.  Whether you start at Rattlesnake Lake or Snoqualmie Point, you’ll find yourself in a varied landscape that includes older dense forest and sections still recovering from logging.   While there are no views from the “summit” at East Peak (only radio towers), there are several other viewpoints that offer views of Mr. Baker, Russian Butte and Mt. Teneriffe.   If you visit the Ledge, skip the biggest ledge and head up to the higher outcroppings.  The highest gives the greatest vantage point for impressive views of Rattlesnake Lake, Mt. Si, Mailbox Peak, and Mt. Washington dominating the view to the north. Read more >

4. Cherry Creek Falls

Cherry Creek FallsBecause Cherry Creek Falls is a little under the radar for how close it is to Duvall and other nearby urban centers, don’t expect too much company early in the season. Once you get past the hassle of finding the falls, this is a very easy and accessible hike. The route is almost exclusively along logging roads, making a fairly level and smooth grade as you travel through a wide range of forest including everything from vine maples and alders to aging hemlock and Douglas fir. This makes it perfect for kids or first-time hikers, offering a little bit of backcountry feel that almost anyone can reach.  Note that the area is riddled with logging roads that can easily turn you around and there are no signs to point you in the right direction. We recommend you print out our directions or download our route and bring along the GPS just in case you take a wrong turn. Read more >

5. Skookum Falls

Skookum FallsThis hike meanders alongside the White River on its way to Skookum Creek. As the name suggests, Skookum Flats involves little in the way of elevation gain, instead it takes a hiker on a gentle tour beneath looming Douglas fir, past mossy rocks and fallen trees, while providing ample opportunity to take in the river and the Snoquera Palisades.  The low elevation of this trail makes it an ideal early season hike when other trails are still buried under the snow. And as the waterfall should be flowing in full force, as the spring melt will push more water over the cliffs.  Of course, the ease of this trail makes it a good choice for young hikers as well as trail running. If you’re heading out to Skookum Flats, keep in mind the trail also very popular with mountain bikers, so be ready to share the trail. Read more >

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