Essential Things to Know About Hiking in Washington

Hiking is a great way to take in Washington’s stunning scenery, which is why the state is so popular among tourists. Hikers of all skill levels will find something to their liking in Washington’s varied landscapes, which include snow-capped mountains, lush woods, and wild coasts. To help you get the most out of your outdoor experience, Outside Walla Walla has provided some helpful information about hiking in Washington.

Washington is Home to a Plethora of Wildly Diverse Mountain Ranges

We are incredibly fortunate to be home to a wide variety of extensive and minor mountain ranges (63 in all, according to USGS). However, with that abundance comes a great deal of variety; each mountain chain features its unique seasons, snowfall, climate, and fauna. The Olympics and Cascades, two mountain ranges in the Pacific Northwest, are wetter, have more snow, and have a later spring and summer start than their eastern counterparts. 

The Weather Can Change Quickly

The Northwest has enjoyable weather all the time. The weather can change rapidly from bright and wet at the point where the ocean and the mountains meet. If you go hiking in the middle of summer, you should be prepared for anything from sunshine to thunderstorms. The temperature may be 70 degrees in Everett and 107 degrees in Ephrata. Furthermore, certain mountains (volcanoes) create their weather.


The term “elevations” has different meanings in various contexts. Once you get a feel for what they mean in Washington, you will have a handy shorthand for describing the great environment and conditions you are likely to find along the route.

It is common for snow to remain at higher elevations (5,000 feet+) in Washington state into the summer, often until late July. As snowfall totals are typically recorded by elevation in the winter, using this information to narrow your search for snow-free routes filters your results.

Unstable Snow and Ice

Lakes in states like Minnesota often become completely frozen when temperatures drop low enough. Our region’s lakes, snow, and ice caverns are precarious because of the region’s fickle climate and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The situation worsens as the temperature rises in the spring (which continues until June).

Avalanche chutes, collapsing snow bridges, and slick, icy pathways are some of the dangers that winter and spring hikers and snows hoers face when traversing snowy terrain.

Hunting Seasons Occur All Year Round

It is the responsibility of hikers to take precautions against hunters and anglers on the many public lands in Washington. Washington’s peak hunting months are August, September, and October, while some seasons in certain areas extend into the winter and spring.

If hiking through an area with hunters or the sound of gunfire makes you uncomfortable, consider a national or state park where hunting is prohibited.

Finally, hiking in Washington is a beautiful way to see the state’s stunning scenery. Remember the importance of preparation, familiarity with trail conditions, checking regulations and permissions, and safety measures. You can make the most of your hike and see everything Washington offers with a bit of forethought and a spirit of adventure.

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