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If you’re heading to Seattle and looking to experience the area’s natural beauty, then this roundup of 10 incredible hikes near Seattle is for you! I’ve even included hikes for all ability levels so there’s something for everyone to enjoy whether you’re an experienced hiker or a first timer!

In this blog, I share…

  • 10 incredible hikes near Seattle
  • Tips for hiking near Seattle
  • What to pack for a hiking trip
  • Difficulty level of each hike

Guest post by Katie Egresi of The Egresis Adventures and Photography.

Meet Your Guide, Katie Egresi

Hello there! My name is Katie Egresi, and I’m one half of The Egresis Adventures and Photography.

My husband Shane and I are huge outdoor lovers, and we started our blog to help others experience the incredible beauty of the Pacific Northwest through hiking, camping, road trips, and more. Our home base is in the Seattle area, and we’re fortunate to have easy access to some pretty incredible outdoor escapes just a short drive from the city. 

What You Need to Know About Hiking in Washington

Before we dive into all of the beautiful Washington hikes on our list, let’s cover some basics of hiking safety and responsibly in the Pacific Northwest.

Tips for Hiking Near Seattle

  • You will need a pass for most of the hikes near Seattle on this list, and I’ve specified which pass you will need when applicable. Learn more about purchasing these passes from the Washington Trails Association here
  • The weather in the mountains is typically quite different from the weather in Seattle, and snow can linger at high elevations even into the peak days of summer. It’s always a good idea to look up trip reports before heading out on Washington hikes. 
  • Hiking in Washington should be taken seriously – it’s a whole lot more than just a walk in the park! Do your research and be sure to pack the 10 Essentials. As for clothing – layers are your friend no matter the season.
  • Washington is a truly special place. Do your part to keep our public lands healthy and beautiful by committing to Leave No Trace. Every action adds up; please #RecreateResponsibly!  

For more hiking safety tips and risk management, visit Wild Trajectory’s website. They offer great resources for hikers.

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10 Gorgeous Washington Hikes Within Two Hours of Seattle

Below, we’ve outlined 10 of the best hikes near Seattle, within a two hour drive. Pay close attention to the difficulty and the season to ensure you’re picking the best option for your visit. 

Hikes near Seattle at Rattlesnake Ledge
Rattlesnake Ledge
  • Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Ledge is one of the most popular hikes near Seattle thanks to its accessible location and lovely views of Rattlesnake Lake and the surrounding mountains. Enjoy a moderate hike through the woods culminating at the famous ledge. This spot is extremely popular, so consider visiting on a weekday if you can, or get started bright and early to beat the crowds!

Distance from Seattle: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate (4 miles roundtrip, 1,160’ elevation gain)

Season: Spring through Fall

Pass Required: None

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info

3 Days in Seattle: Love at First Sight

Looking for things to do in Seattle? Check out my blog for fun activities and where to stay.

Hiking with friends at Heybrook Ridge in Washington
Heybrook Ridge
Heybrook Ridge when it's snowing
Heybrook Ridge
  • Heybrook Ridge

Heybrook Ridge is a great hike near Seattle without all the crowds. It’s also less popular than the neighboring Heybrook Lookout but offers equally stunning views. Hike up through a lush forest, passing a small waterfall and stream along the way, until you reach your destination with in-your-face views of some massive surrounding peaks. Also keep an eye out for Bridal Veil Falls in the distance (you’ll hear that name again later in this post)! 

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour

Difficulty: Moderate (3.3 miles roundtrip, 775’ elevation gain)

Season: Spring through Fall

Pass Required: None

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info

FUN FACT

The highest point in the state of Washington is Mount Rainier at 14,417 feet. Summiting Mount Rainier requires significant training, specialized gear and knowledge, and is often a guided experience. 

Washington hike at Snow Lake
Snow Lake
Gem Lake in Washington
Gem Lake
  • Snow and Gem Lakes

Both Snow and Gem Lakes boast incredibly clear and vibrant blue water with an impressive backdrop of mountain peaks. If you aren’t feeling up to the full trip to Gem Lake, you can make Snow Lake your destination at just 7.2 miles roundtrip. This is one of the more popular hikes near Seattle, so be sure to arrive early. Despite the name, don’t be tempted to try this hike in the winter as it has extreme avalanche danger. 

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour

Difficulty: Hard (10 miles roundtrip, 2,200’ elevation gain)

Season: Summer and Early Fall

Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info

Hiking at Bridal Veil Falls in Washington
Bridal Veil Falls
The snowy scene at Lake Serene
The snowy scene at Lake Serene
  • Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls

Nestled just below the colossal Mount Index, the blue waters of Lake Serene are a sight to behold. Along the main trail, you can venture just 0.25 miles up to the impressive Bridal Veil Falls, but if you’re up for the challenge, you surely won’t regret continuing on to the lake. 

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour

Difficulty: Hard (8.2 miles roundtrip, 2,000’ elevation gain)

Season: Summer and Early Fall

Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info.

Do you have a Chronic Illness and Want to Travel?

Just because you have a chronic illness, doesn’t mean you can’t travel!
In my blog, “Traveling with Chronic Illnesses”, I share some tips that have helped me with my Lupus while traveling. I also give a peek inside the handy dandy sanitization kit that I bring with me on every trip for those with autoimmune conditions!

Deception Pass State Park during the day
Deception Pass State Park during the day
Deception Pass State Park at sundown
Deception Pass State Park at sunset
  • Deception Pass State Park – Lighthouse Point via Bowman Bay/Rosario Head

Deception Pass is Washington’s most visited state park, and it’s easy to see why. You’ll enjoy expansive views out over vibrant blue water, rugged cliffs, and the impressive Deception Pass bridge. Keep an eye out for sea life, too. We’ve spotted seals, sea lions, and otters here! There are 38 miles of hiking trails to explore in the park, and you really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose.

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy (2.4 miles roundtrip, 321’ elevation gain)

Season: Year-Round

Pass Required: Discover Pass

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info

Hiking with friends at Gothic Basin in Washington
The views from Gothic Basin
Gothic Basin hike near Seattle
  • Gothic Basin

Gothic Basin is a tough Washington hike, but I promise the views will take your breath away just as much as the effort you put in to reach them. This hike is steep, rocky, and involves some mild scrambling in a place or two, so ensure you’re up for the challenge before heading out. The scenery is stunning all along the way, and Foggy Lake makes a perfect spot to relax and have some lunch before making the trip back to the trailhead.

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Difficulty: Hard (9.2 miles roundtrip, 2,840’ elevation gain)

Season: Summer and Early Fall

Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info

FUN FACT

Washington state is home to three national parks (Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park).

Views from Summit Lake, hikes near Seattle
Summit Lake’s beauty
  • Summit Lake

Summit Lake has an excellent effort to payoff ratio, with incredible views of a deep royal blue lake and Mount Rainier on clear days. If you like to travel with your pup, this is a great option as it’s located just outside Mount Rainier National Park boundaries (dogs are not allowed in the national park). 

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate (6.1 miles round trip, 1,300’ elevation gain)

Season: Summer and Early Fall

Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info

Evey's Landing during the day
Ebey’s Landing during the day
Dramatic night time scenery at Ebey's Landing in Washington
The mystery of Ebey’s Landing
  • Ebey’s Landing

Ebey’s Landing is a unique Washington hike that’s sure to please any time of year and in any weather conditions. Located on Whidbey Island, it makes a great stop on a day-long outing. You can take a ferry to the southern part of the island or drive up and around to the north part of the island crossing the Deception Pass Bridge (mentioned earlier in this post). Complete the full loop hike for views from the bluff as well as the beach, or just meander as far as you’d like. Keep an eye out over the water for Mount Rainier looming along the horizon on a clear day. 

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Difficulty: Easy (5.6 miles roundtrip, 260’ elevation gain)

Season: Year-Round

Pass Required: Discover Pass

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info

Katie dipping her toes in the water of Lake Valhalla after a hike
Getting wet at Lake Valhalla
The views from Mount McCausland
The views atop Mount McCausland
  • Mount McCausland and Lake Valhalla

Enjoy a fairly mild hike to beautiful Lake Valhalla with its clear waters and sandy shoreline. Looking for more of a challenge? Plan to summit Mount McCausland before heading to the lake for a thigh-burner with ever-improving views along the way to the top!

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Difficulty: Hard (7 miles roundtrip, 1,800’ elevation gain)

Season: Early Summer through Fall (or snowshoe in winter)

Pass Required: None

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info

FUN FACT

Washington has a vast diversity of ecosystems, including prairies, wetlands, estuaries, rainforests, shrubsteppe, marine waters, and grasslands. Interestingly, the state is home to two ecosystem types found nowhere else on the entire planet: the Olympic rainforest and the Columbia Plateau scablands.

The blue beauty of Blanca Lake
The blue beauty of Blanca Lake
Blanca Lake in Washington
  • Blanca Lake

While this hike may have the longest drive on the list, I promise you’ll forget all about the ride when you see the water! Its milky, turquoise color almost seems to glow, landing it a spot among the most incredible lakes we’ve ever seen. We’d go as far as to say it’s even comparable with Canada’s famous Lake Louise. 

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours

Difficulty: Hard (7.5 miles roundtrip, 3,300’ elevation gain)

Season: Summer and Early Fall

Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Dogs Allowed? Yes

More info

Hiking Essentials

Planning to head out on one of these hikes near Seattle? We wish you a safe experience and memories of a lifetime from your visit to the Pacific Northwest! – The Egresis

Katie Egresi lives in the Seattle area with her husband Shane and their two cats. Through the week, she works as a Communications Manager for a local environmental nonprofit. In her spare time, she loves adventuring all over the Pacific Northwest (and beyond), and shares her tips, itineraries, and photography on her blog and on Instagram.

Geeves flying a kite

Have you ever been on any of these hikes near Seattle? If not, which Washington hikes would you go on? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

To become part of the journey and stay up to date on all that’s happening at Real Girl Review, subscribe to the blog and follow Geeves on TikTokInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest.

Thank you so much for your continued love and support! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.

Until next time… Sending you lots of love.

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Fact Check:

At Real Girl Review, we value truth and always strive for accuracy. Posts are updated regularly. If you read something that still doesn’t sound right, contact me at gv@realgirlreview.com. I will investigate the facts and make changes as I deem necessary.

2 Comments

  1. I don’t blame you. I don’t think I could do it either Henry. At least we can still look at other peoples photos so we don’t have to hike it!

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