A WIDE CATALOG of towering mountain peaks, evergreen forests, uninhabited coastlines, and golden canyons means Washington hikers can check off bucketlist- caliber sights without crossing state lines. Here’s a sampling of the goods.
Hurricane Hill Trail, Olympic National Park
Climb nearly 700 feet up a paved trail on Hurricane Ridge to admire Mount Olympus, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and even elk and bear frolicking in meadows below.
Beacon Rock, Columbia River Gorge
Few trails can claim to be blasted out of solid rock. Here’s one. This guardrailflanked path slithers 680 feet up and around one of North America’s tallest monoliths. From the top, the entire Columbia River Gorge seems to yawn before your eyes.
Camano Island State Park
Five miles of trails thread this secluded 134-acre park. Old-growth forests, quiet bays, and rock-strewn beaches figure into the mix, as does the chance to spot pods of orcas.
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge
Bird lovers rarely walk away disappointed from 16,000-acre Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge outside Spokane. It’s not just the feathers that add color: in the fall, stands of yellowing aspens set the scene aglow.
Bird Creek Meadows
Summer means wildflowers in the South Cascades. Stop and smell the lupine, Indian paintbrush, and avalanche lilies at the three-mile loop around Bird Creek Meadows, set on the flank of Mount Adams. Photographers can also backdrop all of those petals against alpine pools, creeks, and achingly blue skies. —BRIAN BARKER