There are an unlimited number of hikes in the PNW so we wanted to share some of our favorites. We had the privilege of spending April- July in Washington and learned quickly that you have to check the hiking reports for snow on the trails as late in the year as July. The hikes below were ones that we found to be snow free during our time here and were some of our favorites!
Colchuck Lake: Colchuck Lake is 8 miles round trip and 2300 ft elevation gain. Although this hike is challenging, the terrain changes several times and includes a forest, boulders, and a couple of river crossings making the hike fun and enjoyable. At the lake you will find ice blue water with the snow covered Enchantments as the backdrop. This hike is also close to Leavenworth so it’s a great opportunity to check out the town and get a taste of the culture there!
Snow Lake: This hike is located in Mt. Rainier National Park and we actually did this one in early July when the snow cleared. This hike is a short one at 2.5 miles and 610 ft elevation gain but unbelievably beautiful! You are also allowed to camp here at the lake with a permit.
Mt. Constitution: Mt. Constitution is located on Orcas Island in Moran State Park. This trip requires a bit of planning because you do have to take a ferry over but it is an incredible experience if you have a few days to spend here. The hike is 6.7 miles roundtrip with 1500 ft elevation gain and from the lookout at the top you have a 360 degree view displaying Canada, Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier and even the Olympic Mountain range.
Blanca Lake: This was certainly one of the most challenging and most rewarding hikes we’ve ever done. This hike ended up being about 10 miles round trip because the road to the trailhead is closed and that adds on two miles to get to the trailhead and two miles back to the car at the end. The elevation gain is 3300 feet giving the hike a more difficult rating. The views were so worth the climb and it was surreal to see the robin egg colored water. It felt like we were in another country!
Sauk Mountain: This is the hike for you if you want spectacular views throughout the entire trail and are looking for a relatively short and steady climb. It is 4.2 miles roundrip and 1200 ft elevation gain. We had views of the Cascade and Baker mountain ranges and were surrounded by wildflowers. The summit is the perfect spot to have a picnic and view Sauk Lake below.
Thunder Knob Trail: Thunder Knob Trail is located in the North Cascades National park and has the most stunning views of Diablo Lake. This hike is 3.6 miles roundtrip with 635 ft elevation gain. The hike begins in a forest and then as you get to the top you are surrounded by snow covered mountains and can look down at the beautiful Diablo Lake. We would suggest getting an early start on this trail as it does get more crowded during mid morning and afternoon. The trailhead is located across from Colonial Creek campground where we stayed to get an early start on this hike.