December – As the snow falls in the mountains take advantage of the expertly groomed nordic trails in Western Washington. Winter Trails (Nordic Skiing, Back-country skiing, low-land beach and forest trails).
March – Forest hikes with fascinating history will delight the whole family.
Lakes and streams freeze over in the high-country. Rain turns to snow and the woods begin the annual transformation from greens to whites. Many trails that were easy passage in the summer become entirely different contours under feet of snow. Skis become the ideal mode of pedestrian transport over this new mountain canvas.
The islands are wonderful in springtime. With higher elevations still shrouded in snow the low land coastal and seaside hikes are a great warm up for a summer on the trials. Having more of the trails to yourself is another benefit of hiking the seaside in the spring. Not to mention shorter ferry wait times than in mid-summer. So what are you waiting for? If the clouds part it is sure to be spectacular, if not the islands offer an unmatched peacefulness even in blustery weather. The trails await.
April – Shoulder Season Trails (low-land beach and forest trails). This is a perfect time of year for low-land seaside and coastal trails. Whidbey Island Deception Pass Trails and Ebeys Landing are spectacular favorites.
May – Hike or bike the foothill Snoqualmie Falls Preston Trail and exlpore farms along the waterways.
July – As higher elevation trails clear from snow melt explore Cascade summits on Snoqualmie Pass and the Mountain Loop Highway.
August – The Alpine Lakes are hard to beat in summer time. This classic Necklace Valley loop connects 17 swimable lakes within 27.5 miles.
This is quite literally “peak” hiking time in Western Washington and the Cascades. Snow melting in the high-country opens more passageways to mountain meadows, roaring waterfalls and peaks. Places otherwise inaccessible become easier to get to. It is a short window for some of the most spectacular high routes spanning from mid-July to September.
This can be a particularly nice season to squeeze in the last of the high/long trails before the weather snaps. Cooler temps, less crowds fall colors, still low snow level are all great reasons to take advantage of trails in the fall. Shoulder Season Trails (high-land until cold snap, low-land beach and forest trails when wet, awaiting snow coverage for winter trails).
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