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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).
January – Find expertly groomed ski trails on Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, and the Methow Valley.
FebruaryLake Wenatchee Nordic Trails, White Pass , Leavenworth Nordic and Rainier Tahoma 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.


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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.
June – Explore the Olympic Peninsula beaches and low-land forest trails.  With arguably the best state campground in Washington you won’t be disappointed at the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse to Lighthouse loop.



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.
September – Summer/Early Fall Trails make the most of dry long days with often perfect hiking temperatures in the North Cascades.  Cross a rugged dramatic section of the North American Alps on the ultra classic Ptarmigan Traverse.

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).



OctoberEnchantments Traverse make the annual pilgramige in fall with Larch turning color, no bugs and the possibility of cool clear days to soak it all in.
November – A great time to explore urban trails and the top 10 Seattle Park Trails.

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Dangerous exposure requiring proper training of alpine rope systems, route-finding and mountain navigational abilities.

Mount BakerMount Hood
Mount Rainier, DC Route
Mount Stuart Full North Ridge
Mount Sloan West Face
The Brothers

Best of the NW® provides general information and links for the topics of hiking, trail running and mountaineering. By providing this information, we do not assume any liability for the use of this information by our readers. The activities described on this web site are potentially dangerous in potentially dangerous environments.  You could be injured by falling, or things falling on you, changing weather conditions etc.  Each person participating in these activities needs to understand the risks involved, obtain the necessary training and take the needed precautions.
As a reader, you recognize this, assume all risks of property damage, personal injury and death, and agree to hold Best of the NW® harmless from any liability as a result of your use of the information provided in these pages.

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