Best Trails by Season - Best of the Northwest Best of the Northwest

best trails by season

Western Washington, hiking, skiing, Best of the NW year-round trails.

A Year of Best of the NW Family-Friendly Trails

There is something unique and special to experience in every season in Western Washington.

Best of the NW strives to encourage a youthful spirit of exploration, and fitness exploring these treasures year-round.

trails year round


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.

Week 1:  Ski – Hyak/Crystal Springs       New Years Run/Event – Polar Bear run
Week 2:  Ski – Cabin Creek
Week 3:  Ski – Lake Easton Nordic
Week 4:  Ski – Snoqualmie Nordic   Event – Snoqualmie Loppet


Week 5:  Ski – Stevens Pass Nordic
Week 6: Ski – Winthrop Community Trail
Week 7: Ski – Lake Wenatchee Snopark  Event – Moose Loppet
Week 8: Ski – Icicle River Leavenworth


Week 9: Ski – White Pass
Week 10: Hike – Spencer Island Natural Wildlife Reserve
Week 11: Hike – Meadowdale County Park
Week 12: Hike – Preston-Snoqualmie Trail / Oxbow Farm


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.


Week 13: Hike – Ebey’s Landing
Week 14: Hike – Deception Pass Trails
Week 15: Hike – Useless Bay Tidelands
Week 16: Sail – Port of Everett Gray Whale Watching or Hike Theler Wetlands


Week 17: Hike – Mud Mountain Rim Trail
Week 18: Hike –  Poo Poo Point
Week 19: Hike – Rattlesnake Ledge
Week 20: Hike – Blake Island


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.


Week 21: Hike – Cape Disappointment Lighthouse to Lighthouse Loop
Week 22: Hike – Cape Alava Ozette Triangle
Week 23: Hike – Shi Shi Beach / Point of the Arches
Week 24: Hike – Dosewallips / Anderson Base Camp


Week 25: Hike – Twin Falls
Week 26: Hike – Ira Spring Trail / Mason Lake
Week 27: Hike – Iron Goat Trail
Week 28: Hike – Summerland


Week 29: Hike – Goat Lake
Week 30: Hike – Blue Lake
Week 31: Hike – Lake Dorothy
Week 32: Hike – Evergreen Lookout


Week 33: Hike – Pete Lake
Week 34: Hike – Wallace Falls
Week 35: Hike – Lake Serene
Week 36: Hike – Green Mountain Viewpoint, Kitsap Pennisula


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).


Week 37: Hike – Coal Creek Park Trail
Week 38: Hike – Bare Mountain
Week 39: Hike – Greenwater Lakes
Week 40: Hike – Boulder River Trail


Week 41: Hike – Discovery Park Trail
Week 42: Hike – Seward Park Trail
Week 43: Hike – Elliot Bay Trail
Week 44: Hike – Carkeek Park Trail


Week 45: Hike – Point Defiance Loop
Week 46: Hike – Mercer Slough
Week 47: Hike – Tolt River Park Trail
Week 48: Hike – Spencer Island Wildlife Reserve


• Seattle-based Mountaineers offer activities and adventures for families and kids.

Backpacking with Kids Blog.

• Washington Trails Association’s list of hikes for kids in the Seattle Area.

Our family completed all hikes in the Beyond Mount Si Guidebook.  See trail videos of the Beyond Mount Si Challenge here.

We completed all hikes in the 60 hikes within 60 miles Seattle Guidebook.  See links to trial videos of the 60 in 60 Seattle Challenge here.

We have done over 80 hikes in the Best Hikes with Kids Western Washington & the Cascades guide and counting.

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