Published June 2020
During the height of the pandemic, many parks and trails closed down across Washington. Thankfully, the majority have now reopened to visitors, just in time for National Outdoors Month.
As temperatures increase and the sun begins to peek through the trees, it’s the perfect opportunity to get some exercise and reconnect with loved ones—while keeping a safe distance.
Vacasa’s travel experts hand-selected some of the best off-the-beaten-path destinations and trails in Washington for avid hikers. After all, what better place to enjoy the outdoors than the Evergreen State?
Drumroll, please. Olympic National Park has officially reopened! We’re pretty excited about it. And, it’s a quick drive from oceanside Port Angeles, dubbed “the epicenter of the Olympic Peninsula.” While you’re there, you can go chasing waterfalls—like Marymere Falls and Madison Creek Falls, to name a couple.
Founded in the early 1900s, Cle Elum’s name translates to “swift water,” and for good reason. Just seven miles northwest of town sits Cle Elum Lake, where you can fish, boat, or stretch out on white sandy beaches. Cle Elum is home to some of the best trailheads in the state, including 4.2-mile Baldy Mountain and Davis Peak, which is decidedly more challenging but offers a big payoff—a 360-degree panorama view of more than 10 Cascades peaks.
When you reach Quincy, you might feel like you were suddenly transported to Arizona or New Mexico. A picturesque town along the Columbia River Gorge, Quincy offers plenty of jaw-dropping views and high-desert trails bordered by sagebrush and tucked along rolling hills. Ancient Lakes will undoubtedly get your heart rate up as you explore miles of canyon and lakes.
A stunning Bavarian village surrounded by mountain peaks, Leavenworth has a serious fan base. While Washingtonians flock to Leavenworth for its restaurant and beer scene, you might want to stay just outside of the main drag right now to enjoy its natural beauty in complete solitude. Most trailheads in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest have opened up, including the Enchantments, recommended for only the most experienced and confident adventurers.
A peaceful maritime village near Puget Sound, Gig Harbor is a true hidden gem, with dense forest encircling the downtown and a walkable waterfront. Enjoy the views of Mt. Rainier from nearly every angle in town, and check out dog-friendly woodland trails like McCormick Forest Park Loop that will make you feel like you’re in the Shire.