Ashland Lakes: A short, sweet trail. This trail off the Mountain Loop would be great for kids. There are probably still even some nice, ripe berries to munch on. Read about it here.
Tonga Ridge: This is an easy hike off U.S. 2. It starts high and stays high. The only steep section of note is at the beginning. It's a nice ramble along a ridgetop. On clear days, the view is lovely. You can wander for as long or short a time as you like. If you feel like a dip, Fisher Lake is a nice place for a swim. I've heard the trail is busy on weekends, but I've only hiked it on a weekday when we didn't see another soul. Read about it here.
Hidden Lake Peaks: You'll have to work for this one, but it's worth it. It's off the recently reopened Cascade River Road, which is along the North Cascades Highway. Roundtrip is 9 miles and you'll climb more than 3,000 feet. You'll get stunning views and a fun fire lookout. Read about it here. Read about a scramble route here.
Barclay Lake: This is a super easy hike. It's nearly flat and only about 4 miles long. Perfect for all ages. It's off U.S. 2. Read about it here.
Monte Cristo: The fascinating old mining town is still accessible. Eventually, work to clean up the area will close the area temporarily. This hike is off the Mountain Loop Highway. Read about it here.
Surprise Lake: This is a steep hike to a gorgeous lake. If it's a warm day, you won't be able to resist jumping in. The hike is off U.S. 2. Read about it here.
Goat Lake: This is one of my favorite hikes. It's long, more than 10 miles, but it's not hard. I love that you can make it into a loop. I like to take the upper trail on the way up and the lower trail on the way down. It's off the Mountain Loop Highway. Read about it here.
Lake Dorothy: This is a quick trip. It's only three miles, so it's good for bringing along kids. You'll enjoy some great waterfalls on this trip, too. This trail is off U.S. 2. Read about it here.
Most recent Explore NW posts
- Q&A: How photographer created stunning image of the Enchantments Oct. 7
- How to help rescuers see you if you're lost at night Oct. 5
- Mount Dickerman and six other trails to hike right now Oct. 4
- For Bothell backpacker, Pacific Crest Trail is a multi-year adventure Sep. 28
- 9 days of wilderness and backpacking on the PCT Sep. 27
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.