Wild and Wonderful Hikes in Washington State
Posted September 26th 2016 in Latest News, News and Updates,
Washington State in the Pacific Northwest is home to millions of acres of wilderness, wildlife, coastline, mountains and forests. It’s packed with options for gentle strolls with the family to serious hikes, many with exceptional wildlife viewing and natural wonders. Here are a few ideas from a walk through bearded moss covered rainforests, to Ice and Fire hikes up one of the world’s most iconic volcanoes, or head to the island that Wanderlust Magazine rated the best place to see Bald Eagles in the USA… the San Juan islands…
Spotting Bald Eagles on the San Juan Islands. This is one of the best places in the USA to see the highest concentration of Bald Eagles with over 125 nesting pairs and many hiking trails will access great views and wildlife. Whilst there spot Orca whales, porpoises, Ospreys, Golden eagles and Peregrine falcons. Mount Constitution has 38 miles of hiking trails for all levels;
Take the Clipper catamaran from Seattle http://www.clippervacations.com/packages/san-juan-islands/ from $87.50 (accommodation packages also available from Clipper Vacations). http://www.visitsanjuans.com/.
The Olympic National Park has the largest wild herd of Roosevelt elk in the USA with some 5000 roaming free. Take an easy stroll through the bearded mosses drooping lazily over the branches of the Hoh Rainforest – the 0.8 mile magical Hall of Mosses Trail through a setting reminiscent of Lord of the Rings – spot elk here or anywhere across the meadows and forests, or just inland from the long Pacific beaches. https://www.nps.gov/olym/siteindex.htm
The Olympic Loop is part of the Great Washington State Birding Trail featuring trails all over the Olympic National Park, to see Tufted Puffin, Sooty Grouse and Marbled Murrelet amongst hundreds of species. Download details of the trail that spans from the quiet Nisqually River through moss draped forests to Cape Flattery http://wa.audubon.org/node4211/olympic-loop
Skyscraper Pass, Mount Rainier National Park is an 8 mile round trip hike circling the 4,300 metre mountain famous for its 27 glaciers and views of Mount St Helens volcano. Get there by car in around 2.5 hours from Seattle. Enjoy a short hike (one hour) to an old growth forest in the Grove of the Patriarchs accessible by the suspension bridge that crosses the glacial-fed Ohanapecosh River. http://visitrainier.com/grove-of-the-patriarchs-2/
Harry’s Ridge at Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument was named after an old boy who refused to leave his home when Mount St Helens was erupting in 1980. The hike offers great views of the still smoking and alive volcano that created of the biggest landslide in USA modern history. This 8 mile round trip shows how vegetation, water and life has returned to this once hot blistered mountain. http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/harrys-ridge
Just 30 minutes from Seattle head to Cedar River Trail. Bus accessible from Seattle there are multiple access points from Lake Washington to Maple Valley. This former railway line is a good family outing for anyone wanting to head out of the city to enjoy forests, flowers and easy hiking. http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/seasonal-hikes/regional/hikes-30-minutes-from-seattle
These and many other hikes are detailed at the Washington Trails Association http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes
Seattle is a city where art and nature meet and foodie’s fantasies come true. The ocean backcloth is the Olympic Peninsula National Park mountains and beautiful islands where whale watching and boating or kayaking experiences await. Washington State has over 900 wineries offering tasting experiences, three national parks (Mt. Rainier/Olympic/North Cascades), mountain ranges and rainforests of bearded mossy, massive girthed trees. It’s a state of spectacular contrasts and great fly-drive holidays with a choice of direct non-stop daily flights into Seattle’s SeaTac International airport with Delta Air Lines (Virgin Atlantic from March 2017) or British Airways.
See www.Seattle-WashingtonState.co.uk for information on Seattle and Washington State.