Washington Hiking Trails with Amazing Views

Tranquil lakes, snowcapped peaks and sweeping shorelines are the visual rewards for ramblers on these popular Washington hiking trails.

From sneaker-clad strolls to crampons-required climbs, there’s a trail—and a view—for everyone.

Discovery Park Loop Trail

Seattle’s largest park serves up a dramatic range of sights: dense forest groves, wildflower-filled meadows, glimpses of the Olympics and the Cascades and sand dunes perfect for sunset-watching. Off the trail, the rocky north and sandy south beaches feature prime tide pools.

Elevation gain: Minimal

Round trip: 2.8 miles

Location: 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle

Snow Lake Trail

Droves of hikers flock to this well-traveled trail to enjoy picturesque views of Snow Lake and craggy mountain peaks. Fall brings an infusion of color, while winter months stay true to the lake’s name.

Elevation gain: 1,300 feet

Round trip: 8 miles

Location: Snoqualmie Pass, near exit 52 off of I-90

Poo Poo Point Trail

Leading to one of the Tiger Mountain summits, this old railway path offers blooming wildflowers, berry-laden bushes and peeks of Squak Mountain. Take a seat on grassy Poo Poo Point to watch paragliders launch into the air.

Elevation gain: 1,650 feet

Round trip: 7.4 miles

Location: 700 Second Ave SE, Issaquah

Lake Serene & Bridal Veil Falls

Trek up this densely forested trail to two stunning sights: Lake Serene—nestled at the base of Mount Index—and Bridal Veil Falls, a cascade of seasonal snowmelt.

Elevation gain: 2,000 feet

Round trip: 7.2 miles

Location: Stevens Pass, near milepost 35 (Mount Index Rd) on Hwy 2

Lund’s Gulch

This urban hike in Edmonds is a local favorite. Its fern-lined trail winds down a lush ravine, alongside a creek, under a railroad overpass and out to a Puget Sound beach for supreme views of Whidbey Island and the Olympics.

Elevation gain: Minimal

Round trip: 2.5 miles

Location: 6026 156th St SW, Edmonds

Mount Pilchuck

This popular trail winds through a mature forest, snakes toward the summit and ends with a 100-foot boulder scramble up to a restored fire lookout. The 360-degree panorama is one of the finest in the Cascades. Come prepared—lingering snow and slippery sections can challenge less experienced hikers.

Elevation gain: 2,200 feet

Round trip: 5.4 miles

Location: Cascade Mountains: From Granite Falls, drive east on Mountain Loop Hwy, turn right onto Forest Service Rd 42 and continue seven miles to the trailhead.

Mailbox Peak

This thigh-burning hike goes straight up, but sweeping views of Middle Fork Valley, the Issaquah Alps and Mount Si are the picture-perfect payoff. Bring poles, pack water and rest often. At the top, sign the summit register inside the battered metal mailbox and pat yourself on the back.

Elevation gain: 4,100 feet

Round trip: 6 miles

Location: Snoqualmie Pass, near exit 34 on I-90


About the Author

Angela Cabotaje