Northwest Washington Hiking Trails with Amazing Views

Reward yourself with tranquil lakes, snowcapped peaks, and sweeping shorelines on these popular hiking trails.

From shorter treks with minimal elevation to strenuous excursions, these hikes all have one thing in common – a fantastic view. All mileage and elevation stats are from the Washington Trails Association.

When hiking in Washington, please take care to recreate responsibly and minimize impacts to the environment by disposing of waste properly, staying on trails, respecting wildlife, and other Leave no Trace principles.

Heather - Maple Pass Loop

Spring through fall, this loop hike boasts spectacular changing colors, from brightly colored wildflowers in summer to golden larches come autumn. The trail traverses above Lake Ann, offering picture-perfect views. Note: In winter, Highway 20 closes for the season.

Elevation gain: 2,000 feet

Round trip: 7.2 miles

Trailhead coordinates: 48.5162, -120.7354 (North Cascades off Highway 20)

Winchester Mountain

In under 2 miles, hikers will take in lake views and craggy peaks on the way to a fire lookout built in 1935. So, what's the catch? The road to the trailhead is rough and full of potholes, so a high-clearance vehicle is a must.

Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet

Round trip: 3.4 miles

Trailhead coordinates: 48.9526, -121.6358 (Mount Baker Wilderness near Glacier)

Discovery Park Loop Trail

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

Elevation gain: Minimal

Round trip: 2.8 miles

Trailhead Coordinates: 47.6576, -122.4065 (Seattle)

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 view is one of the finest in the Cascades. The steep terrain and lingering snow can cause sections to become slippery, and the road to the trailhead closes during the winter. Be sure to check trail reports and weather conditions before heading out.

Elevation gain: 2,200 feet

Round trip: 5.4 miles

Trailhead coordinates: 48.0702, -121.8147 (North Cascades)

Oyster Dome

This well-known hike outside Bellingham is famous for its sweeping island views. Although hikers can begin from Chuckanut Drive, starting at the Samish Overlook reduces the length and eliminates many switchbacks. It's a bit of a rough road to get there, but you’ll start and end the hike with fantastic views.

Elevation gain: 1,050

Round trip: 5 miles

Trailhead coordinates (from the Samish Overlook parking lot): 48.6096, -122.4264 (Bellingham area)

Poo Poo Point Trail

Leading to one of West Tiger Mountain’s 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: 1,748 feet

Round trip: 7.2 miles

Trailhead coordinates: 47.5246, -122.0261 (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. At the lake, take in the cliffs of Mount Index, which tower 3,000 feet above the water. This trail is incredibly popular, especially in the summer, so plan to arrive early or aim to go during the week.

Elevation gain: 2,000 feet

Round trip: 7.2 miles to Lake Serene, 8.2 with Bridal Veil Falls detour

Trailhead coordinates: 47.8090, -121.5738 (Index area)

Mailbox Peak

This thigh-burning hike goes straight up, but the payoff is worth it. Bring poles, pack water, and rest often. At the top, sign the summit register inside the battered metal mailbox and take in sweeping views of the Middle Fork Valley, Mount Rainier, and other peaks. This is another popular trail where it pays to arrive as early as possible or visit during the week.

Elevation gain: 4,000 feet

Round trip: 9.4 miles

Location: 47.4675, -121.6748 (North Bend area)