One of the best parts of living in Western Washington is that well-kept trailheads are easily found. A day spent out hiking in the spring and summer, is a day well spent. While 10-15 mile hikes are not ideal for young kids or unexperienced folks, 5 mile hikes can make for a fun family outing. Here are 5 hikes in Western Washington that are under 5 miles roundtrip.
Rattlesnake Ridge, Snoqualmie Region, 4.0 miles
Rattlesnake is a highly populated trail for understandable reasons. The trail is well maintained, and the view at the top is breathtaking. On a clear day your view consists of the turquoise lake with hills upon hills in the background. This is a great hike to do with a group of people as the trail is fairly wide. This is also a pet friendly hike, so your furry friends can enjoy being outside too.
Naches Peak Loop, Mt. Rainier Area, 3.2 miles
At 3.2 miles round trip and a 600 ft elevation gain, you can enjoy majestic views of Mt. Rainier in a fairly open trail. If you hit this trail late July you will hike past an abundance of huckleberries and wildflowers. You’ll also pass a quiet lake where you may be tempted to take off your boots and cool off. Make sure to stop at Alpine Meadows to snap a family photo. Many hikers feel area is the highlight of the loop with stunning views of Mt. Rainier.
Franklin Falls, Snoqualmie Region, 2.0 miles
New to hiking or merely looking for a simple day hike with an outstanding destination? Franklin Falls is for you. This hike is 1 mile in and 1 mile back with a 400 ft elevation gain. This is the perfect introduction hike for folks of any age. The trailhead weaves in and out of tree covered areas, so the hike is nice and cool on a warm day. The waterfall at the end is the perfect photo op for your hiking crew.
Oyster Dome, Puget Sound & Islands, 5.0 miles
This hike is known for its numerous switchbacks through a Douglas Fir forest. The trail is fairly thin, so keep children and pets away from the edge as the drop off is unforgiving. The view at the top of the trail is an incredible view of Orcas Island, Vancouver Island, and the Olympic Mountains. Even on cloudy days the view is stunning as you see the peaks of the islands and mountains in the distance.
Little Si, Snoqualmie Region, 4.7 miles
Little Si is the little brother to Mt. Si. At 4.7 miles and at 1300 ft elevation gain, this hike is still somewhat challenging for new hikers. At the top of the trail head you get a picturesque view of North Bend and the side of companion Mt. Si. You’ll also see a plethora of trees lining the side of Mt. Si. Many folks use this trail to increase cardio and train for various events. Since this mountain is near the city, you’ll find the trailhead busy all year round.
Hiking doesn’t always have to be long and strenuous. Sometimes hiking is about getting outside with good company. Consider these 5 hikes under 5 miles in Western Washington the next time you want to explore a new trailhead and witness an incredible end view.