Late fall in Washington offers a unique hiking experience with colorful foliage, fewer crowds, and the possibility of snow-covered landscapes. In this article, we'll explore the top 10 trails in the state for November and December hiking adventures.
1. Olympic National Park: Sol Duc Falls (Easy)
The Sol Duc Falls trail in Olympic National Park offers a picturesque late fall hike through a lush rainforest. Enjoy the vibrant fall colors and the stunning Sol Duc Falls as the trail meanders through moss-covered trees.
2. Mount Rainier National Park: Skyline Trail (Moderate)
Late fall is a fantastic time to explore the Skyline Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. As the fall foliage combines with the first snowfalls, this iconic trail offers breathtaking views of Mount Rainier.
3. North Cascades National Park: Blue Lake Trail (Moderate)
The Blue Lake Trail in North Cascades National Park is a must-visit in late fall. The deep blue waters of Blue Lake set against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks and vibrant fall foliage create a stunning scene.
4. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest: Artist Point (Moderate)
Artist Point in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is a late fall wonderland. As the area gets its first snowfall, the landscape transforms into a winter wonderland with vibrant fall colors still visible. Be sure to bring warm clothes and snowshoes.
5. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest: Lake Ingalls (Hard)
Late fall hiking to Lake Ingalls in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest provides a beautiful combination of fall colors and snow-covered terrain. The lake is surrounded by jagged peaks, offering a striking view.
6. Columbia River Gorge: Multnomah Falls (Moderate)
Hiking to Multnomah Falls in late fall offers a different perspective of the iconic waterfall. The trail is less crowded, and the fall colors add an extra layer of beauty to the gorge.
7. Spokane: Iller Creek Conservation Area (Moderate)
The Iller Creek Conservation Area in Spokane provides a serene late fall hiking experience. Explore the well-maintained trails and enjoy the sound of flowing water in this scenic area.
8. Eastern Washington: Umatilla Rock Trail (Easy)
Late fall hiking on the Umatilla Rock Trail in eastern Washington offers a unique desert landscape with colorful foliage and distant mountain views.
9. Kitsap Peninsula: Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve (Easy)
Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve on the Kitsap Peninsula is a late fall gem. The diverse landscapes, including forested trails and a scenic beach, provide an enchanting experience.
10. Central Washington: Iron Horse State Park - Twin Falls (Easy/Moderate)
Late fall hiking at Twin Falls in Iron Horse State Park in Central Washington is a family-friendly adventure. The trail takes you to a picturesque waterfall surrounded by colorful foliage.
Late fall hiking in Washington showcases the state's natural beauty in a new light. These top 10 trails offer a diverse range of experiences, from lush rainforests to snow-covered peaks, making late fall a fantastic time for outdoor adventures. Remember to Leave No Trace and be respectful of the trails when exploring these wonderlands.
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