It looks like you’re going to have to start planning your spring and summer hiking wishlist a bit early this year since winter seems to have passed us by. With all the sunshine we’ve had, this backpacker certainly isn’t complaining! There’s a lifetime of hiking in Washington, so this guide for where to hike in 2015 in the Snoqualmie Pass region should give you a foot hold on one place to start. Get planning and get out there!

Ira Springs Memorial Trail – Mason Lake

6.5 miles roundtrip

Where to Hike in 2015

This hike is a bit of a thigh-buster, gaining 2420 feet of elevation in just over three miles, but is well-worth the work out. The trail begins by switchbacking through lush forest before emerging onto a sunny ridge. Hike to Mason Lake on a clear day, and you’ll get views of Mount Rainier, the Olympics and the South Cascades. Once you dip down to Mason itself, enjoy the afternoon on the banks of a pristine alpine lake, sunning on the rocks around the edges. There are multiple tent spots for camping up at Mason Lake, but the trail gets busy during the weekends during the summer. Make sure to get out there this spring while the trail will still feel secluded!

Where to Hike in 2015

 

Snow Lake

7.2 miles roundtrip

Where to Hike in 2015

I’ve heard the route to Snow Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness referred to as a wilderness “superhighway,” and for good reason – the trail receives a flood of visitors during the peak hiking season of May through September. However, if you go during the shoulder season, you can find some piece and some of the best views around. Snow Lake is a stunning hike along talus slopes and under beautiful foliage. When you get your first peek of the lake at about three miles in, you’ll understand why this hike is so popular – Snow Lake is a true gem. Meander your way down to the lake shore and spend the day taking it all in.

 

Mount Si

8.o miles roundtrip

Where to Hike in 2015

The hike up to Mount Si is a Washington classic. Every year, people from flock from Seattle for the punishing four mile, 3150 feet journey to the top. Here, it’s all about the views. At about 4000 feet of elevation, the summit of Mount Si will give you near-360-degree views of the Cascades to the north and south. Pack your camera and try and catch the trail on a weekday to miss the crowds.

Where to Hike in 2015

 

Annette Lake

7.5 miles roundtrip

Where to Hike in 2015
Photo by John Brink wta.org

On this trail, you’ll pass Douglas firs, wildflowers, and waterfalls, all on your way to a stunning alpine lake – sounds pretty great, right? You’ll also get mountain views and a place to camp once you arrive at the lake, all for just a little over three miles in and 1400 ft of elevation gain. Make sure to pack a lunch and relax at the lake to enjoy this spring and summer hike to its fullest.

 

Pratt Lake Trail – Granite Mountain

8.6 miles roundtrip

Where to Hike in 2015
Photo by laffertyryan Flickr.com

You’ll have to earn your views on this hike – but you’ll be glad you did, as views abound at the top of Granite Mountain. Be careful hiking Granite Mountain early in the season when there’s still snow on the trail, as there is a potential avalanche danger just before the junction to Granite Mountain Trail. You’ll hike past – and over – large granite boulders on your way up to the top. Look out for the views to your south if you’re hiking on a clear day. Catch your breath at the summit, and take it all in!

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