Washington state offers an amazing array of hiking options for all hikers. Regardless of your hiking experience, there is a breathtaking hike for you in Washington. Hikes in town and state parks, through different mountain ranges, and on lower grounds located on its many islands abound throughout the state.
Continue reading for things that you should know before you go hiking in Washington. Then, lace up your boots and let’s go hiking!
Respect the Land
The beauty of Washington state is probably one of the reasons that you enjoy hiking. For everyone to have the same opportunities, each hiker needs to respect the land. Part of hiking etiquette is to leave all the trails that you hiked better than you found them. That means removing any trash that you generated while hiking from the trails. Be sure to pack a trash bag so you can easily pack your refuse and dispose of it properly.
Understand the Weather
From the sea level hikes to the peaks of the mountains, Washington’s weather can change dramatically and quickly. Temperatures can range in one area by more than thirty degrees throughout the day. Before you head out on your hike, be sure to check the weather. Dress in layers; be sure to have a backpack so that you can carry your belongings.
Remember the higher the altitude, the greater the chance of snow. However, with Washington’s location on the Pacific coast, the snowpack and ice are not always stable. Take necessary precautions as you approach snowy and icy terrains.
Follow safety protocols as you plan your hike. Access to reliable cell service can be a challenge on some mountain ranges. Before you embark on your hike, leave detailed information about the trails you will hike.
In your backpack, add a first aid kit – just in case. Also include sufficient water and snacks to avoid dehydration. The water in the streams is not always potable, so you will need to have your own.
It can be quite a distance to drive to hiking locations. When you pass gas stations, be sure to stop and top off your tank.
State and Local Regulations
Since Washington state is so well known for its incredible hiking trails and parks, they draw many visitors each year. To help control the flow of hikers and ensure access to the trails, some of the more popular sites require permits. You can make your reservations online for the trails that do ask you to have a permit. Other areas have limited parking, so a parking pass is needed.
To avoid disappointment, check online before you head out for your hike. You do not want to arrive at your hiking destination and find that it is closed to additional visitors. If you will need lodging, be sure to make reservations in advance.
Remember that hikers are sharing the land with others. Depending on the time of the year that you go hiking, you may be in the same area as hunters.
Explore more of Washington state by accessing its many trails. The beauty of each trail changes with the seasons. Visit often!