Although most Western Washington hiking trails generously reward with gorgeous, balsam-scented vistas, they vary richly in character as a result of their unique locations and wayside features. A single trail can progress through several distinct ecosystems, from mossy lowland forest to stony mountain heights. As a companion to other hiking guides, which provide trail information in mostly written form, this site also provides visual snapshots of each trail’s highlights to help you choose one you’re in a mood to hike; for example, shadowy, riverine woodland, sky-topped alpine meadows, venerable old-growth giants, and seasonal wildflowers, as well as any noteworthy curiosities you may find along the way.
Each profile leads with the essential trail details, including location, driving directions, required pass, round-trip distance, and links to other useful resources, followed by a short written description of the trail’s attributes and any tips or suggested precautions. The trail is then profiled in photographs, generally from beginning to end. (For this purpose, the photos are intended more as information than as art and may also portray less attractive trail features where relevant.) The photos are dated to help provide a sense of trail conditions and highlights at specific times of year, although seasonal variations are common. To the extent that featured trailside plants and fungi can be identified with reasonable certainty, their common and species names are included (although they should not be relied upon to determine suitability for consumption).
So, take your own camera — or favorite camera app — and head out, or simply savor nature unencumbered. However you choose to enjoy our wilderness heritage, you are assured an experience as unique as the exceptional landscape that surrounds you.
Feel free to leave questions or notes in the “Comments” section at the bottom of each trail profile page.