Winter Hiking In Washington

Winter Hiking In Washington

Washington can be a wonderful place to go hiking during the winter season. There are many beautiful and scenic spots for you to experience during your walk.

If you are fortunate, you might even be able to see this amazing state covered in snow. 

One of the most important things you need to remember when hiking in winter is the weather. Please dress for the weather. This will mean wearing waterproof clothes, thick jackets, sturdy boots, and warm gloves.

It will also benefit you to bring a thermos, which will allow you to celebrate reaching a peak with a deliciously warm drink. Icy conditions will make hiking much more strenuous and potentially dangerous.

Though winters in Washington can be mild, it is still recommended that you bear this in mind. 

Now we will go through some of the best hiking spots in Washington during the winter period. 

Mount Storm King

Located in the Olympic National Park, Mount Storm King offers an amazing sight in the form of Lake Crescent. High up, you will find a rock perch from which you can see this lake. This is a fairly challenging climb, particularly the peak of the mountain which will require the use of ropes. However, the serene views and the walk through a lovely forest will make this hike worth it. 

Though it does not get a huge amount of snow if you are lucky you might get a dusting of it during the winter season. 

Quartz Mountain Lookout

If you are looking for some truly stunning views, this might be the hiking trail for you! Elevated high up, you can experience gorgeous views of the world below from this lookout. This will include a view of Spokane Valley. The trail is just under 3 miles long, making it a decently long walk. 

This lookout is the perfect place to warm yourself up after a long wintery walk. You can rent this lookout throughout the year. 

Franklin Falls

During the majority of the year, Franklin Falls is a nice fall to visit. However, over the winter months, the fall freezes over. This transforms it into a beautiful icy spectacle that is a wonder to behold. With icy formations all over the waterfall, you will be truly amazed by its natural beauty.

One factor to consider is that if there is a lot of snow, this trail might be closed off. If you do manage to visit Franklin falls in winter, remember to wear snowshoes to make your hike easier and to bring a camera to take some pictures of this frozen waterfall. 

Hurricane Ridge 

Another great trail found in the Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge gets lots of snow. If you are searching for a hiking trail with plenty of snow, this will be right up your alley. Indeed, during winter, you can even go snowboarding and skiing here. This trail is believed to get approximately 400 inches of snow each year.  

This is a relatively easy trail to hike, making it ideal for people of all experience levels. During the winter months, it will be open for fewer hours than it is for the rest of the year. Bear this in mind when you are planning your winter vacation. 

Gold Creek Pond

If you want charming scenery, this mountain pond will provide you with an enjoyable hike. During the winter, trees will be dusted with snow. Since it is highly elevated, this spot gets plenty of snow. It is also home to lots of wildlife. 

Many inexperienced snowshoers like to train here. If you are interested in this activity, you should add this to your list of places to visit. 

Heather Lake 

Since it is a moderate trail in terms of difficulty, Heather Lake is suitable for those with less hiking experience. It is a natural beauty spot where romantic walks through tranquil environments can occur. There are plenty of plants to enjoy here if you consider yourself to be a lover of nature. 

Once you get to the top of this trail, you will likely find some snow at the peak during winter. 

Frequently asked questions

How many places to hike are there in Washington?

There are lots of different hiking trails in Washington. In fact, there may even be 700 miles worth of trails. 

Do you need to pay to go hiking in Washington?

Some parks in Washington may require you to pay a small entry fee. For example, you will have to pay to enter the Olympic National Park. 

What are the most challenging hikes in Washington?

Because there are so many different places to hike in Washington, it is difficult to create a definitive list of the hardest hikes. This is particularly true because the difficulty of a trail is subjective, meaning that some people will find it harder than others.

Generally, some of the most challenging hikes include Mount Rainier. Snoqualmie Pass has some difficult peaks, such as Granite Mountain. 

Read this – Winter hiking mistakes you can avoid

What should I bring when I am hiking?

When you are hiking in winter, it is essential that you wear appropriate clothes to protect you from the weather. You should wear a thick waterproof jacket, a hoodie or a fleece, waterproof trousers, hiking boots, and thick socks. It is also a good idea to wear a hat, gloves, and sunglasses.

Though purchasing all of these items may be expensive, they will be necessary for harsh winter environments. 

Aside from this, your equipment should include a large hiking bag, water, a blanket, snacks, trekking poles, rope, and a first aid kit. It is important to bring food and drink with you since these will give you energy.

In winter, feel free to also bring a hot drink with you, preferably in a thermos to keep it hot.

First aid kits can be useful if you have any medical issues during your hike. A blanket will help you keep warm in an emergency. Rope and trekking poles will make summiting difficult peaks much easier.  

Read nextBest Hiking Washington State


Hiking in Washington during the winter months is a wonderful experience. Whether you are a local or a visitor, there are many beautiful sights for you to witness.

However, caution is advised when hiking during the winter period. Ensure that you have the correct equipment with you and that you are traveling through a safe trail. 

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