Enjoy Washington hiking with these special tips and hidden gems. Our state has many wonderful hiking trails that will leave you breathless – sometimes literally, but mostly figuratively. Here are a few of our favorite day hikes in our area!
Colchuk Lake. This is the jewel, in our opinion, of the high Cascade Lakes. Round trip about 8.5 miles, elevation gain about 2200 feet. Surrounded by austere granite mountain faces and glaciers, Colchuk gleams a luminescent glacial blue. Good workout, some folks don't make it.
Stuart Lake. A 9 mile round trip to Stuart Lake, nestled below famous Mount Stuart. Walk through a great meadow, home to lots of critters. 1700 feet elevation gain.
Eight Mile Lake. A sweet little 6.6 mile hike to a lake surrounded by Cascade peaks. Elevation gain is only 1300 feet. This can be done in an afternoon and is a favorite trail run.
Nason Ridge. This is an up and back ridge hike high above Lake Wenatchee with great views of the Cascades. One view point in particular is, I think, one of the most dramatic in the Cascades. To the fire lookout it is a 10 mile round-trip, gaining 2500 feet.
Spider Meadow. Although this trailhead is about an hour from the inn, north of Lake Wenatchee, Spider Meadow is worth the drive especially in the fall. Great colors, no people. It is longer at 14 miles round trip, but the altitude gain is only 1800 over a fast 7 miles. Fly coming down!
Ski Hill Ridge. Great local hike or trail run. Map below. This is one great workout with an incredibly stiff climb for the first half about an hour if you're walking, 35 minutes on a trail run. After you hit the high point, it is a cruising walk/run along the crest of the rim between Freund Canyon and the Ski Hill area. After you get done hating the climb, you'll fall in love with this trail again and again!
Sauer Mountain. East of Leavenworth, above the hills of Peshastin, Mr. Sauer put in a trail across his land and onto National Forest land, then up to "his" mountain. Elevation gain is a stiff 1950, round trip about 6 miles. Plan to hang out at the top for a bit. You will certainly want your camera, and as a special treat you get to write a nice note to Mr. Sauer at the top. He has a "Guest Book" in a jar for those who make it! Click below for a printable map.