Hit the trail! Day hikes around the Sound and across the state

When it's sweltering outside, nothing refreshes like nature's A/C -- a cool, majestic forest. Lucky for us, they're all over the place around here.

July 30, 2020
Couple hiking in the forest

Kerkez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

We don't have a ton of vacation options these days. Most of us aren't stoked about mixing and mingling with strangers, let alone getting on a plane. We're stuck in our non-air-conditioned houses making the best of summer.

My advice: Get out of the house and take a hike.

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You don't have to be a world-class explorer with tons of high-tech gear to take advantage of the dozens and dozens of trails around here. Some are flat and easy, and some steep and challenging, and lots of them wind through cool, majestic forests where nature's air conditioning keeps everything fresh.

A great place to start is this recent Seattle Met story, Best Washington Hikes.

For an easy first try, they suggest a 2.5-mile round-trip hike on the Coal Creek Falls Trail near Issaquah. It's flat, it's rugged, and it's short if you're hesitant to get too ambitious at first.

At Denny Creek Trail just off I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass, you'll probably encounter a fair number of other hikers, but if you bring a bathing suit you'll be able to zip down a natural water slide and check out a couple of breathtaking waterfalls.

For an island adventure, Whidbey Island's Ebey's Landing Bluff Trail is a moderately difficult 5.6-mile hike that delivers what its name suggests -- as Seattle Met describes it, "Walk across golden bluffs that tower above the surf of the Puget Sound, then wander along a beautiful beach for views of snow-capped Olympic Mountains."

You have options out Highway 2, over on the Olympic Peninsula, and around Mount Rainier, if you're up for more of a road trip. 

Check with the Washington Trails Association to make sure your chosen trail is actually open right now -- some, like the fun and scenic Rattlesnake Ledge Trail, are closed right now due to COVID-19.

And the Seattle Met article links to this very important list of Ten Essentials you should have with you when attempting any kind of hike.

Stay safe, bring a face mask, and happy hiking!