There are few recreational activities that are more fun and beneficial to kids than going for a hike. Hiking allows you to get your kids out in the great outdoors, get some fresh air, get some exercise, and see some things that they might never otherwise get to see. Washington state has some great hiking areas for experts as well as experienced hikers. It also has plenty of hikes out there that are perfect for the entire family.
Hidden Lake is appropriately named as it is hidden away on a ridge on the south side of Lake Wenatchee. Your hike will take you through a heavily forested area with a lot to see. It is only a half mile in to the end of the trail and the treat you get is a very nice high mountain lake. This is a beautiful picnic area and if you are brave enough to face the cold water, a swim could be the perfect way to make the entire hike a memorable event.
Franklin Falls is located on Snoqualmie Pass, has an elevation gain of just 100 feet, and to do the whole thing is about a two mile round trip. You and the kids will both love that it ends with a big payoff though when you are treated to a view of Franklin Falls. The path is easy to navigate and a fun time will be had by all.
Ebey’s Landing is located on Whidbey Island and is a gorgeous little area that is a secret to many travelers. There are two different hikes here, you can do a two mile round trip to the beach and back or a 3.5 mile loop. The views here are great with the island, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the snow capped mountains all visible. Parents and kids both love this easy and rewarding hike.
Ancient Lakes is the name given to a collection of small lakes located just west of Quincy in Central Washington. You reach the trail head along the Columbia River and enter on an old four wheel drive road. This main road leads all the way through the area with other side trails branching off in both directions. Trails to the immediate left lead into a small canyon which is home to three to five lakes early in the season, in addition to a waterfall. With its rocky canyon walls and abundant sagebrush, Ancient Lakes is an exceptional example of Eastern Washington hiking.
Beacon Rock is located within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and is found just east of the city of Vancouver, Washington. The trail to Beacon Rock includes 600 feet of elevation gain which might be a little much for smaller kids, isn’t too bad. The trail is rocky but has a railing for most of the way. The payoff though is Beacon Rock itself. The views from the top are awesome.