Where and How to Hike in Washington State
It’s wonderful to live in a state with such breathtaking wilderness and plenty of destinations hikers of every skill level can enjoy.
Just be sure you have cheap healthcare insurance that will protect you and your loved ones in case of an accident. Then you can hit the trails of the Evergreen State this fall knowing you are covered.
Top Hiking Destinations in Washington State
Mount Rainier (Various Trails)
Mount Ranier is a whole mountain full of outdoor activities for the avid hiker. Rainier National Forest features about 230 miles of trails for all skill levels and welcomes around two million visitors a year.
The good news for Washington residents is that most visitors come during summer. In the fall, the crowds thin out, but the beauty remains.
You should also know that autumn high temperatures are in the crisp 40s and 50s Fahrenheit. That might be cooler than the temps in your lower-altitude Washington city or town, so dress for it. Also, the snow starts flying in late October, and it’s a virtual winter wonderland until mid-summer.
Proper attire includes waterproof hiking boots and layered clothing. That means wearing a jacket or light coat with a sweater or sweatshirt under it. When you dress in layers, you can pull them off if you work up a sweat.
You have quite a selection of routes and trails here, including some that are only a few miles duration.
If nothing else, you can tell your friends you hiked Rattlesnake Ridge. But don’t worry. The name comes from the lake, which, we’re going to assume, has to do with its shape rather than its reptile population.
As far as hiking trails go, this one is only 5.3 miles to the top of the ridge and back. Even for kids, it’s a relatively easy traipse. The reward is the view of Mount Washington and Mount Si in the distance.
The Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is just 30 minutes from Bellevue and less than an hour from Seattle, near North Bend, Washington.
Heather — Maple Pass Loop
The seven-mile loop hike in the North Cascades National Park is a bit more challenging than our last selection. In addition to being a little longer than the Rattlesnake Ridge hike, there’s a 2,000-foot elevation gain. So, yeah, you might breathe a little heavier, but it’s a great workout as long as you’re in shape for it.
You’ll see great panoramic views of a crystal-clear lake, jagged mountain peaks, and golden larches, a conifer with foliage that turns golden in the fall. Take pictures!
Mount St. Helens
Some adventurists go hiking in Washington so they can take on Mount St. Helens. Even your geography-challenged friends from out of state have probably heard of Mount St. Helens, due to its volcanic eruption in 1980.
After the legendary volcano, some hikers still think it’s the site of cataclysmic devastation. But what you’ll actually see is a great display of how nature cures itself.
There are approximately 200 miles of trails from which to choose and match your skill level. For instance, the 32-mile Loowit Trail has a 6,000-foot elevation gain and might not be the first choice for amateurs. Especially for those wearing their first pair of hiking boots － but you can set a goal to work your way up to it.
There are other trails of much shorter distance and less difficulty, such as the 30-minute, half-mile Eruption Trail. Do your research and you’ll find a Mount St. Helens trail that’s just right for you.
A Few Final Trip Notes
Wherever you hike, make sure you always tell others precisely where you’re going and when you expect to be back － just in case you run into trouble.
Bring plenty of water, dry foods, and an emergency flare. Make sure all of your phones are fully charged. And carry your health insurance membership cards with you in case you need medical care. You can also find a policy that includes telemedicine benefits for the ultimate convenience.
Find Affordable Health Insurance Before Hitting Those Washington Trails
Hiking in Washington in the autumn after the tourist season has ended is a special pleasure. You’ve got lots of trails and routes in the state to choose from and explore. Just make sure you’re prepared for every challenge. That includes having a cheap healthcare insurance policy.
For that, reach out to your independent healthcare insurance agent at Vern Fonk Insurance. Ask about open enrollment. Call us at (800) 455-8276. You can also get a quick quote online or find a Washington office and agent near you.
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