25 Stunning Winter Hikes in Washington | All Dog-Friendly Hikes

Winter Hikes in Washington
Gold Creek Pond

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Winter hiking can be a bit more prep work beforehand, however, it can still be just as fun! Utilizing the Washington Trails Association (“WTA”) and AllTrails are two great ways to check what the trail statuses are for each hike. A pro tip for AllTrails: Download the map while you still have service/wifi before stepping off. This way if you don’t carry a hard copy of a map, you have a downloaded one on your phone. Keep scrolling for 25 beautiful hikes!

25 Stunning Winter Hikes in Washington

1. Gold Creek Pond
– Distance: 1.2 miles
– Difficulty: Easy (recommend microspikes or snowshoes)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

2. Mt. Si
– Distance: 7.9 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate (recommend microspikes)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: Discover Pass

3. Rattlesnake Ledge
– Distance: 5.3 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate (recommend microspikes later in the season)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

4. Oyster Dome
– Distance: 4.7 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate/Hard (microspikes recommended later in the season)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

Oyster Dome

5. Artist Point
– Distance: 3.9 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate (snowshoes recommended)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

6. Heybrook Lookout
– Distance: 1.9 miles
– Difficulty: Easy
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

7. Snow Lake
– Distance: 6.7 miles
– Difficulty: Hard (microspikes or snowshoes recommended)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

8. Lake 22
– Distance: 5.9 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

9. Wallace Falls
– Distance: 4.9 miles
– Difficulty: Easy
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: Discover Pass

10. Poo Poo Point
– Distance: 6.6 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate (microspikes recommended late in the season)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

11. Little Si
– Distance: 3.6 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate (recommend microspikes late in the season)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: Discover Pass

12. Lime Kiln Point State Park
– Distance: 4.7 miles
– Difficulty: Easy
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: Discover Pass

13. Washington Park Loop
– Distance: 2.3 miles
– Difficulty: Easy
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

Lime Kiln State Park

14. Boulder River
– Distance: 8.1 miles
– Difficulty: Easy
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

15. Winchester Mountain Trail
– Distance: 3.5 miles
– Difficulty: Hard
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

16. Anette Lake Trail
– Distance: 7.0 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate (microspikes recommended)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

17. Heather Lake Trail
– Distance: 5.4 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate (recommend microspikes)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

18. Three Summits Loop
– Distance: 8.6 miles
– Difficulty: Hard (recommend microspikes)
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

19. High Hut Snowshoe Trail
– Distance: 7.9 miles
– Difficulty: Moderate (recommend microspikes or snowshoes)
– Dog-friendly: Yes – NOT allowed in buildings though
– Pass Required: No

Winter hikes in Washington
High Hut

20. Sugarloaf Mountain
– Distance: 4.7 miles
– Difficulty: Easy
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

21. Hidden Lake Lookout
– Distance: 8.7 miles
– Difficulty: Hard
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

22. Skyline Lake
– Distance: 2.5 miles
– Difficulty: Easy
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

23. June Lake
– Distance: 2.5 miles
– Difficulty: Easy
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: No

24. Nisqually Vista Snowshoe Trail
– Distance: 1.1 mile
– Difficulty: Easy
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: National Park Pass

25. Mailbox Peak
– Distance: 7.7 miles
– Difficulty: Hard
– Dog-friendly: Yes
– Pass Required: Discover Pass

I Chose my Hike…Now What?

Once you have decided where to hike in the winter in Washington. The next steps will be prepping what to wear, what to pack, and if you’re bringing a pup…making sure that they are set too!

Winter hikes in Washington
Washington Park Loop

What to Wear:

Layering will be your best friend while exploring Washington in the winter. It can get a bit wet, so I always recommend having layers that are waterproof, warm, and easy to take off or add.

Some of my personal favorites are:
❄️ Rain Jacket: REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket – Women’s
Why I love it: More affordable, fun colors, breathable, lightweight

❄️ Beanie: Carhartt Cuffed Beanie
Why I love it: A Carhartt beanie that fits all and is great for any chilly adventure. Keeps your head toasty.

❄️ Boots: Danner Mountain 600 Leaf GORE-TEX Hiking Boots – Women’s
Why I love: Warm boots with GORE-TEX and great traction. Also perfect to wear around town.

❄️ Down Jacket: Marmot Highlander Down Jacket – Women’s
Why I love it: One of my favorite cold weather jackets, easily packs into itself and is lightweight

❄️ Pants: Trailhead Pants – Coalatree
Why I love it: Wind, water, and snow resistant. I wore these pants for 10 days in Iceland and they were perfect. (Finding pants that fit larger legs and a smaller waist has always been a hardship for me, these pants are rad and have the perfect fit!)

❄️ Bibs: Flylow Foxy Bib Pants – Women’s
Why I love it: Best bibs ever, comfortable, chest pocket, fit an athletic body type

❄️ Gloves: Outdoor Research Arete II GORE-TEX Gloves – Women’s
Why I love it: OR makes great gear, these are warm with GORE-TEX and I never have to worry about my hands getting cold

❄️ Socks: Darn Tough – Women’s
Why I love it: Last a long time, great for warm & cold weather

What to Pack:

Women’s Osprey Hikelite 28 is a comfortable backpack that can fit everything you would need on a day hike or a quick snowshoe adventure!

Best items to pack in your bag:
– 10 Essentials (navigation, headlamp, sun protection, first aid, knife, fire, shelter, extra food, extra water, extra clothes)
Women’s Revo™ Explore Snowshoes
– Extra Battery Bank for Phone
Microspikes (I always have these in my pack just in case)
Women’s Trail Trekking Poles (I bring these on almost every single hike I do)

Winter hikes in Washington
Artist Point

How to Stay Safe

Winter hiking in Washington is beautiful and an overall amazing time. BUT – it does require a bit more research than other times of the year. It is critical to understand the weather, snow conditions, roads, and trails prior to stepping off.

The Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) will list mountain forecasts, avalanches, and other observations. Not only can you check the weather on this site, but there are also resources for learning virtually and in person how to navigate avalanches.

Vehicle Type to Access Trailhead

For the majority of trailheads in the winter, I would recommend an AWD or 4WD vehicle. If you need to drive over one of the passes in Washington, you will need chains as well depending on the vehicle. I wouldn’t recommend testing the limits of your vehicle on some of these trails, and many do not have service.

How to Prepare Your Pup

Now that we have the human part covered, let’s focus on our furry friends!

Some dogs are built for the snow, and well, some dogs (like mine) are not. Before the hike I always make sure he is bundled up, hydrated, and ready to go. Dogs typically love to run around in the snow and create their own fun, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t end up in any lakes or rivers is important. Snow can also get compact between their toes or on the underside of their bellies.

Items I recommend for pups:
🐶 Mushers Secret Dog Paw Wax
🐶 Carhartt Dog Vest – Water Repellent
🐶 Poop bags
🐶 Collapsible bowls for water/food
🐶 Treats
🐶 Booties (I typically use Mushers no matter what just because my dog ends up running out of every boot I buy him)

Winter hikes in Washington
Little Si

25 Stunning Winter Hikes in Washington Continued

Growing up in Washington, I have spent a lot of time outdoors…and I say this because I have had a lot of #fail moments.

Here are my top 3 tips for winter hiking in Washington:

➡️ Tip 1: If you put a little bit of Gatorade in your camelback, it will take longer to freeze

➡️ Tip 2: Keep extra clothes and shoes in the car just in case you get wet that way you have something warm to change into

➡️ Tip 3: If you bring a pup, bring extra towels/blankets for your dog to dry off and lay on

➡️ Tip 4: Always tell a loved one where you are hiking and how long you expect to be gone


Happy Trails,
Mindful PNW Travels


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