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The Best Outdoor Things to Do in Washington State

Washington is a beautiful state located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for those looking to explore its natural wonders. From hiking in the majestic Cascade Mountains to exploring the stunning coastline, there’s plenty to do and see in Washington. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, here are the best outdoor things to do in Washington State.

Hiking

Washington is home to some of the most beautiful and varied hiking trails in the US. From short and easy strolls to multi-day hikes, there’s something for everyone. The Cascade Mountains offer breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, lush forests, and crystal-clear lakes. The remote Olympic Peninsula provides an unspoiled wilderness for experienced adventurers. There’s also plenty of trails in the Columbia Gorge, Mt Rainier National Park, and around Puget Sound.

For those looking for a challenge, the Pacific Northwest Trail is a 1200-mile hiking route that runs from the Continental Divide in Montana to the Pacific Ocean in Washington. Along the way, you’ll pass through some of the most stunning landscapes in the country, including the North Cascades and Olympic National Park.

No matter which trail you choose, you’ll be sure to find some amazing views and plenty of wildlife. So get out there and explore the great outdoors!

Camping

Camping is a great way to experience the outdoors and take in the beauty of Washington. The state has hundreds of campsites, ranging from primitive tent sites to fully-equipped RV parks. There are also many campgrounds located in national and state parks, allowing you to explore the area without having to worry about finding a place to stay.

If you’re looking for a true wilderness experience, there are plenty of backcountry camping opportunities in Washington. Popular areas include the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Glacier Peak Wilderness, and North Cascades National Park. Just make sure to plan ahead and bring the proper gear for your trip.

So grab your tent and sleeping bag and head out to the woods for a camping adventure!

Kayaking and Canoeing

Washington is a great place for kayaking and canoeing, with countless rivers, lakes, and bays for you to explore. The Columbia River and its tributaries offer a great opportunity to see wildlife and experience the power of the river. The San Juan Islands are a kayaker’s paradise, with plenty of sheltered bays and coves to explore. And the Puget Sound provides a stunning backdrop for a leisurely paddle.

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If you’re looking for a more challenging experience, there are plenty of whitewater rivers in Washington. The White Salmon River is a great option for experienced kayakers, with Class IV rapids and stunning views. Or you can try your luck on the Wenatchee River, which offers more moderate rapids for those looking for a bit of a thrill.

So grab your kayak or canoe and head out on the water for an unforgettable experience!

Fishing

Washington is home to some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. Lakes such as Lake Chelan and Lake Roosevelt offer excellent opportunities to catch a variety of fish, including rainbow trout and largemouth bass. The Columbia River is also a great spot for salmon and steelhead fishing. The Puget Sound is home to a variety of saltwater species, including rockfish, lingcod, and salmon.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, fly fishing is a popular option in Washington. The Yakima River, Methow River, and Spokane River all offer great spots to give fly fishing a try. There are also plenty of expert guides available to help you get started.

So grab your rod and reel and head out for a day of fishing in Washington!

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a great way to explore the outdoors and get some exercise. Washington has plenty of trails for all levels of riders, from easy fire roads to challenging single-track. Popular areas include the Methow Valley, North Cascades National Park, and the Dungeness Wildlife Area.

For more experienced riders, the Cascade Mountains offer some of the most scenic and technical trails in the country. The trails around Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier are especially popular, with stunning views of the mountains and surrounding wilderness.

So grab your bike and hit the trails for an unforgettable mountain biking experience!

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is an exciting and rewarding way to experience the outdoors. Washington has plenty of climbing routes for all skill levels, from easy boulder problems to multi-pitch trad routes. Popular areas include the Index Town Wall, Leavenworth, and Vantage. The North Cascades also offer some great opportunities for sport and trad climbing.

If you’re looking for an even bigger challenge, there are plenty of big walls to explore in Washington. The Liberty Bell in the North Cascades and the Liberty Crack in the Columbia Gorge are both great options for experienced climbers. There are also plenty of experienced guides available to help you out.

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So grab your harness and head out for a day of rock climbing in Washington!

Beachcombing

Washington has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. From the rugged coastline of the Olympic Peninsula to the more sheltered beaches of the San Juan Islands, there’s plenty to explore. Popular spots include Cape Flattery on the Olympic Peninsula, Ocean Shores on the Pacific Coast, and the beaches of the San Juan Islands.

Beachcombing is a great way to explore the coastline and look for interesting rocks, shells, and other treasures. Popular spots include the tide pools of Olympic National Park, the beaches of the San Juan Islands, and the driftwood-lined shores of the Pacific Coast. You never know what you might find when beachcombing, so it’s always an adventure!

So grab your bucket and head out to the beach for a day of beachcombing in Washington!

Bird Watching

Washington is home to a wide variety of bird species, from shorebirds to raptors. Popular birding spots include the Columbia River Gorge, the wetlands of the Olympic Peninsula, and the tide pools of the San Juan Islands. Popular species include bald eagles, ospreys, western meadowlarks, and Northwestern crows.

For a unique experience, you can try your hand at owl-calling. Washington is home to several species of owls, including the Northern Pygmy Owl and the Great Horned Owl. You can learn the calls of these birds and then try your luck at calling them in.

So grab your binoculars and head out for a day of bird watching in Washington!

Wildlife Viewing

Washington is home to a wide variety of wildlife, from black bears to bald eagles. Popular wildlife viewing spots include the wetlands of the Olympic Peninsula, the forests of the Cascade Mountains, and the meadows of the Columbia River Gorge. Keep your eyes peeled, and you may be lucky enough to spot some of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

If you’re looking for a more structured experience, there are plenty of wildlife tours available in Washington. Popular options include whale watching tours in the San Juan Islands and bear viewing tours in the North Cascades. There are also many local outfitters offering guided tours of the area’s wildlife.

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So grab your camera and head out for a day of wildlife viewing in Washington!

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is a great way to experience the outdoors and take in the beauty of Washington. Popular areas include the Methow Valley, the Wenatchee River Valley, and the Columbia River Gorge. There are also several horseback riding outfitters in the state offering guided tours of the area.

For a true cowboy experience, you can try your hand at cattle herding. Many of the state’s ranches offer cattle herding tours, allowing you to experience the life of a real-life cowboy. You’ll get to ride through the stunning landscapes of the state and learn the basics of herding cattle.

So grab your cowboy hat and head out for a day of horseback riding in Washington!

Summary

Washington is a beautiful state full of outdoor activities for everyone. From hiking in the Cascade Mountains to beachcombing on the Pacific Coast, there’s plenty to do and see in Washington. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, make sure to get outside and explore the great outdoors!