The pacific northwest is home to some of the worlds most beautiful landscapes. With gorgeous mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes, and lush forests hiking in the PNW is the perfect summer excursion. There is no better time than the summer to enjoy the shining sun, colorful flowers, and crisp air of the pacific northwest. That’s why we’ve put together a few locations with various lengths and difficulties to check off your summer bucket list.
Alpine Lakes - WA
This popular wilderness area spans the Central Cascades of Washington and is located in parts of Wenachee National Forest and Snowqualmie Natural Forest. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness features some of the most rugged topography in the Cascade Range with high peaks and ridges, deep glacial valleys, and granite walls. Geological occurrences many years ago created the diverse elevation changes making the Alpine Lakes an ideal hiking location for many visitors.
Oregon Badlands - OR
The Oregon Badlands holds plenty of remarkable landforms and geologic structures. Most of the area includes the rugged Badlands volcano with abundant volcanic lava beds located across the area. Soils in the Badlands were largely formed from ash associated with Mt. Mazma, which is now known as Crater Lake. Yellow bellied marmots, prarie falcons, and antelope call this land home. Over fifty miles of possible trail offers the visitor many opportunities for solitude and hiking.
Devil’s Staircase - OR
Within the heart of Oregon’s natural rainforests, lies the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness. This location is so remote and secluded it has become the region’s last remaining old-growth forest. The area is named after a rarely seen waterfall – The Devil’s Staircase. This waterfall is nestled in the difficult-to-reach Wassen Creek area. It is not recommended to hike the Devil’s Staircase alone since it’s a very rigorous hike with no trail.
Goat Lake - ID
The trek to Goat Lake begins at Iron Creek Trailhead in the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains. Along the trail are Goat Falls which is located along Goat Creek and flows into Goat Lake. Although somewhat strenuous, the widespread views and wildflowers will keep you captivated for the approximate 4.0 mile hike. This Alpine lake is a popular hike in the Sawtooth Recreation area and gains about 1,615 feet in elevation.
Salmo-Priest Wilderness - WA
If you’re on a mission to see wildlife, there is no better place to spot them then the Salmo – Priest Loop. In this remote area, cougars, moose, wolves, and even grizzly bears have been spotted here. This wilderness is the largest virgin forest left in eastern Washington. To really take in all the views, allow yourself plenty of time to explore – many camp overnight to experience all the area has to offer.
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