Taking a Step Outdoors

Author: Emily Kargl

Summer is in full swing here in Seattle. With the lack of AC and the almost unbearable heat indoors, why not embrace the warm weather and go outside? Growing up in the Cascade foothills, I took the accessibility of nature for granted - hiking trails just minutes away and an abundance of forests to explore. Now living downtown, it can be hard to take a step back from the bustling city life and enjoy all of the natural beauty Washington has to offer. But even while balancing a busy schedule, the weekends are an excellent time to get some fresh air and soak up those sunrays.

My favorite outdoor activity - especially during the summer months - is hiking. Washington is home to over 3,500 hikes; the perfect playground for an outdoor enthusiast. And other than clearing your mind by being surrounded by nature, hiking is an intense cardio workout, as well. On the Washington Trails Association website (see references below), users can browse thousands of hikes ranging in mileage, scenery, and intensity. Here are five hikes I recommend you try this summer:

  1. Rachel Lake: Located in the Snoqualmie Region, this hike is 8.0 miles roundtrip and ends with a cool dip into an Alpine Lake!

  2. Snow Lake: Another frequently visited Alpine Lake in the Snoqualmie Region, this hike is 7.2 miles roundtrip.

  3. Twin Falls: At just 2.6 miles roundtrip, this hike is great for families with young children, and dog friendly.

  4. Rattlesnake Ledge: At 4.0 miles roundtrip, this popular hike boosts stunning views from the ledge overlooking Rattlesnake Lake and beyond.

  5. Hidden Lake: Located in the North Cascades National Park, the trail is 8.0 miles roundtrip and winds through lush forest scenery and meadows.

Now just pick a hike, venture outdoors and get started!