Regional Guide

Hiking - Southern Cascades

For the ultimate backpacking adventure in Mount Rainier National Park, take on the 93-mile Wonderland Trail—a 14-day commitment that circles the mountain. Break it up for a great weekend trip.

Though often overshadowed (literally and figuratively) by northern neighbor Mount Rainier, the 12,276-foot volcano Mount Adams offers equally good hiking opportunities. Try the Killen Creek to Muddy Meadows loop, with a detour on the Highline Trail.

With 250 miles of high-country trails running through the William O. Douglas Wilderness, it's hard to decide where to start. Try the crest-hopping American Ridge Trail—at 26 miles, it's the longest continuous hike in the region.

Though the steep trail to the summit gains 3,800 feet in just four miles, Granite Mountain rewards hardy hikers with sweeping alpine views. Located within Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, the peak is less than an hour's drive from Seattle.

For a serious long-distance trek, check out the Pacific Crest Trail. A rugged, loner counterpart of the Appalachian Trail, the PCT stretches all the way from Mexico to Canada. Within Washington, the trail is pristine and challenging—hikers should prepare for serious solitude and numerous altitude changes.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 9 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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