Written by our rad team member, Jessica Dastous and Amanda Winther
The Seven Summer Essentials: The Best Summer Trails in Washington State
If you are someone who loves the outdoors as much as I do, you are definitely going to love this book to all the best hikes in Washington state. I’ve been dreaming up this resource for some time now and I am SO EXCITED (yes all caps needed) to share my all time favorite hikes that I find myself repeating; the hikes that never let me down, with you! They range in level of difficulty, length and of course incredible views, there is truly something for everyone.
This book is packed full of tips and tricks I’ve learned from hiking what is now literally thousands of miles across the Pacific Northwest, exploring all the most popular and lesser known trails both in my free time and with my adventure elopement couples. I’m sharing literally everything you’ll need to (and want to!) know about each of my top seven hikes, the best in Washington state! Plus I’ve included packing lists, how to think about weather, wildlife to look out for, snacks (umm.. priorities am I right?!), general tips and tricks, and even a list of my go-to resources for hiking in Washington. Keep scrolling and you find a discount code, just for you at the end of this article!
Why I Wrote a Book on the Best Hikes in Washington State
As Between the Pine has grown, I constantly get questions like “what hike is this?” or messages like “Mollie, I’m coming to Washington for a week in July, where should I go?!” And while I’ve wanted to respond to each of these questions and messages personally (and with LOTS of details), it’s not feasible. And, that’s exactly why I created this book.
My hope is that no matter what ability or experience level, you will be able to find an incredible hike that helps you get outside to explore a new place (and maybe even challenges you a little), which is exactly why I created this guide to help you explore the best hikes in Washington state.
How to Use Seven Summer Essentials Hiking Book
The best way to use this book is to start with the trail distance (aka total mileage) and total elevation, which is why I put those details right at the top! Ask yourself if you have the capacity to hike that distance right now. If not, maybe save that hike for later in the season. Total elevation is another important thing to consider. I provided both the total feet gained, as well as an approximate number of flights of stairs you’ll be climbing. Generally, the more feet (or flights of stairs), the more difficult the hike. Pro tip: Keep in mind that you do not need to do the entire hike! If the trail is an out and back hike (not a loop), you can always start the hike and turn back when you’ve hit your limit for that day.
For those of you looking for an ADA Accessible hike, I did not include any in this book, but I do have a full blog post on ADA Accessible elopement locations that have incredible views, sure to take your breath away!
After you look at the distance and elevation gain, you’ll want to look at the details about getting to the trail. What is the road like to get there? Some of these hikes require 4WD, and/or high clearance vehicles to get to the trailhead. I’m not one to exaggerate here. If you’ve never driven on forest service roads in Washington or the Pacific Northwest let me tell you that some of our “roads” are gnarly! If I say that 4WD is needed it means you’re going to absolutely want 4wd! Don’t ignore this section! If you try to drive a low clearance vehicle to some of these trailheads you will get stuck (and most likely in a place with no cell phone service.. eeek!).
Okay, now that’s out of the way, my final recommendation for using this book is to let yourself be inspired!! Read through everything in this book. Definitely don’t skip the “extra tips and tricks.” Use my how to make a trip of it section as a starting point for planning an epic weekend or week long adventure. My greatest wish is for you to use this as a guide to get yourself out in the mountains to places so beautiful and mind blowing words cannot even truly describe them.
What’s Included in This Book
(along with the seven best hikes in Washington state!)
In this book, not only am I sharing the best hikes in Washington state, but I’m also including my top items to pack while hiking, how to think about weather in the Pacific Northwest, what wildlife you may encounter on the trails, my absolute favorite wildflowers and of course snacks (you thought I’d forget about those?! Definitely not!).
I’m also a huge advocate for Leave No Trace while visiting these incredible places and included a section that will help you leave these places better than when you arrived! If you haven’t heard about Leave No Trace, allow me to nerd out for a bit about why I love it so much. Leave No Trace is a set of principles (or ethics) developed by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics that helps us minimize our impact on the outdoors so that we can honor the outdoors and enjoy pristine nature for many more years to come. How rad is that? Even cooler, is that they built the Seven Principles (aka their guidelines to follow) around science and research. All of my adventure elopements are planned around Leave No Trace and for those of you looking to plan your own dream day you can learn how to incorporate Leave No Trace into your best day ever!
For each of the hikes I’ve included specific details about my top seven hidden gem locations. Below is the information you’ll find for every hike:
Loop or out and back
Best time of year
Directions + coordinates
permits or passes needed
If it is dog friendly
What’s the road to get there like
Description of the hike
Mollie’s tips and tricks
Photos of the hike
Map of route
Mollie’s favorite part
How to make a trip of it
Last, but certainly not least I’ve packed my Seven Summer Essentials book with all of my favorite resources. Some of these resources you may have read or even used before, like each of my Washington National Park guides, from Olympic National Park to North Cascades and even Mount Rainier, all of which are included in this book. In addition to resources I’ve created, I’m also including all of the resources I use before heading out on the trails! These are super helpful when checking trail conditions, weather and more.
I’m so stoked to share my Seven Summer Essentials book, filled with all the best hikes in Washington state and I hope you’re just as excited to get out on these incredible trails! If you’re ready to start hiking, use the code: BESTHIKES to take $5 off your purchase!
Ready to explore more elopements, weddings and adventures? Wander away below!
Between the Pine is an adventure elopement and wedding photography brand created by Mollie Adams. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Mollie travels with her camera in hand to document “I dos” in epic landscapes including Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.