The Best Spring Hikes near Seattle

Spring is a long season in the Seattle area, starting sometime in late February or early March in the lowlands near the Salish Sea (Puget Sound) until the end of June in the nearby Cascade and Olympic Mountains. As the days get longer and warmer, it’s a great time to get out and enjoy some of the wonderful spring hikes near Seattle!

To enjoy spring hiking in the Seattle area, it’s important to be ready for any kind of changing weather, high and fast moving creeks and rivers and snow in the mountains. Many of our high elevation big view hikes are still covered in feet of snow until mid July, but that’s ok because we make up for it with epic waterfalls, sunny wildflower landscapes in eastern Washington and peaceful forests and beaches.

The Washington Trails Association trip reports are a wonderful resource all year, but especially in the spring. The trip reports will help you know where there is and isn’t snow as well as any winter storm damage that may be present. Trip reports will usually help you know how epic the mud is, which is definitely a factor this time of year.

This hiking guide to spring hikes near Seattle focuses on hikes that are particularly wonderful in March through May.

Related: What to wear for a hike in the Pacific Northwest, What to bring for a hike in the Pacific Northwest

Teneriffe Falls – North Bend

Looking up from the base of a steep waterfall with water and spray coming down a steep rock face. There are rocks and trees surrounding it
  • Location: North Bend, just a couple miles past the Mt Si Trailhead
  • Best Month: May and June (March and April are also good, though there will be a lot of water and mud to navigate on the trail
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: Teneriffe Falls is a stunning waterfall, one of my favorite waterfalls in Washington! It’s much less well known than some other amazing (but super crowded) waterfalls like Wallace Falls and Twin Falls. It is also far less crowded than Mt Si. There are beautiful foxglove flowers here in late May and June and all through the spring their is a ton of water in this waterfall. This trail connects up to several other hiking trails between Mt Teneriffe and Mt Si.
  • Length: 6 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 1500 feet
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Margaret’s Way Trail – North Bend

Mt Rainier in the distance across a valley on a sunny day. It is framed by evergreen trees in the foreground from the Margaret's way trail, one of the best snow free spring hikes near seattle
Mt Rainier from Debbie’s View at the end of the Margaret’s Way Trail
  • Location: Between Issaquah, Bellevue and Renton
  • Best Month: Fantastic all year, including all spring!
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: A gorgeous forest hike to a wonderful view of Mt Rainier, Margaret’s Way has the feel of being an epic hike while still being very close to town. As the forest starts to green up in the spring, you’ll be treated to wildflowers, new growth and bird song along the way. This area around Squak Mountain, Tiger Mountain and Cougar Mountain is also popular for trail running. You can connect to other hiking trails on Squak Mountain if you want to go farther.
  • Length: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1500 feet
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Franklin Falls – Snoqualmie Pass

Franklin Falls in winter with only a bit of ice and snow around it. The waterfall is plunging over a vertical cliff. A hiker is taking a photo of the waterfall wearing a wool hat and a red jacket
  • Location: Just west of Snoqualmie Pass
  • Best Month: Anytime in the spring, but be ready for a bit of snow!
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: Franklin Falls is super popular and insanely crowded in the summer when it’s a short and fairly easy hike one mile to the waterfall. In winter, the longer hike reduces some of the crowds. The challenge in spring is that you don’t know when the road to the trailhead will open and whether you’ll have the short or long route. Learn more about your options for getting to Franklin Falls here. However you get there, this impressive waterfall will be crashing with water all spring (and all year! This is also a wonder
  • Length: 2, 4 or 8 miles round trip depending on where you start and if the road to the trailhead is open
  • Elevation Gain: Up to 400 feet
  • Passes Needed: Northwest Forest Pass if starting at summer trailhead, none if starting from Snoqualmie Summit
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Cherry Creek Falls – Duvall

At the end of the Cherry Creek Falls hike is gorgeous Cherry Creek Falls. It has two sides that plunge over a rock into a pool below. The waterfall is surrounded by evergreen trees and ferns.
  • Location: Duvall, in Eastern King County between Redmond and Monroe
  • Best Month: This is a wonderful year round hike, any time in the spring is awesome (I recommend rubber boots as there is a creek crossing at the end)
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: A beautiful forest walk to a photogenic waterfall slipping into a calm pool, Cherry Creek Falls is a wonderful year round hike. Like all waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest, it’s at it’s best in spring! There is also a weird old car stuck in a tree that’s entertaining to see.
  • Length: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 500 feet
  • Passes Needed: None. Pay attention and follow the parking signs along the street
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Ebey’s Landing – Whidbey Island

A sandy spit on the beach encircles a lagoon. It is seen from above from a grassy hillside on a Whidbey Island hike. There is blue calm water stretching away into the distance on a sunny blue sky day
View from the bluff at Ebey’s Landing over Admiralty Inlet toward Vancouver Island
  • Location: The west side of Whidbey Island, near the town of Coupeville
  • Best Month: This is a fantastic year round hike – any month in spring will be wonderful
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: Ebey’s Landing is one of my favorite hikes in Washington State. It has views, eagles, beach, forest and it’s mellow. It’s a loop trail and I like to go along the bluff before dropping down to return on the beach. If you prefer to stay on trail instead of beach, you can go out and back on the bluff instead. Keep your eyes out for eagles in the trees and soaring above and below you and seals in the water when you’re on the beach. Spectacular sunsets here.
  • Length: 5.5 mile loop trail
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Mount Finlayson – San Juan Island

An excellent spring hike near Seattle, the Mt Finlayson trail on San Juan Island. The trail is wide, like an abandoned road, and crosses a grassy field between a forest and the water below.
Views abound on the Mt Finlayson hike
  • Location: San Juan Island National Historical Park, San Juan Island, near Friday Harbor
  • Best Month: This is a wonderful hike all year! Any month is perfect, though it helps to have a sunny day to see the view
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: Mt Finlayson is a mellow loop hike that has views, water, forest and beach on a quiet setting in the San Juan Islands. Never crowded, this is a place to take your time and soak it up! Calling it a mountain is definitely an exaggeration of this couple hundred foot hill, but it’s island setting makes the view incredible.
  • Length: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 400 feet
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Robinson Canyon – Ellensburg

  • Location: Near Ellensburg at the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area
  • Best Month: May – this area is closed for the winter until May 1st to protect elk
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: Sunny, warm days on the dry side of the state, more open forests, early season wildflowers and solitude are the big attractions in Robinson Canyon!
  • Length: Up to 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: Up to 1000 feet
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Cowiche Canyon – Yakima

A perfect spring hike near seattle, Cowiche canyon is rocky and full of dry grass and bright yellow wildflowers
  • Location: Cowiche Canyon Conservancy Land, Yakima
  • Best Month: Late April and early May – for wildflowers! This is a wonderful hike year round and often has warm sunny weather starting in March
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: First of all, at Cowiche Canyon you can hike to a winery! You can start at either end of the canyon and then follow the winery trail up the side of the canyon through the vineyard to the winery to enjoy your picnic with some wine tasting! Similar to other parts of Central Washington, days can be sunny and warm starting in March. The wildflowers are gorgeous in late April and early May.
  • Length: Up to 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: Up to 200 feet
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Ancient Lakes – Central Washington

  • Location: Near the town of Quincy and the Gorge Amphitheater
  • Best Month: March and April – there is no shade here or drinking water and it can get quite hot starting in May! It’s cold at night and in the mornings in the spring so bring warm layers even on a warm day.
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: A beautiful exploration of ice age floods, desert landscapes and water in late winter and early spring, this hike gives the gift of a unique landscape. On the sunny side of the Cascade Mountains, days are often warm and sunny in the spring, a welcome relief after a long winter. Early season backpacking is an option here, though you must bring all your own water. It can be a bit tricky to navigate the different trailheads but you can learn more about the hike here.
  • Length: Up to 12 miles
  • Elevation Gain: Up to 650 feet
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Hanford Reach – Eastern Washington

The Columbia River at Hanford Reach, a section of bluffs and an island in the river. There are distant brown hills and the sun is getting low on a sunny day.
  • Location: A hour north of Richland, in Eastern Washington in Hanford Reach National Monument
  • Best Month: Similar to Ancient Lakes, there is no shade or water so March and April are wonderful, with warm days but not too much heat yet.
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: Spectacular views, spring wildflowers, fun sand dunes to play on and the opportunity to see the last free flowing section of the Columbia River make Hanford Reach an amazing spring hike and fully worth the three hour drive from Seattle.
  • Length: Up to 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: Up to 500 feet
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: No, dogs are not allowed in Hanford Reach National Monument

Lena Lake – Olympic Peninsula

An alpine lake on a foggy day surrounded by forested hills
Lena Lake
  • Location: Eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula, near Hood Canal and Highway 101.
  • Best Month: This hike is usually snow free all year, but by March it will definitely be snow free. The closer you get to summer, the busier and sunnier it gets!
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: Lena Lake is an alpine lake that is snow free by spring, Lena Lake is crowded and popular in the summer but slightly less so in the spring. Don’t expect solitude, but do expect a beautiful forest, a gorgeous lake and early season wildflowers!
  • Length: 7.5 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 1300 feet
  • Passes Needed: Northwest Forest Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Rialto Beach – Olympic National Park

A large hole in a rock on the beach in Olympic National Park. Tidepools are under the arch and distant islands can be seen in the ocean in the distance
Hole-in-the-Wall at low tide
  • Location: Pacific Coast of Olympic National Park, near the town of La Push. It’s not actually close to Seattle (4-5 hours away), but it’s awesome.
  • Best Month: All year! The most important thing is to do this hike at low tide.
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: This wonderful beach hike leads you to the amazing tidepools at Hole-in-the-Wall making it an especially great place to go with kids. There are also amazing sunsets here.
  • Length: 4 miles round trip to Hole-in-the-Wall
  • Elevation Gain: None
  • Passes Needed: Olympic National Park entrance fee ($30 per car)
  • Dogs Allowed: No

Hoh Rainforest – Olympic National Park

The Hoh Rainforest is a perfect spring hike. There are giant old trees covered in moss and ferns below. On a sunny day the sun struggles to get through the canopy to the forest floor
  • Location: The Hoh Rainforest is not close to Seattle! But it’s awesome, and perfect for spring. It is about half an hour from the town of Forks in Olympic National Park.
  • Best Month: March through June (although it’s a good year round destination)
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: The Hoh is an iconic temperate rainforest, famous around the world for it’s gigantic old growth trees and draping moss. Spring is a great time to visit, when winter storms have passed but summer crowds have not yet arrive. Be ready for rain and mud!
  • Length: Up to 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal
  • Passes Needed: Olympic National Park Entrance fee ($30 per vehicle)
  • Dogs Allowed: No

Carbon River Trail – Mt Rainier National Park

A waterfall tumbles down through an evergreen forest full of moss and ferns near the Carbon River Trail. About halfway down, the waterfall splits into two falls.
Ranger Falls in the Carbon River Valley
  • Location: The Carbon River Valley is the closest part of Mt Rainier National Park to Seattle, but most people have never heard of it! It’s in the northwest corner of the park, south of the town of Buckley.
  • Best Month: April and May (although it’s open all year, the waterfalls are epic in spring)
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: This gorgeous and impressive old growth forest is exactly the kind of other worldly forest you think of when you think of the Pacific Northwest. Add that to the relatively short drive from Seattle (compared to other parts of Mt Rainier) and the roaring spring waterfalls, it’s just about perfect.
  • Length: Up to 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: Up to 1500 feet
  • Passes Needed: Mt Rainier National Park Entrance fee ($30 per vehicle)
  • Dogs Allowed: No

Spring Snowshoeing at Mt Rainier National Park

A large snow covered mountain behind forested hills. A partially frozen lake in the foreground
  • Location: Paradise at Mt Rainier National Park
  • Best Month: March through May is fantastic for snowshoeing at Mt Rainier
  • Why it’s one of the best spring hikes near Seattle: This is not exactly a traditional spring hike, but it’s really fun to snowshoe at Mt Rainier in the spring. Longer, sunnier days yield awesome views and the snow is still super deep. Sometimes the snowshoeing here lasts into June! Don’t forget your sunscreen if you go.
  • Length: As long or short as you want!
  • Elevation Gain: As much or little as you want!
  • Passes Needed: Mt Rainier National Park entrance fee ($30 per vehicle)
  • Dogs Allowed: No
Bright yellow wildflowers with green leaves in a grassy hillside. There are rocky canyon sides in the background. Text reads: Gorgeous spring hikes near seattle
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Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite who lived in Alaska for 7 years. I've been a tour guide in both Alaska and Washington and I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you along on the journey to experience your best low key adventure in Washington, Alaska and Western Canada!