From late spring through summer, national parks in Washington state are a riot of color. After the dark, snowy winter, the sunny, temperate weather brings out the hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and plenty of wildflowers. Some of the best views and hikes are only 2 hours from Seattle. Choose your direction: north toward Bellingham and the Canadian Border or south past Olympia, the state capital toward Mt. Rainier
Hikes in Mt. Rainier National Park.
Reflection Lakes– (Paradise) Visitors come for the iconic view of Mt. Rainier reflected in the lake. The abundant, colorful wildflowers are an added bonus.
Skyline Trail– (Paradise) Although this is a more strenuous hike, it offers lots of scenic viewpoints as well as vast meadows filled with flowers.
To get to Paradise, head south on I-5 from Seattle to Exit 127, SR 512 E. At SR 7, head south to Elbe then take SR 706 E to Ashford.
Berkley Park– Hike the flower filled meadows to Sourdough Ridge. Once there, turn left and follow signs.
Dege Peak– This hike also heads up to Sourdough Ridge, but one you reach the ridge, turn right and hike down a flower lined path. This is a great hike for kids.
To get to Sunrise, take I-5 S to Exit 142B. Take SR 18 E to SR 164 E to SR 410 in Enumclaw. From here take SR 410 E toward Mt. Rainier. Continue to the White River Entrance to the park.
Mt Baker/ Snoqualmie National Forest
North of Seattle, Mt Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest offers one of the best wildflower hikes in the state. Head north on I-5 from Seattle toward Bellingham. From Bellingham take the Mount Baker Scenic Highway SR 542.
Skyline Divide– This trail offers miles of wildflower filled meadows as well as great views of Mt.Baker. Good for experienced hikers.
Church Mountain Trail – This is an easier hike, good for kids who have hiked before. After a climb through mature forest, hike through colorful meadows with views of Mt. Baker.
Heather Meadows– This area is easily accessed from the Mt. Baker Highway. Stop at the Visitors Center and get information on a variety of hiking trails in the area. Heather Meadows is located on the eastern end of the highway, about 23 miles from Glacier, WA.
Wildflowers you may see: Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, Western
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