When it comes to outdoor adventures, fall is about as good as it gets. With near perfect temperatures and bright orange leaves contrasted against the perfectly blue skies, it's hard not to want to visit the coast for a fall hike.
Autumn is the perfect time to get outdoors for a hike. The coast is bursting with fall colors, the crowds have thinned, the bugs are gone, and there are some amazing lodging rates to boot.
For many, hiking is the perfect way to get outside more, and Washington provides ample opportunity. If you want to get a true feel for the wilds of Washington, look no further than the Washington Coast. From the rain forest to the beach, the Washington Coast has some of the most sought after hiking trails on the West Coast.
Best Fall Hikes
Hall of Mosses
"This is an easy, short hike sprinkled with educational signage and plenty of opportunity to explore some of Washington's gorgeous, lush rainforests.
Be on the lookout for animals, from mighty Roosevelt Elk to banana slugs, and every size in between. Kids will love this loop, and at less than a mile roundtrip, it's a great option for hikers of any age." - Washington Trails Association
"This hike begins at the Rialto Beach parking area. Your trail is the beach itself and the two mile walk to Hole-in-the-Wall is filled with attractions. Look south to the forested James and Little James islands, while waves crash over Gunsight Rock and numerous offshore sea stacks. Heading north on the beach, walk over sand, rock and driftwood.
Along the way, watch for all manner of wildlife: spy whales, sea lions and otters offshore, while a variety of seabirds drift overhead, and eagles perch in the forest upslope. After a mile, cross Ellen Creek; there may be a log crossing, or you may have to get your feet wet. Continue northward, with Hole-in-the-Wall soon coming into view.
If the tide is out, scramble through the rocky arch and explore the adjacent tide pools, teeming with small oceanic critters. If the tide is in, use the overland trail above the arch and take in panoramic views southward over this picturesque scene." - Washington Trails Association
Quinault Loop Trail
"From the trailhead, hike to the right on a section of wheelchair-accessible trail. Pass a colossal Douglas-fir and emerge on a high bank above Willaby Creek. Search the sparkling waters for salmon. Gaze up at the towering forest canopy for eagle nests. Then turn right and begin hiking under a canopy of ancient emerald giants: Sitka spruces, western red cedars, and western hemlocks that were mere saplings when Christopher Columbus set sail for the Americas." - Washington Trails Association
Now that you know where to go you need to know what to bring. Every hiker needs to pack the essentials which includes the following:
- A topography map, compass, or GPS so that you can find your way back to your car.
- Extra food because hiking burns a lot of calroies; extra clothing because the weather can change; and a fire starter or matches because you'll need a way to create heat in a worst-case scenario situation.
- Finally, you'll want to include sun protection, pocket knife, flash light, first-aid kit for the obvious reasons.
A fall hike along the Washington Coast is a great weekend excursion from Seattle. With its windswept and wild beaches, the natural beauty of the Washington Coast provides the backdrop to some of the best day hikes in the region.