Hiking in Washington's Cascade Mountains

Discover the Magic and Majesty of Hiking Washington

When a walk through the woods becomes a spiritual experience, you’ll know you’ve discovered the magic of hiking Washington’s Cascade Mountains. Fog gently hanging over high alpine lakes and the moss softly blanketing the forest floor are only the beginning of the fairytale that awaits you. No matter your skill or fitness level, the mountains surrounding the Stevens Pass area are brimming with opportunities for adventure by foot. Check out some of our favorites listed below. So what are you waiting for? Lace up your boots and grab your pack, the mountains are calling, and you must go! Do you want to see what hiking near Stevens Pass is like? Make sure to book your lodging with us for a cozy spot to lay your head after a day of adventuring.

Barclay Lake Trail

Whether you’re looking to overnight camp or a simple day hike, Barclay Lake has what you need. The trail is well-maintained and suitable to children - but also VERY popular, so consider a weekday or early morning hike. Plenty of lakes, rivers, foliage, old growths, and mushrooms of all kinds are there to greet you on this easy trail!

4.4 miles, roundtrip

500 feet elevation gain.

Northwest Forest Pass required

No pets allowed on trail.

Mt. Baring

For the more experienced hikers and climbers, Mt. Baring’s unofficial trail presents quite a challenge. You’ll depart from Barclay Lake’s trailhead for a difficult scramble up the mountain. If you’re looking for a challenge with summit views, Mt. Baring is it!

7.0 miles, roundtrip

3500 feet elevation gain

Northwest Forest Pass required.

No pets allowed on trail. 

Heybrook Ridge Trail

This moderate hike is rather short, making it perfect for a quick morning hike to start the day. Kids will find it easy as pie and love the waterfalls and wildflowers. Pets are allowed on leash to take in the views. Enjoy the hard work of WTA volunteers on this hike accessible near Index at Heybrook Ridge County Park.

3.3 miles, roundtrip

775 feet elevation gain.

No passes required.

Heybrook Lookout

This short and steep hike is a local favorite. The disused fire lookout tower showcases views of Mt. Persis and Mt. Index on clear days and is a fantastic option for those who want to get a nature experience with little time on hand. With the trailhead right off of Highway 2, it’s a convenient stop along the way! Dogs are allowed on leash.

2.6 miles, roundtrip

850 feet elevation gain.

No passes required.

Beckler Peak

This Wild Sky Wilderness trail has some of the best views a hike can offer. You’ll experience multiple summit views on well-maintained and well-constructed trails easy enough for hike-savvy kids and leashed dogs. 

7.6 miles, roundtrip

2240 feet elevation gain.

No passes required.

Trout Lake

This hard hike is more than worth the distance and incline. Bring your leashed pets with you to enjoy some gorgeous old growth trees and a lake that’s perfect for a summertime swim. This hike is a personal favorite of Tree Line Rentals’ manager, Beth!

11.5 miles, roundtrip

2000 feet elevation gain.

Northwest Forest Pass required.

1000 feet Elevation gain

Northwest Forest Pass required

Bridal Veil

Accessible from Mt. Index Road near the town of Index, Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls are sister hikes. This hike is of moderate difficulty with amazing payoffs of massive waterfalls and mountain views. Pets and kids alike will enjoy this summery trail!

4.0 miles, roundtrip

1000 feet Elevation gain

Northwest Forest Pass required

Deception Falls

This hike is a quick stop off of Highway 2 for a nature break. A quick 5 minute walk from the parking section will allow for views of a thunderous waterfall. There’s a half-mile interpretive trail that is optional for extra waterfall action, as well. 

0.5 miles, roundtrip

50 feet Elevation gain.

ADA accessible.

No passes required.

Lake Valhalla

After a drive down a rumbly service road, the trailhead for Lake Valhalla will serve as a gateway to the Pacific Crest Trail. Smithbrook and Stevens Pass both have entries for this trail. The payoff of a gorgeous lake is well worth the moderately hard hike. Berries, wildflowers, waterfalls, and beautiful foliage can be expected on this trail.This hike is a personal favorite of Tree Line Rentals office assistant, Danielle!

7.0 miles, roundtrip

1500 feet Elevation gain

No passes required.

No pets allowed.

Lake Serene

Accessible from Mt. Index Road near the town of Index, Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls are sister hikes. Enjoy yourself far in the wilderness with a moderately hard hike with sights aplenty. Kids more adept in activity will enjoy this difficult hike, and you can bring your furry friends (as long as they’re leashed!). 

8.2 miles, roundtrip

2000 feet Elevation gain

Northwest Forest Pass required.

Greider Lakes Trail Washington

Greider Lakes Trail

A stunning and strenous hike leading up to Little Greider and Big Greider Lakes. Where Little Greider has the better camping, Big Greider has the more impressive landscape. The lake fills the bottom of a talus-lined bowl, with Greider Peak looming largest over the water. Depending on the time of year, snow-fed waterfalls pour down exposed cliff faces and into the lake. The lake’s outlet is clogged with driftwood, creating a great platform for viewing the lake or accessing the far side. The trail ends here, though the berry bushes that line the lakeshore are riddled with worn bootpaths. Find a log to eat lunch on or do some exploring to find a more secluded spot to enjoy the lake.

Wallace Lake Trail Washington

Wallace Lake Trail

Follow the well-defined trail to the falls and when the route splits keep left, follow the trail past a toilet facility and onto the Greg Bail Trail; this is about 2.4 miles from where you started. From here you wind through the gentle hills with towering old growth overhead. In the distance you can catch the vigorous falls crashing on the rocks and keep your eyes peeled for sights of the river through the crevices of timber. You will run into an old road, take a right and follow to Wallace Lake. Trek along the left side of the lake for another half mile to reach a rocky beach where the sun shines directly upon the waterfront and Mount Index lingers above in the skyline. In my opinion this is where the best view is found and therefore the best place to enjoy your surroundings.

Evergreen Lookout Trail Washington

Evergreen Lookout Trail

This trail climbs steeply at first through burn scars of a 1967 fire, but once you enter the Wild Sky Wilderness the trail relaxes and it’s a nice journey from here. Enjoy a short stretch of beautiful old growth trees before leaving the forest and entering alpine meadows. From here you’ll see the lookout high atop the ridge and the views get better with every step you take! Evergreen’s 360° views are commanding, with the elusive Glacier Peak front and center as well as Columbia, Kyes, and the distinctive profile of Sloan Peak. Further west you can view Del Campo, Big Four, and Baring. To the south is Mount Rainier and Adams and to the east are Mount Daniel, Fernow, and the always prominent Stuart. This is a great place to play “name that peak”.

Mays Creek

May Creek Trail

An easy and meandering trail system which perfectly embodies what you would expect from a walk in the PNW woods. Moss blankets the ground and a thick canopy of trees cover the path. The creek cheerfully gushes alongside most of the trail, leading you up to an overlook with lush views. This trail is perfect for older visitors and children who may not be able to handle a longer, more strenuous hike. Although it is more accessible, it is surprisingly uncrowded and certainly worth exploring. Visit during the fall for misty morning fog hanging in the trees and the sumptuous fall foliage blanketing the ground.

Lake Isabel Washington Hike

Lake Isabel Trail

In addition to the trail being somewhat unkept, the path to the top is occasionally difficult to follow. This is definitely a hike to bring the GPS on so that you can avoid getting turned around or lost. As you continue to ascend, the road becomes progressively rougher and the crossings more treacherous. Perseverance across May Creek and up a particularly nasty washout will lead you to a marked trail into the forest. Here, the hike becomes enjoyable. More a bootpath than a full-fledged trail, the way is occasionally marked by pink ribbon, and it is clear that one needs to follow the creek in order to get to the lake. You will come across an amazing 200’ waterfall at the end of the hike. Clambering up the rocks above the first tier of the waterfall is well worth the effort, and is the perfect place to settle down for lunch. Isabel Lake is just a few hundred feet above – find and follow the trail on the right side of the falls to reach the shore.


Just outside of Gold Bar, this three-tiered hike ranges in difficulty from easy to moderate. You’ll hike woodsy trails gaining in elevation to views of roaring waterfalls, wide rivers, and towering old growth trees. This hike is popular, so weekday and early morning hikes are suggested. Dogs are welcome on the trail when leashed. Bring your kids and don’t forget your discover pass! This hike is a personal favorite of Tree Line Rentals housekeeper, Colleen!

5.6 miles Roundtrip.

1300 feet Elevation.

Discover Pass required.

Mohawk Falls Trail

This little-known trail has a fantastic mine and waterfall to explore in the Wild Sky Wilderness. Kids are welcome to join and so are pets, but as the trail is only mildly maintained, be sure to keep a watch on both! 

0.6 miles, roundtrip

200 feet elevation gain.

No passes required.

Our winter season (November-March) will be slushy to snowy and more than a few trails will be closed - prepare for cold conditions ranging from -5° to 35°. 

Our spring season (March-June) is short but rather wet. Snow melting, glacial runoff, and “April showers” make our mountains a wet place to be. Expect lower temperatures ranging from frosty mornings around 30° to warmer afternoons in the high 60s. 

Summer season here (June-September) can be in the mid 50s to over 100° at times. Plan for cooler nights and hotter days, packing plenty of water and sunscreen for hikes in the summer. 

Our autumn is rather short (September-November) and is just as rainy as spring. Hikes will be in weather in the 70s on a typical year all the way down to potential for below freezing in the mornings or later in the season. Even without snow, prepare for the possibility in later fall, and wear layers!

What’s the difference between a Discover Pass and a Northwest Forest Pass?

A Discover Pass allows for entry into Washington State’s National Parks - for example, Wallace Falls State Park. A Northwest Forest Pass allows for entry into US forest sites in both Oregon and Washington state for any trail requiring day-use passes. 

Where do I get a pass?

Purchase a NW Forest Pass online at this link. Discover Passes can be purchased at many grocery stores and sports equipment stores - Fred Meyers and Big 5 in Monroe both sell them - or at this link.