We’re saying goodbye to the summer season, but that doesn’t mean you need to end your outdoor adventures. The beginning of fall is the perfect time to take on some of our favorite local hikes, located just outside of the city. The weather is not too hot and not too cold; all you’ll need is your favorite lightweight North Face or Patagonia (we know you have one).
- Lake Serene: The hike to Lake Serene is a beautiful hike located steep in mountains of Mt. Index, about an hour drive northeast of Seattle and hidden lake can eventually be found between two peaks of Mt. Index. The start of the hike is very moderate and about two miles in and over to the right is Bridal Falls, a must see. There is no point to go on this hike if you don’t get to enjoy the falls. The ladder walkways lead you into the majestic waterfalls; you can feel the mist on your face while your pup drinks out of the stream flowing from the falls. A great place for mountain views, pictures and a moment of zen (well worth the $5 parking fee).
- Point Defiance: This hidden Tacoma gem is a great place for just about everyone; your dog, your spouse, your kids, your bike or even your paddle board for Owen Beach. There are multiple dog parks catered for dogs by size and spots where you can watch the sunset over cliffs while enjoying crisp fall air and a view of the Narrows Bridge. If you stop by on a Saturday or Sunday morning, be sure check if Five Mile Drive is open; it is frequently closed for walkers, runners, bikers and everything in between. Expect lower traffic times to be during the weekdays or in the evening!
- Tolmie Peak: This infamous peak gives hikers an incredible view of Mt. Rainier after a strenuous uphill hike that took a little over an hour and a half to complete. Be sure to bring all of the bug spray you have and then a little more, just to be safe. Don’t expect to have smooth skin for at least two weeks following this hike, as the bites and bumps will provide a reminder of your gorgeous hiking adventure. Despite the drawbacks, this hike is beyond worth it with incredible views and a killer workout.
- Paradise Visitors Center: No hiking boots? No problem. You can drive any vehicle (literally, we saw at least five fully-functional Model T’s in the parking lot) for amazing views atop Mt. Rainier. When you reach the Paradise Visitor’s Center, you’ll be able to explore history of the mountain and its inhabitants. Be sure to bring $25 to pay the entry fee into the National Park and leave your dog at home (he or she is not allowed on the trails, no matter how cute they may be).
The residents of the Pacific Northwest are #blessed to live in this gem of a region. Getting out to enjoy the outdoors is an absolute must during the crispy weather provided in the fall months. Be sure to charge your cell phones for emergencies and leave them in the car to get the full experience nature intended!