My favorite time of the year is here!

When I was little, my favorite season was summer. But as I grew up, moved to Washington State, and summer break wasn’t a thing anymore, I fell in love with fall. I now enjoy chilly days, cozy sweaters, an excuse to always have a hot beverage in hand, and most importantly, I love the stunning fall foliage all around.

Hiking during this season can be a little tricky due to cloud coverage, rain storms, muddy trails, and sometimes snow. But pick any day with a promising weather forecast and head out to one of these beautiful trails to enjoy this wonderful season.

Here are some of the best fall hikes in Washington State.

Maple Pass Loop

Maple Pass Loop is a beautiful hike in Washington’s North Cascades. It’s about 7 miles long. As you walk, you’ll see woods, fields with pretty flowers, and clear lakes. When you get to the top of the path, you can see lots of mountains and valleys. If you go in the fall, the leaves change colors and it looks really pretty. It’s a great place to enjoy nature and maybe even spot some animals.

Blue Lake

Blue Lake in the North Cascades is a fall lover’s paradise. While the trail stretches about 5 miles, every step is a visual delight during the autumn months. The path winds through forests where leaves have turned into a tapestry of gold and crimson. And just when you think it can’t get any better, Blue Lake emerges. With its crystal-clear waters reflecting the fall foliage and mountain backdrop, it’s like stepping into a living painting. The autumnal ambiance at Blue Lake is something you’d want to bottle up and keep—making every moment spent there truly unforgettable. Whether it’s capturing the scenery with your camera or enjoying a tranquil moment by the lakeside, Blue Lake in the fall is pure magic.

Summit Lake

Summit Lake hike, close to Mount Rainier, is a real treat, especially in the fall. The trail is around 6 miles round trip, and it guides you through cozy forests that, come autumn, are painted in shades of orange, red, and gold. As you climb, you’ll catch breathtaking views of Mount Rainier framed by the colorful trees. But the cherry on top is definitely Summit Lake. When you reach it, you’ll see this clear lake surrounded by fall colors, reflecting the sky and mountains. It feels extra special in the fall, with the crisp air and the leaves crunching underfoot. It’s the perfect spot to relax, maybe with a warm drink, and soak in those autumn vibes. If you love the beauty of fall, this hike is a must-do!

Goat Lake

Goat Lake in the North Cascades is another autumnal haven that’s sure to capture the heart of any fall enthusiast. Stretching just over 10 miles, the hike offers a scenic journey through woods drenched in shades of amber, russet, and gold. The whispering rustle of falling leaves accompanies you as you make your way to the lake. Upon arrival, Goat Lake presents a serene spectacle, its placid waters mirroring the fiery hues of the surrounding trees and majestic peaks. There’s an air of tranquility that surrounds the lake in the fall, making it a picture-perfect spot for reflection—both literally and metaphorically. Whether you’re lost in thought by the water’s edge or savoring the colors of the season, Goat Lake is an autumn escape that stays with you long after you’ve left.

Minotaur Lake

Minotaur Lake, situated near Stevens Pass, is a hidden autumn jewel in the heart of the Cascades. A modest 3.5-mile round trip, this trail offers hikers an intimate experience with nature’s grand fall display. As you navigate the path, the trees sway with rich palettes of gold, burgundy, and bronze, setting the stage for what awaits. When Minotaur Lake finally reveals itself, it’s nothing short of enchanting. The lake, cradled by rugged peaks, reflects the auburn splendor of the surrounding forest, creating a scene that feels plucked from a storybook. The crisp fall air and the gentle lapping of the water against the shore make moments at Minotaur Lake feel like stolen time from a busier world. It’s a seasonal haven that calls out to those looking for an intimate dance of water and fall foliage, making every visit an unforgettable embrace of nature’s beauty.

Lake Ingalls

Lake Ingalls, nestled in the Cascades, is an autumnal wonder that beckons to the soul of every nature lover. The trail, which spans roughly 9 miles round trip, is a symphony of fall’s radiant hues. Each step is met with the crunch of leaves underfoot and the sight of trees adorned in brilliant golds, deep reds, and mellow oranges. The climax of this vibrant journey is the unveiling of Lake Ingalls itself. Encircled by towering peaks, the lake shimmers, perfectly mirroring the kaleidoscope of colors from the nearby foliage and the often snow-kissed mountains. The gentle breeze of fall carries the scent of pine and the promise of cooler days, making a pause by Lake Ingalls both refreshing and reflective. For those yearning for a rich tapestry of autumn colors complemented by serene water views, Lake Ingalls is an escapade that imprints on the heart.

Tipsoo Lake

Tipsoo Lake, positioned near the majestic Mount Rainier, is a testament to nature’s autumnal artistry. A relatively easy trail that offers immense rewards, it provides a gentle embrace of the season’s vibrant display. The path leading to Tipsoo Lake is painted with a medley of golden yellows, fiery reds, and soothing oranges, as if nature itself took a brush to the landscape. Upon reaching the lake, visitors are met with a serene body of water, so clear that it serves as a mirror for the surrounding fall spectacle and the imposing silhouette of Mount Rainier. The juxtaposition of the calm lake against the backdrop of the mountain, all draped in fall’s finest colors, is a sight to behold. As the cool autumn air brushes against your face and the gentle sounds of nature fill the atmosphere, a visit to Tipsoo Lake becomes an experience of pure tranquility, capturing the essence of the season in all its glory.

Mount McCausland

Mount McCausland is a great spot to hike in the fall. The trail is about 6 miles round trip, and it’s not too tough. As you walk, the trees show off with their red, orange, and yellow leaves. It feels like the whole forest is wrapped up in fall colors. When you get to the top, the view is awesome. You can see miles of trees, hills, and sometimes even distant mountains. And with the cool air and crunch of leaves under your shoes, it just feels like the perfect fall day out. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the fall vibes and get some fresh air, Mount McCausland is worth checking out.

Washington State truly shines during the autumn months, boasting an array of scenic hikes that transform into breathtaking landscapes of vivid fall colors. For avid hikers and casual nature lovers alike, exploring the trails of Washington in the fall offers a unique experience, blending panoramic vistas with the serene ambiance of the season. Whether you’re seeking solitude, a memorable photo opportunity, or a moment of reflection, these trails promise unparalleled beauty and the essence of fall. So, if you’re yearning to embrace the magic of the season, Washington’s fall hikes are absolutely worth adding to your outdoor adventure list.