This summer I have been working hard on my bucket list of adventures and places I’d like to see before summer is over. As I turned 20 today, I decided to check off Snoqualmie Falls from my list while making it a fun birthday outing.
Practically everyone I know has been to Snoqualmie Falls and have shown me the pictures of how amazing it is, but I had never been. Having lived in Washington for 20 years now I felt it ridiculous that practically everyone had been there except me.
What I loved about the short hike was the immediate lookout of the falls just as soon as arriving, and all of the scenery. It was absolutely gorgeous.
I had been told many times how the falls wasn’t much of a hike, but rather a tourist attraction. Even though the 1/2 mile trail wasn’t exactly a hike, it didn’t even matter, it was still amazing and I completely enjoyed every moment of being there with such great summer weather.
For those of you who are out-of-towners, or for those who are as deprived as I am of visiting popular attractions on the west side, Snoqualmie Falls is definitely a must-see place.
Being a Pacific Northwest girl, I like to take advantage of the many different hikes around the state. In my opinion, I think that out of all of the hikes that I have been on, North Bend and Bellingham have some of the best hikes in Washington state. With both North Bend and Bellingham having so many trees, hills, mountains, and great scenery, they make for some of the best hiking spots.
If you are looking for a fun hiking trip on the west side I would highly recommend the 3 following locations.
1. Rattlesnake Ridge (North Bend, WA)
The first time I hiked Rattlesnake Ridge was last summer and it was probably my all time favorite. I woke up at around 3 am on a beautiful summer morning to get to the hike by 4am and arrive at the top of the ridge by 5 am to watch the sunrise. Even though I am totally not a morning person at all, it was so worth it. With no one else on the trail, it didn’t take long to reach the top, just in time that the sun was rising. After sitting at the top for about 3 hours it was a perfect clear blue sky day and made for some great pictures. Rattlesnake Ridge is a great hike for any time of the year, but I would definitely recommend going in the summer, especially at sunrise or sunset!
2. Oyster Dome (Bow, WA)
My second favorite hike is located near Bellingham in a small town called Bow, WA. This hike is definitely longer than Rattlesnake Ridge and slightly more challenging. The hike is pretty steady throughout the majority of it, but near the top there is one steep spot that has to be the most difficult part of the hike (be careful at this point). Once arriving at the top, the view of Samish Bay and some of the San Juan islands makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s amazing, and totally worth struggling through that one difficult spot.
3. Heather Lake (Granite Falls, WA)
My third favorite hike is Heather Lake located in Mt. Baker National Forest in Granite Falls, WA. Last summer when I did this hike I was originally planning on hiking Mt. Pilchuck, located just next to Heather Lake (still one of my bucket list hikes) but due to poor weather ended up hiking Heather Lake instead. Even though this hike wasn’t planned it ended up being one of my favorites at the end! The hike is pretty flat and easy and offers great scenery. Once arriving at the lake you can’t help but stare at the big mountains and hills all around you. It’s a total kodak moment for sure. There is a small loop that takes you around the lake that I would recommend walking through once you get there, you get to see a lot of different views around the lake this way and it’s a lot of fun!