Summer Fun: Family friendly hikes

by Catherine Sweeney, Creative Circle
June 25, 2015

If you like to hike with your family, 2015 is your summer!  With much less rain this winter, many alpine trails are snow-free now. Here’s a look at some classic, family-friendly hikes.

Before you go, stock up on gear at Goodwill, where you’ll find baby backpacks, along with spare backpacks for your young hikers, always-useful water bottles and hats, and even rain gear, just in case.  Share your finds on our Goodwill #GoodSummer Contest using Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and you could win a trip to the San Juans or Leavenworth, or other prizes!

Franklin Falls
When hiking with the youngest kids (preschoolers and even toddlers), there’s nothing like a shady hike that ends in a giant waterfall. Franklin Falls is just two miles roundtrip and has just a 400-foot elevation gain. Get there early for parking.  Read more about Franklin Falls on the fantastic website maintained by the Washington Trails Association – the same folks who built this trail’s rock steps and bridges.

Ebey’s Landing
A jaunt to Ebey’s Landing has a little something for everyone. There’s travel time involved, but the journey is worth it. First, there’s a scenic ferry ride to Whidbey Island (regular ferries are available from Mukilteo) and then a drive to the trailhead. Choose between a two-mile roundtrip hike to the quiet, expansive beach or a 3.5 mile loop. You can hike up a beachside bluff with panoramic views of the Cascades, Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier. There’s a steep descent from the bluff to the beach. The charming waterside town of Coupeville is an ideal stop for post-hike ice cream.

Tipsoo Lake - Naches Peak Loop
On Naches Peak Loop, you’ll be surrounded by spectacular alpine sights from the moment you set foot on the trail. During this 3.2 mile roundtrip hike, you’ll walk through flower-filled meadows, gaze at Mt. Rainier, admire mountain lakes, and enjoy mountain blueberries when they are in season. With the early snow melt, there are reports of bugs—bring your spray and check current trip reports. 

Lake 22
This is a great hike for elementary-age or older kids. Start the Lake 22 hike early in the morning to stay cool on the ascent. You’ll be climbing more than 1,300 feet during your 5.4 mile roundtrip journey, and hiking through old growth forest and past several waterfalls. At the top, you’ll find a large, gorgeous lake in a deep bowl created by Mount Pilchuck. Take the lakeside trail and marvel at the cascades rushing down the cliff faces.

Looking for even more hikes? Explore this wonderful set of links from Washington Trails Association, and you’ll be ready for many more adventures.


Catherine Sweeney, APR is a professional writer and communicator affiliated with Creative Circle. She dedicates her Goodwill blog-writing in memory of her mom, an avid thrift-shopper and advocate for social change. 

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