The West Coast is known for some of the most scenic natural hotspots in the country, from Joshua Tree National Park in California to Mount Rainier in Washington. And what’s great about the West Coast is that there are plenty of hiking destinations you can choose from based on skill level, outdoor activities you want to do, and specific suitability, i.e., dog-friendly or wheelchair friendly. Without further ado, here are three west coast hiking destinations to visit next time you’re in the area.
Located in Angeles National Forest, CA, the Gabrielino trail is an 8.6-mile long hiking trail that is accessible all year round. It is one of the many trails that comprise the Chantry Flat Recreation Area. The path is dog-friendly and offers a number of activity options, including backpacking, birdwatching, camping, etcetera. The trail is notorious for being a bug haven, so be sure to bring some insect repellant when you hike the Gabrielino trail.
Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
Washington has plenty of mountain hiking spots, but if you want a change of scenery, you can do a hike to the lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park. The North Head Lighthouse gives you astonishing views of the vast Pacific Ocean. The North Head Lighthouse Loop Trail is less than a mile long with an unnoticeable level of elevation gain, making it a good option for the casual hiker.
Dog Mountain in Columbia River Gorge
Another hiking trail to visit while you’re in Washington state is Dog Mountain, located in Southwest WA. The trail is graded intermediate to hard, depending on your hiking experience. It’s a 6-mile round trip trail with an elevation gain of 2,800 feet. Though it can be a challenging climb up to the viewpoint, the panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge and neighboring Wind Mountain definitely make the trip worthwhile. Note that you need a Northwest Forest Pass and a seasonal permit if you are hiking it during springtime.
These are only a few of the many scenic hiking trails you’ll find on the West Coast. For a fun and safe hike, be sure to plan ahead by checking for information about the trail online. Platforms, like AllTrails, make it easy to learn general information about a trail as well as its most recent conditions, i.e., felled trees and road closures.