Located in the upper northwest corner of the United States, Washington State is a natural gem. Nicknamed the Evergreen State and named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, Washington has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country. One of the most well-known attractions in Washington is the beautiful and picturesque mountains. There are six signature mountains in Washington, ranging in elevation from 4,167 feet to 14,410 feet. Get more information about Washington’s Six Signature Mountains here. Most have trails that even a novice can scale, but if you are more into climbing, you’re going to need some extensive experience.
Mt. Si is the “smallest” of the six signature mountains. The peak of the mountain reaches 4,167 feet and is part of the Cascade Mountain Range. Mt. Si lies just above the coastal plains around Puget Sound. For the novice or even experienced hiker, an 8-mile hike is offered and can be completed in about 3-4 hours. A nice feature of the trail at Mt. Si is that you can bring your dog, as long as he/she is wearing a leash. Mt. Si is a great mountain to hike no matter your skill level.
Mt. Olympus is next on the list according to elevation. At 7,980 feet, Mt. Olympus is part of the Olympic Mountains. Located in western Washington State on the Olympic Peninsula, Mt. Olympus is the central feature of Olympic National Park and is known for rain forests, mountain goats and elk herds. While Mt. Olympus is a beautiful place to visit, unless you are an experienced hiker or mountaineer, don’t plan on climbing this one. 17.5 miles of glaciers and rock can make it difficult.
Mt. St. Helens is on the eastern side of the state and is part of the Cascade Mountains. It’s located about 50 miles from Portland and on most days, can be seen clearly from the City. Mt. St. Helens is an active volcano and erupted on May 18, 1980. Once the snow melts, you can conquer the mountain in about 8 – 12 hours but be advised you will be climbing over a lot of boulders. Most prefer to trek the crater rim instead.
At 10,781 feet, Mt. Baker is the next largest within the six. This mountain is part of the Cascade Mountain range and is very close to Canada. Mt. Baker is very popular for skiing, but it takes some solid mountaineering skills to scale this one. There are a few different routes available for climbing, but climbers usually camp halfway up as there is the risk of an avalanche.
Mt. Adams’ elevation is a massive 12,280 feet. It’s part of the Cascade Mountain range and is located in the remote wilderness about 34 miles east of Mt. St. Helens. Although it has not erupted in more than 1,000 years, this mountain is not an extinct volcano, at all, it has just been lying dormant. There are many trails with available hiking at Mt. Adams ranging in length from 8-35 miles. No matter your level of hiking or climbing experience, you should be able to find a trail that suits your skill level. Climbing the mountain will take about two days, and you can camp overnight at the Lunch Counter Flat.
By far, the largest mountain in Washington State is Mt. Rainier. It’s peak towers at 14,410 feet and is the most prominent peak in the continental United States. Mt. Rainier mountain is located in the Mount Rainier National Park and is the Cascade Mountain range’s highest mountain. On a clear day, you can see this towering beauty, which lies about 60 miles southeast of Seattle. Mt. Rainier is also considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. Because of the large amount of glacial ice, if Mt. Rainier erupts, approximately 80,000 people and homes are at risk. Climbing Mt. Rainier is no joke, with roughly 50% of those who try to climb it, succeeding. Climbers need a good deal of experience and appropriate climbing tools before even attempting this climb.
These majestic attractions in Washington State attract many tourists each year. Before you plan to visit these brilliant sites, you will need to acquire a Washington State Discover Pass, which allows you to drive into the parks; the cost is $11.50 per day. You may also consider purchasing an annual pass for $30.00. More information on park passes in Washington state here.
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