Washington Trails Association: www.wta.org
WTA is Washington State’s ultimate hikefinder; their hiking guide is the most comprehensive database of hikes in Washington, and comprises content written by local hiking experts as well as user-submitted information. All data is vetted by WTA staff. This resource is made possible by the donations of WTA members.
Each trip report contains all or some of the following, as applicable and available:
- Elevation gain
- Elevation of the highest point
- 5-star rating system
- Parking situation
- Permits needed, if any
- Driving directions
- A link to the weather forecast
- A detailed description of the hike that makes you feel like you’re there
- Icons tell you at a glance if each hike features a waterfall, wildlife, is ok for kids or pets, if there is camping, a lake, a summit, a view, wildflowers, or old growth forest)
You can search for hikes by region, by using keywords, or with the hike finder map. You can also search by features, difficulty, mileage, or gain.
You’ll also find information on trail safety, seasonal issues, youth programs, parking, ranger stations, and wilderness permits.
WTA does the majority of the trail repair and maintenance that you see in Washington State, and they are always looking for people to help out! You can find information on how to join a trail work party, one of their outdoor leadership training workshops, the annual photo contest, or the summer hike-a-thon. A mostly-volunteer-run organization can always use help in the form of moola as well; you can find information about membership and donations.
And if you want to submit your own trip reports, you can, just by creating a (free) account.
I know I’m not alone when I say WTA is the first place I look when I’m trying to decide on a hike or gather information about a place I’m planning on going. When I started to branch out of my comfort zone and found that my adventure days started to equal my non-adventure days, I began to crave new, more remote, more challenging objectives, and WTA was where I found them. The depth of information and experience held within their archives is astounding. It would be a shame to be a Washington hiker and not go full-bore on this goldmine of beta.
705 2nd Avenue #300
Seattle, WA 98104
Wendy Harrington is a California native who has lived in a small town at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state since 2001. Her love of trail running and peakbagging has led her to summit all five Washington volcanoes, climb to the high points of three states, and put nearly a thousand miles a year on her boots. Her loves include ridgelines, saddles, granite, one-day pushes on big mountains, anything volcanic, long solo days, and objectives that push limits and test endurance.