5 PNW "Hikes" for the Non-Hiker
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5 PNW "Hikes" for the Non-Hiker

Hikes with a View in the Pacific Northwest that won't Turn Your Legs to Jello

5 PNW "Hikes" for the Non-Hiker
Chloe Fletcher

Before you dive into this super amazing informative article, I want to give you a background as to why I am writing this. I love to take pictures. Anything picturesque or aesthetically pleasing to my eye, I am naturally drawn towards. Among these things that I am attracted to are beautiful views. I love the idea of being up in the mountains; just you, the birds, and people you love. With that being said, I usually like to try to obtain this pleasing experience via a non-exerting, non-sweaty route. Call me lazy, but this is the complete and honest truth. I don't like to hike; it hurts my legs and I get tired (this might be because I am slightly out of shape). Since this is my sad reality, I figured that there has to be others out there like me. So, I compiled a list full of “hikes” with amazing views that come without the price of sweat, blood, and tears.

1. Naches Peak Loop Trail

This is a great hike for families with little kids. Go and enjoy beautiful views without having to strenuously move your legs. This hike climbs a 600 ft. elevation, and is 3.2 miles round trip. If this loop trail is started clockwise, beautiful views of Mt. Rainier are served, and halfway through the trail you can make a stop at a beautiful viewpoint with breath taking sights of Mt. Rainier. This hike is personally approved by me because I did it and I fell in love with the scenery and fresh air that it offers. It is a great place to escape after a long week of stress.

2. Gold Creek Pond

Gold Creek Pond is one of the easiest hikes that I have experienced. In reality it should be considered more of a walk than a hike, but that’s okay, we will give the “hike”, the benefit of the doubt. It is a loop trail around a beautiful pond. I went during the summer but I believe in the winter it would be completely gorgeous with the pond frozen over and snow layering every surface. Just make sure you have winter boots that are resistant to snow! This hike has a 10 ft. elevation gain and is 1 mile round trip, so it is completely do-able for families and lazy hikers alike!

3. Sunrise Nature Trail

Sunrise trail is a trail recommended to me by my best friend. She claims it to be wonderfully beautiful and not completely strenuous. How could you not hike this trail for the sunrise when the name of the hike actually suggests it! This hike features a 300 ft. elevation gain, and is 1.5 miles round trip. It takes about 45 minutes to hike to obtain its breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier.

4. Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Ledge is one of my favorite hikes because it packs the punch of a beautiful view without the price of making your legs jello. This hike has beautiful views of Rattlesnake Lake below it, and a breathtaking panorama of the Northwest at the top. The hike is 4 miles round trip. The only downside that I see to this hike, is it is very well trafficked by other hikers and it also overviews the highway. An easy fix to the problem of crowds would be to go for sunrise, I can guarantee it would be beautiful and not as busy!

5. Mount Pilchuck

I have heard many great things about this hike. I can’t begin to tell you how many times my best friend has recommended this hike to me (because she knows I don't like strenuous hikes). This hike has also been recommended to me as a sunrise hike, mainly because of its lookout that are perfect for watching the glorious sunrise from the East. The hike to and from Mt. Pilchuck is 5.4 miles round trip. The elevation gain is 2,300 ft. Its highest point being 5,327 ft. I’ll admit, this hike seems a bit more daunting, but from what I have been told, it is completely and totally worth it. I can’t wait to go and experience this hike for myself!

Now that you have a few great choices for hikes that won’t kill your stamina, why not go explore them? I promise you they will not disappoint!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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