Best Places to Hike Near Olympia, WA

May 16th, 2019 by

Hiking is such a great way to get out and enjoy the fresh air and nature. In and around the Olympia area there are many places to hike, whether you want something quick and close to home or an all-day excursion that will challenge your abilities. Check out some of these best places to hike near Olympia.

Garfield Nature Trail Park

Garfield Nature Trail Park offers wonderful hiking for families. There are stairs and bridges that take you through the woods. The five-acre ravine has trails that wind from West Bay Drive to North Rogers Street. There is a creek at the base of the ravine that carries water runoff from the surrounding streets. This is an easy path, but make a note that it is not power-chair accessible.

McLane Creek Nature Trail

Head to the McLane Creek Nature Trail for a short hike that provides lots of opportunity for wildlife viewing. In the spring, many species of birds head to the pond and in the fall the creek fills with salmon. This hike is a 1.25-mile loop trail and if you want to add some extra distance, the demonstration forest loop will add almost another mile to your route. Keep in mind that you’ll need a Discover Pass to access the trailhead.

Mima Falls Trail

Most hikes in the Olympia area are pet-friendly, but the Mima Falls Trail is extra pet-friendly. It is rarely crowded and there are plenty of woods and forest for your four-legged friend to run around, along with water from the river to cool off. This is a loop trail that takes you through a variety of terrain including lush forest and young plantings. You can get to the falls in just a half mile, or take a longer route that will wind over 1.5-miles through a working forest.

Capital Peak Trail

Experienced hikers looking for a challenge should try the Capital Peak Trail in Capitol State Forest. The round trip is nine-miles, with a gain of 1,300-feet. You can access this trail all year round and it is a popular spot for off-road driving and horseback riding. At the summit of the peak, there are now over a dozen communication towers and you can see for miles in almost every direction. You can see Puget Sound, the city of Olympia to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Big Creek Loop

The Big Creek Loop trail is a year-round loop trail that stretches for 4.5-miles. This hike has a consistent rise and you’ll gain about 900-feet in two miles. At the top, make sure to stop to watch the creeks below as you cross over the wooden bridges. There are also several side trails at the top if you want to head toward the confluence of Big Creek and Branch Creek. This trail requires a Northwest Forest Pass.

Check out these Olympia area hiking trails. You can take just a short, easy walk or make a day of it and challenge yourself.

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