Hikes Every Outdoorsy Person in Thurston County Should Do

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on June 15, 2018


There are so many great hikes in and around Thurston County. From intense excursions to relaxing adventures, there are trails for every age and skill level. If you like getting some exercise and enjoying the great outdoors, you’re in the right place. To connect with other avid hikers, check out The Olympia Hiking and Outdoor Recreation Group. Here are hikes every outdoorsy person in Thurston County should do.

Big Creek Loop

Accessible year-round, the Big Creek Loop Trail is around an hour away from Olympia, located at the Big Creek Campground near Lake Cushman. The loop is 4.5 miles long with a fun incline. At the top, you can cross wooden bridges and look at the creeks flowing beneath you. There are also several side trails that lead to Big Creek and Branch Creek.

Wynoochee Lake

The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail is a 16-mile loop hike through the Southern Olympic Peninsula, featuring winding trails. In the warmer months, there are plenty of swimming opportunities. Especially in late summer, the water levels can get so low that the loop is only 12-miles long. Regardless of size, it’s a fun hike and is worth the two-hour drive from Olympia.

Mount Rose

The Mount Rose trail begins near Lake Cushman. It’s not for the faint of heart, being one of the steepest hikes in the area. You’re climbing 3,500 feet in three miles, but you won’t regret it once you get to the top. There are incredible views of Lake Cushman, Hood Canal, and surrounding peaks. The total length of the trail is 6.4 miles.

McLane Creek Nature Trail

A favorite of many hikers, the McLane Creek Nature Trail showcases the beautiful rainforest. The amount of wildlife you’ll see on this hike will surprise you, from spawning salmon in the creek to birds dipping down to the pond for a drink. This is a great kid-friendly hike, seeing as how the main loop is only 1 ¼ miles long.

Mima Falls Loop

Capitol Forest’s 6-mile loop Mima Falls Loop begins at Mima Campground. Follow the Mima Falls Trail East for around 2.5 miles to get to a small waterfall where you’ll find a picnic table and bridge on a hill. It’s a little off the beaten path and you’ll have to veer away from the trail to find the falls, but there’s no better spot to stop for a picnic.

Spider Lake

Spider Lake is a short hike located around an hour and a half outside of Olympia in the Skokomish River Valley. The two-mile trail loops around the lake and passes through a gorgeous old forest. It’s accessible throughout the year, but be sure to bring a map and to closely watch where you’re going in case you miss this small area.

Marmot Pass

Marmot Pass is an 11.5-mile hike boasting an elevation of 3,500 feet with views of the Olympics, Puget Sound, and the Cascades. The summit, Buckhorn Mountain, even has views of Mount Baker and Seattle. The trail itself goes along the Big Quilcene River and passes the Shelter Rock Camp and Camp Mystery. There is so much to see on this popular and adventurous hike.  


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