7 Northwest Washington Hikes To Do With Your Kids This Summer 8


Recently it was a great privilege to write an article about hiking as a family for Northwest Mom Magazine.  After submitting the piece, they asked me if I’d consider being on the cover as well, which really made me blush, since I am NOT a model. I am a mom of 3, who likes to wear her workout clothes all day. Still, I went for it and the photo shoot was full of some great ladies. When I left, I couldn’t help but just laugh. Life is so funny and so full of awesome  and sometimes heartbreaking twists and turns. I put myself out there with an article on hiking and next thing I know I’m being photographed with way too much makeup on my eyebrows.

I was able to share some of my world in this issue–how I unwind, what I dream about, what inspires me etc. If you want to read the whole piece, you can check it out here (pg. 23). In the meantime, here are the hike ideas I shared in the magazine. If you’re still adding to your list (aren’t we all?!), these should be fun to write down, pin or save however you like. How do you save all your hike ideas, by the way?! 

  • Mirror Lake: Snoqualmie Region, 2.2 miles roundtrip, 870 ft. elevation gain.mirror lakeNestled in a quiet basin only a stone’s throw from Snoqualmie Pass, pristine Mirror Lake is a destination to be enjoyed by the whole family. Rarely can you find such lovely sites with so little effort, but here, a short trek will take you through forests, across delicate streams, and past brightly colored wildflowers. Humming with butterflies, birds, bees, and babbling streams, this trail is not to be missed.
  • Franklin Falls: Snoqualmie Region, 2 miles roundtrip, 400 ft. elevation gainFranklin FallsNew to hiking with kids and just looking for an easy day hike with a spectacular endpoint? Look no further than Franklin Falls! At just 2 miles roundtrip with 400 feet in elevation gain it is the perfect destination for any hiker looking for something easy and beautiful.
  • Whistle Lake: Anacortes area, 3.7 miles roundtrip, 200 ft. elevation gainWhistle Lake (1)This hike is a family favorite of ours. It’s actually where we spent our Mother’s Day afternoon last year! Take this hike in spring for the fresh new leaves and the dainty spring flowers, or hike on a rainy day in winter and watch the mist float above the lake among the trees. The lake is very popular on hot summer days.
  • Boulder River Falls: Arlington/Darrington area, 8.6 miles roundtrip, 700 ft. elevation gainBoulder River Falls (1)Last year, my husband and I went on this hike for our anniversary. I’ll never forget the cute family we visited with, while we all admired the waterfalls. The Dad had offered to take our photo and while we chatted, their kids climbed on rocks and explored. Right then, we decided we needed to come back with our kids. The impressively huge waterfalls are only about a mile or two into the hike. Either hangout at the waterfalls with a picnic or continue on down the trail to admire old growth trees. This hike is sure to be a favorite with your kids.
  • Boardman Lake: North Cascades Mountain Loop Highway, 2 miles  roundtrip 300 ft. elevation gainBoardman Lake (2) (1)The hike to big, beautiful Boardman Lake is one of the easiest off of the Mountain Loop Highway. Just under a mile and gaining a mere 250 feet of elevation along the way (and 50 on the way back), this lovely body of water can be reached by just about every hiker-young and old, and everyone else in between.
  1. Padilla Bay Trail: Burlington/Anacortes Area, 4.4 miles, 30 ft. elevation gainPadilla Bay (2) (1)The trail twists and turns along sloughs, tidal flats, and salt marshes, allowing you to scope out herons, eagles, falcons, dunlins, brants, and scores of other winged residents. And in addition to the profuse birdlife, you’ll be treated to unhindered views of surrounding mountains, islands, and farmland from this delightful and level path.
  1. Squires Lake: Bellingham area, 2 miles roundtrip, 200 ft. elevation gainsquires lake (1)This hike is an absolute treasure of a family hiking spot up near Bellingham. For starters, it’s super easy to find. To get to most hikes, you pull off the highway and then drive on a bumpy gravel road for a few miles, until you reach the trailhead, but not this one! For this hike, you just pull right off the highway. So bring your low-rider and don’t even worry about it.  Also, feel free to drink all the coffee you want since there’s a large (wheelchair accessible) portable toilet at the trailhead.

When you’re out exploring, be sure to tag us on Instagram using #nwhealthymama. We love seeing your adventures and sharing our favorites!

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids’ school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.


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8 thoughts on “7 Northwest Washington Hikes To Do With Your Kids This Summer

  • Terumi

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning! We’ve done the Mirror Lake hike but the rest of these gorgeous hikes I don’t think we’ve seen! We love getting outdoors with the family too:). Thanks for sharing!

  • Jeanette

    I’m so glad I found your website by accident. I was an exchange student on Whidbey Island 15 years ago. This year I’m taking my husband, our almost three year old son and our 9 months old daughter to see the beautiful northwest. I booked a place in Bellingham for a week and we are sure going to do some of your hikes. My husband and me are experienced hikers and we do have the deuter carrier as well, but I’d still prefer the (double) stroller for some of the longer hikes, so are any of the walks you know stroller friendly (no pavement necessary, just no big roots or rocks and not too narrow)?
    Kind regards from Germany
    Jeanette