With breathtaking hikes and well over 400 craft breweries across the state, Washington is the perfect destination for beer lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Trek across the state’s trail systems, parks, and forests before heading to a nearby craft brewery for world-class beer. You can find plenty of local breweries near trailheads, making it easier than ever to combine these two passions. Enjoy a lager or hoppy IPA on a sunny patio after trekking to an alpine lake or strolling along a river. 

Here you’ll find some Washington hike and brewery pairings that guarantee a fabulous adventure of path and palate. An icy cold beer tastes all the better when you’re sweaty and tired from an outdoor adventure, so lace up your hiking boots and get ready to experience the state’s excellent taps and trails. These are mere samples of Washington’s possibilities.  

Washington Hike and Brewery Pairings

Cowiche Canyon Preserve + Cowiche Creek Brewing Company, Yakima Valley

Tap to Trail distance: 3.2 miles

As the country’s leading hop producer, the Yakima Valley is the ultimate destination for beer enthusiasts. Just west of Yakima is Cowiche Canyon Preserve, a swath of wildlands managed by both the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy and the Bureau of Land Management. Twenty miles of recreational trails wind through shrub-steppe, sagebrush, riparian sections along Cowiche Creek, and oak forests. From the Summitview Trail, catch glimpses of Mount Cleman and Cowiche Mountain. This is a dynamite place for wildflowers in the spring. 

Less than a 10-minute drive from Cowiche Canyon Trailhead East you’ll find Cowiche Creek Brewing Company, another great Washington brewery and hiking trail pairing. Set in grasslands, this rural brewery is run by third-generation farmers who cultivate their own hopyard. Sit back in their high-ceiling open-air brewery and restaurant and sip a Farmer Way IPA or an I Caved oatmeal stout accompanied by a brisket burger. 

Heliotrope Ridge + North Fork Brewery, Deming 

Tap to trail distance: 21.7 miles

Hikers get a lot of bang for their buck on the Heliotrope Ridge Trail. This 5.5-mile out-and-back hike with 1,700 feet of climbing plunges straight into the evergreen forest of Mount Baker Wilderness and journeys up to the edge of Coleman Glacier. Along the way, the vista from the ridge spotlights Mount Baker and the surrounding mountain country. If you hit the trail in spring, the terrain explodes with wildflowers. In the winter, hikers snowshoe the trail. 

Although nearby Bellingham is flush with fantastic breweries, North Fork Brewing in Deming is even closer, right off Highway 542. Its location along the route to Mount Baker makes it a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who love small-batch British ales and barrel-aged Belgian style sours and lagers. As a perfect capstone to an alpine hike, swill Satan is Boring stout or Spotted Owl barleywine over a Caprese pizza with antipasto. The brewery churns out a wide selection of pizzas perfect for a post-hike lunch.

Mount Constitution + Island Hoppin Brewery, Orcas Island

Tap to trail distance: 7.8 miles

As the highest peak in the San Juan Islands, Mount Constitution looms 2,410 above the sea. From the Mountain Lake trailhead in Moran State Park, a  6.7-mile hiking loop ascends to the summit’s impressive stone tower lookout. Along the way, check out snow-peaked mountain views, panoramas of the Salish Sea, backcountry lakes, and dense old growth forest. This trail can be hiked year-round, and a Discover Pass is required. 

With 1,500 feet of climbing under their belts, hikers will delight in kicking back at nearby Island Hoppin Brewery, just a 15-minute drive from the trailhead. Trade hiking poles for frigid glasses of old-fashioned fresh hop beer or sessionable K-Pod Kolschs, named after the local orca whales. Bring your own picnic or nibble appetizers like local smoked salmon and cheese plates. 

Wind River Arboretum Trail + Walking Man Brewing, Columbia River Gorge

Tap to trail distance: 13.5 miles

The family-friendly 2-mile Wind River Arboretum Trail in the Columbia River Gorge combines a scenic ramble with a bit of history. As the oldest arboretum in the Pacific Northwest (established in 1912), Wind River Arboretum began as a grand experiment to plant 250 tree species from around the world to see which ones thrived. Unsurprisingly, the natives did best, though some giant Sequoias fared pretty well. The arboretum’s flat interpretive trail meanders past tree identification placards and 14 interpretive signs that detail how non-native species took to the PNW terrain. 

A twenty-minute drive south, Walking Man Brewery in Stevenson sits along the Columbia River. If old-school, hand stirred, award-winning beer sounds good, pull up a barstool. While they have PNW staples like IPAs and stouts, they also play around with experimental hop varieties and unique beers like Japanese-style rice lagers. Their family-friendly taproom dishes up pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and more. Try the happy hiker burger featuring roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and garlic aioli.

Icicle Ridge Trail + Icicle Brewing Company, Leavenworth

Icicle Brewing Company in Leavenworth, WA.
Photo Courtesy of Icicle Brewing Company

Tap to trail distance: 2.5 miles

Just outside the Barvarian-themed mountain town of Leavenworth, the Icicle Ridge Trail leads hikers into deeply wooded backcountry. Generally snow-free from spring through fall, this 6-mile out-and-back route climbs 1,800 feet to a ridge crest with sweeping views over Leavenworth, the Wenatchee River, and the Tumwater Canyon where Drury Falls surges in the spring and summer. Along the way, the trail travels through a number of exposed sections known for spectacular springtime wildflowers. 

As far as Washington brewery and hiking trail pairings go, this combination is pretty sweet. From the trailhead, hikers can practically skip the 2.5 miles to Icicle Brewing Company. Owned by a fifth-generation hop farmer, the beer here won’t steer you wrong. Their Peak Seeker IPA and Alpenhaze Hazy IPA showcase the hop-forward brews. Snack on a warm Bavarian pretzel or a meat and cheese platter before heading out to explore downtown. 

Centennial Trail + Uprise Brewing, Spokane

Tap to trail distance: 0.1 miles

Originating west of Spokane, the 40-mile Centennial Trail follows the Spokane River through the city all the way across the Idaho border into Coeur d’Alene. Right in town, hikers can choose any number of routes using the bridges and trails along the river. Uprise Brewing is conveniently located 0.1 miles from a trail access point. From there, try a 2.3-mile loop that explores Riverfront Park and Snxw Mene (“salmon people” in Salish), a 2-acre island in the middle of the river. Footbridges and multi-use trails allow prime viewing of Spokane Falls, the largest urban waterfall in the country. 

Post-hike, head to the dog-friendly patio at Uprise Brewing where you can enjoy a game of cornhole or simply kick pack and relax with their Table Beer, a low-alcohol sessionable saison, or a Bright Side, their modern West Coast IPA. The modern building features a light-filled dining room and bar serving up small plates like chicken wings and jerk cauliflower, as well as bowls and hearty burgers. 

Lake Angeles and Heart O’ the Forest + Barhop Brewing, Port Angeles

Lake Angeles in winter. | Photo courtesy of Olympic Hiking Co.

Tap to trail distance: 7.6 miles

Just a 15-minute drive from Port Angeles are two stellar trailheads within spectacular Olympic National Park: Lake Angeles and Heart O’ the Forest. Just half a mile apart, they offer two different kinds of hikes. The 7.4-mile Lake Angeles Trail climbs 2,350 feet to a glacier-carved alpine lake basin surrounded by forest and mountains. Heart O’ the Forest is a relatively flat 4.8-mile out-and-back that explores a towering old-growth forest with an understory bursting with biodiversity. 

Travel Tip: Both hikes require a National Park Pass and are pretty popular, so get there early and avoid weekends if possible. Snowshoers will find fewer crowds come winter. 

After your adventure, head to Barhop Brewing right on the waterfront in Port Angeles. The location is an ideal spot to sit back and clink pints. Come for their hop-forward West Coast-style beers but stay for their exceptional pizza made with dough from a 100-year-old sourdough starter and fresh, house-made sauces. 

Meadowlark Natural Area + Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop

Tap to trail distance: 0.8 miles

This 2-mile loop in Meadowlark Natural Area tours the gorgeous shrub steppe on the lower slopes of StudHorse Mountain and is ablaze with wildflowers in spring. The trailhead is conveniently right in town and 0.8 miles from the Old Schoolhouse Brewery. When it comes to hikes near breweries in Washington, you’ll hardly find one closer together than this. A little farther afield, the Chickadee Trailhead is great for hikers wanting a bit more distance and challenge. There are lots of route options.  The Patterson Lake and Radar Creek. 4.4-mile loop is a scenic lakeside choice with 450 feet of climbing. Bring your snowshoes in winter. 

Afterward, rest your feet on Old Schoolhouse Brewery’s welcoming patio right on the Chewuch River. They source the meat for their lamb burger from a farm a mile down the road and brew their beer with local hops to make beauties like their Betty Mopper New England-style hazy IPA and Rendezvous Porter. In addition to their pub, the brewery also operates a taproom in nearby Twisp. 

Big Tree Ridge and Sammamish State Park + Formula Brewing, Seattle Area

Tap to trail distance: 1.4 miles

Just minutes east of Bellevue, Big Tree Ridge Trailhead provides access to the all-season, 4-mile Big Tree Ridge – Surprise Creek Loop that tours Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. This protected public land has a lovely mix of second-growth forests, waterfalls, summit views, creeks, wetlands, and cliffs. For a laidback option, head just to the other side of Interstate 90 to Sammamish Lake State Park. Explore its small trail system and take a dip from its sandy beach. 

Smack in between these two hiking options is Formula Brewing, an award-winning brewery that has a sprawling, tented beer garden adorned with string lights. Formula is perfectly situated to slake the thirst of those seeking hikes near breweries in Washington. To sync with the hiking theme, try their Many Little Steps hoppy sake saison or go for the 3 Kings unfiltered Kolsch. Their full kitchen serves pizza and traditional bar food like wings, as well as healthy salads like the purple beet with honey-basil vinaigrette. 

About the Author

Ellee Thalheimer is a freelance writer and guidebook author based in the Pacific Northwest who has contributed to publications like Lonely Planet Guidebooks, Alaska Airlines Magazine, and Adventure Cyclist Magazine. When she can’t get outside, she writes fiction, drinks local IPAs, and perfects her handstands.

Featured image by David Hagan