From lupine and aster to balsamroot and alpine daisies, Washington is home to a variety of wildflowers. Hiking trails pop with color come spring and summer, and while some well-known destinations experience a surge of crowds during this time, there are plenty of other Washington wildflower hikes that see fewer visitors and offer a peaceful escape.

Best Time to see Wildflowers in Washington

Wildflower season in Washington occurs from mid-March through August, with different flowers blooming at different times. April and May are solid months for Washington wildflower hikes at lower elevations, while June through August you can explore higher-elevation trails.

Keep an eye on trail reports on AllTrails or the Washington Trails Association (WTA) so you can get a sense of bloom times and current wildflowers. These resources will also provide important details like trail conditions and potential closures. If you want some help identifying wildflowers, check out WTA’s handy guide to peak bloom months.

Travel Tip: All trails have the potential to get busy on weekends, so plan to arrive early in the day or travel mid-week when possible.

Washington Wildflower Hikes

Looking for alternatives to some of the most popular wildflower hikes in Washington? Check out these spots recommended by locals, land managers, and destinations.

Cowiche Canyon Conservancy (Wildflower Trail and South Uplands), Yakima Valley

Wildflower Loop Trail at Snow Mountain Ranch | Photo Credit: David Hagen

The Cowiche Canyon Conservancy Trails in Yakima are home to grasslands, meadows, and more. Celisa Hopkins, the executive director at the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, recommends Wildflower Loop Trail, a 4-mile loop where seasonal wildflowers are on display. There’s also the South Uplands Loop, where lithosols grow along with a number of other wildflowers like fragile onion, balsamroot, and lupine. Flowers bloom between late February to late May depending on moisture and heat levels.

High Drive Parkway Trail and Rocks and Sharon, Spokane

High Drive Parkway Trail. | Photo Credit: Craig Goodwin

For those looking for a longer or more challenging trail, Visit Spokane recommends High Drive Parkway Trail, a 10-mile hike abundant with arrowleaf balsamroot from April to May. This is a great option if you don’t have a hiking pass since parking is free. Tip: Go at sunset for even more stunning views. Another free hike is Rocks of Sharon, which is popular among climbers. You’ll see Big Rock and other granitic monoliths along the way.

Also See: Explore Spokane with this City Guide

Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Photo courtesy of Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau

Looking for a short wildflower hike option in stunning Olympic National Park? In contrast to more popular trails in the area like Upper Big Creek Loop Trail, the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau recommends Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge, a 3-mile trail with 700 feet of elevation gain offering panoramic views. In addition to wildflowers like lupine or avalanche lilies, you may encounter deer and marmot on the trail. National Park pass required.

Also See: Less-Visited Hikes in Olympic National Park

Dalles Mountain and Lyle Cherry Orchard, Columbia River Gorge

Lyle Cherry Orchard. | Photo Credit: Cate Hotchkiss

Rather than head to well-known and highly visited Dog Mountain, consider checking out other wildflower hikes on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. Friends of the Gorge recommend the 5-mile Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail for birding and hiking. You have the best chance of seeing wildflowers like lupines and daisies from late February through May, with peak blooms in mid-to-late April. Views of the Gorge are fantastic year-round. Along the way, you’ll also find interpretive trail signs, where you can scan a QR code to learn about the area as you make your way along the rail. Note: The Washington Trail Association recommends wearing long pants and always staying on the trail as poison oak may be present on the edges of the trail.

For those seeking a more challenging option, Meryl Lassen with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission recommends Dalles Mountain Trail. This 11.9-mile hike can be windy, but you’ll be rewarded with wildflowers like balsamroot and lupine during peak season in April. Make sure to leave your pups at home for this hike and time your visit for a weekday either in the early morning or late afternoon for the best light. Discover Pass required.

At 5.4 miles roundtrip, the Weldon Wagon Road trail is another quieter option that boasts meadows of balsamroot and lupine wildflowers in April and May. Take in views of the White Salmon Valley as you make your ascent.

Travel Tip: To protect Washington’s outdoor spaces, some hikes like Dog Mountain have implemented a permit system for visitors. Be sure to check permit requirements before you head out and aim to visit mid-week from spring through summer. Dog Mountain permits are required on weekends from April 27 through June 19, as well as Memorial Day and Juneteenth. A permit does not guarantee a parking space at the Dog Mountain Trailhead. You’ll also need to pay $5/day/vehicle if you’re using the parking area.

Also See: Columbia River Gorge to Coast Road Trip

Coldwater Lake, Butte Camp, and Ape Canyon, Mount St. Helens area

Butte Camp Trail | Photo courtesy of Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance

Coldwater Lake via Lakes Trail is an 8.7-mile out-and-back trail that’s fairly moderate and dog-friendly. Here, you’ll likely find scarlet paintbrush, yellow bee plant, and forget-me-nots, as well as colorful butterflies attracted by the blooms. Bring water, plenty of sunscreen, and a hat since most of this trail is exposed. To visit, you’ll need to pay $5/vehicle/day or have a valid pass like Northwest Forest Pass or Interagency Pass.

Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance also recommends Butte Camp Trail, an 8-mile, out-and-back hike with breathtaking wildflower meadows that climbs gently through pine forest and old lava flowers. The route also provides excellent views of Mount St. Helens. Another option is Ape Canyon Trail. This 11-mile roundtrip hike offers views of Mount Adams and Mount Rainier as you gain elevation, and hikers report that you can find blooms like queen’s cup, lupine, tiger lilies, and goat’s beard on the connecting Loowit Trail.

Lake Ann, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

A less trafficked alternative to nearby Lake Ingalls, the Lake Ann Trail offers switchbacks and meadows and it’s a more challenging hike that clocks in at 8.2 miles roundtrip. Along the trail, you’ll find scarlet paintbrush, columbine, and lupine. This is also a great option for fall when the larches change to gold. Northwest Forest Pass required.

Berkeley Park and Reflection Lakes, Mount Rainier National Park

If you’re looking for an alternative to Skyline and other highly visited trails at Mount Rainier National Park, Meilee Anderson with Visit Rainier recommends Reflection Lakes offers stunning views of Mount Rainier over the water, but that’s not all. In the summer, you can also find wildflowers like rosy spirea, fireweed, and lupine along the lake on this 2.75-mile loop with an 850 foot elevation gain. In the fall, the area transitions to warm hues and vibrant foliage.

If you want to see flowers, creeks, marmots, and maybe even mountain goats, Anderson also recommends this 7.7-mile roundtrip hike to Berkeley Park. It’s less trafficked and will take you along parts of Sourdough Ridge Trail and Wonderland Trail. National Park Pass required for both hikes.

Travel Tip: In 2024, Mount Rainier National Park is piloting a timed entry system during peak visitation months. From late spring to summer, you’ll need a timed entry reservation per vehicle to access the Paradise Corridor and Sunrise Corridor from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Leavenworth Ski Hill Loop, Leavenworth

The Leavenworth Ski Hill Loop offers the chance to see Washington wildflowers like larkspur, avalanche lily, and scarlet paintbrush along this 5.5-mile moderately challenging loop. No permits are required to hike this trail during spring through fall, though you’ll need to leave your pups at home.

Recreate Responsibly

Wildflower hikes in Washington are popular for good reason, and each year brings more visitors who hope to experience the state’s colorful blooms and scenic landscapes. To help protect these outdoor spaces so they can be enjoyed by future generations, please follow these guidelines:

  • Always stay on the marked trail to avoid trampling wildflowers
  • Don’t pick the flowers or remove any other flora or fauna
  • Leave no trave by packing out your trash
  • If you’re bringing dogs on a dog-friendly trail, please keep them on a leash so they stay on the path.

Happy hiking!

About the Author

Aleenah Ansari is a Seattle-based writer covering travel, entrepreneurship, mental health and wellness, and representation in media for Insider, The Seattle Times, Byrdie, and more. You can usually find her searching for murals in Seattle and beyond, reading a book by a BIPOC author, and planning her next trip to New York. Learn more at

Featured Image: Berkeley Park | Photo Credit: Janelle Walker