3) Harry’s Ridge Trail – Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
Back in 1980, Mount Saint Helens erupted in spectacular fashion, causing the north face of the mountain to collapse and the volcano to begin spewing millions of tons of ash and molten rock into the sky, cutting the mountain down more than 1000 feet and leaving a smoldering crater more than a mile across and half a mile deep. Even today, the sleeping giant will release some steam and smoke and show signs of the violent geological activity that is still occurring inside the mountain.
4) Rialto Beach Trail – Olympic National Park
If you’re tired of mountain hikes and need something different, the coastline in Olympic National Park is a great choice. The sandy beach is your trail and the easy 4-mile hike takes much longer than anticipated due to the great number of beautiful distractions along the way. Rock pillars and small islands being pummeled by the waves, tidepools brimming with sea life, as well as the chance to spot whales, sea lions, and sea otters are all highlights of this hike. The hike usually ends after about 2 miles when you reach the Hole-in-the-Wall, a rock archway that was formed from wave erosion.