2018 First Day Hikes

Lake Wenatchee snowshoers

A great First Day Hike can happen anywhere! Just check out these folks who took a wintry walk through the forest at Lake Wenatchee State Park during last January's event.

Welcome 2018 with healthy, active outdoor fun! 

First Day Hikes 2.25 Pin 2018Ring in the new year with one (or even two) of the more than three dozen First Day Hikes happening at 34 parks statewide.

This year, on Jan. 1,  Washington state parks are offering hikes, bike rides, snow adventures and even some science and history lessons. We’ve added new hikes, in addition to some old favorites to the list. You’re sure to find a hike that appeals to you—body and mind! And don’t forget to get your First Day Hikes pin as a memento of your outing.

First Day Hikes are happening all across the nation and are organized in conjunction with America’s State Parks. New Year’s Day is also a Washington State Parks free day. You won’t need a Discover Pass to visit a state park.

Ready to pick your First Day Hike? Read on to start planning your trip. And please share your photos and First Day Hike story with us after the event!

Please note: Phone numbers are provided in case you are concerned about a possible cancellation. Otherwise, just show up (unless registration is required). For directions to a park, follow the link to the state park web page. In addition, please remember that all minor children need to be accompanied by an adult.

North Sound/Island state parks

IMG_0696

Gee, that's logical! Come discover how ice helped shape the landscape at Fort Ebey State Park. And, of course, have a cookie and a cup of cocoa by the fire too!

Cama Beach Historical State Park
Camano Island

New this year! A guided family hike lead by Ranger Billy Hoppe, with information for kids and the young at heart.  Walk will be at a leisurely pace with frequent stops to allow for photography and a description of the area, the history, animals and plants. Two platforms along the way large provide great views of an active bald eagle nest.

Name of hike: Welcome Center Loop nature walk
Name of trail: Old Entrance Trail and Bluff Trail
Time: 11 a.m.
Length of hike: 3/4 mile
Where to meet: Drop-off shelter
Difficulty: Moderate
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Footwear appropriate for dirt trails and potentially slippery ground.
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 387-1550

New this year! Take a guided hike through the coniferous forest and along the bluff edge with views of Saratoga Passage, Whidbey Island and the Olympic Mountains. Park history, wildlife and vegetation will be discussed as we travel along the trail. Following the hike, stick around to enjoy light snacks at the Camano Island State Park cabins.

Name of hike: Cama Beach Drop-off Shelter to Camano Island State Park
Name of trail: Old Entrance Trail to Cross Island Trail, South Rim Trail to Camano Island State Park cabins.
Time:
Noon
Length of hike: 2.1 miles one way. A free shuttle will be available for the return trip.
Where to meet: Cama Beach drop-off shelter
Difficulty: Moderate
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Footwear appropriate for dirt trails and potentially slippery ground.
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 387-1550

Camano Island State Park
Camano Island

New this year! Gotta ‘cache them all! Learn to Geocache on this family-friendly walk. Ranger Tina Dinzl-Pedersen will have GPS units to use on the walk while you practice your geocaching treasure-hunting technique! The best kind of practice is simply to geocache more. You will learn about cache containers, how to log a geocache and trackables. Working with a group can help add more success for new cachers and those who have a few finds under their belts. We will look for six caches on this walk, including one of the oldies placed in 2001—when geocaching was just beginning!

Name of hike: Geocaching at Camano Island State Park
Name of trail: Howard Adams Trail
Time:
10 a.m.  
Length of hike:
1.1 miles
Where to meet:
Camano Island State Park cabins
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Footwear good for walking on dirt trails and possibly slippery ground.  A GPS or smart phone if you want to learn to use your own device for geocaching. Loaner units also will be available.
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 387-1555


Deception Pass State Park
Oak Harbor


New this year! Park staff will guide hikers around the Sand Dunes Interpretive Trail loop. This paved trail is ADA and stroller accessible, with minor bumps along the way. Discover great views of the Salish Sea, travel though dune forests, wetlands, sandy beaches, and visit one of the oldest trees in the park. Afterwards, take a stroll across the parking lot to check out our newly finished amphitheater, and maybe take a self-guided hike along the North Beach Trail to the bridge.

Name of trail: Sand Dune Interpretive Trail
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
1.2 miles
Where to meet:
West Beach shelter at West Beach
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
Yes
Stroller accessible?
Yes
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes 
What to bring:
Water, clothing appropriate for the weather, hat, gloves and warm clothes in layers. Footwear that is good on sidewalk trails and possibly slippery ground.
Further information/event cancellation:
Check the Deception Pass Park Foundation's website at deceptionpassfoundation.org. 

Fort Ebey State Park
Coupeville

Enjoy some hot drinks and treats by the fire, and then go for a hike that will take you on an epic tour into the region’s geological and biological history! Learn how glaciers shaped the land, and then duck into the forest for a peek at the local flora and fauna. Finish your outing with a brief, simple science experiment that will explain much about the forces that forged Western Washington’s unique landscape. Round out the morning with more well-earned treats by the fire. This is a hike you won’t want to miss!

Name of hike: Kettles and Forest Hike
Name of trail:
This hike encompasses a number of Fort Ebey’s trails
Time:
Refreshments at 9:30 a.m. and hike at 10 a.m.
Length of hike:
2 miles
Where to meet:
Beach access parking lot by the restrooms
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What you need to know:
Hike is not recommended for children younger than 7.
What to bring:
Hiking shoes and hiking poles if you normally use them.
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 969-1340

Larrabee State Park
Bellingham        

Follow the 2 Dollar Trail as it makes its way to beautiful Fragrance Lake. The trail winds through old growth forest for a few miles before you get sight of the lake, which you can walk all the way around in just over 1/2 mile. A great hike for people who enjoy finding different types of ferns, trees and fungus. At the end of the hike, enjoy a hot cup of apple cider at the park!

Name of hike: Fragrance Lakes via 2 Dollar Trail
Name of trail:
2 Dollar Trail         
Time:
9 a.m.
Length of hike:
4 miles round trip
Where to meet:
2 Dollar Trailhead on Cleator Road
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What you need to know:
The guided hike will be open to the first 25 people.
What to bring:
Wear hiking shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or muddy.
Further information/event cancellation:
360-755-9231

Lime Kiln Point State Park
Friday Harbor

Explore the natural, ancient and recent histories of this unique and beautiful place in the San Juan archipelago. Enjoy dramatic views of Haro Strait and Vancouver Island from the rocky, tide-carved shores. Journey from the lighthouse to the park’s namesake lime kiln and quarries. Then venture on to Dead Man’s Bay for some stunning views and back to the interpretive center where you can enjoy even more history and learning as you warm up.

Name of trail: A journey from the lighthouse to the lime quarry, then on to Dead Man’s Bay via the duck blind
Time:
11 a.m.
Length of hike:
2.5 miles
Where to meet:
By the whale in front of the Interpretive Center
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Sturdy walking shoes and clothing appropriate for weather and potentially rain.
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 378-2044

Moran State Park 
Olga

Take a ranger-guided stroll through a lush rainforest carpeted with moss from Cascade Lake to Cascade falls and back. The hike ends just in time for the Annual Polar Bear Plunge beginning at 11 a.m. sharp! The Orcas Island Rowing Club’s Polar Bear Plunge is an island tradition, bringing in the New Year with a quick and chilly dip into Cascade Lake and an even quicker run back to the fire!

Name of hike: First Day Hike followed by Polar Bear Plunge
Name of trail:
Cascade Lake to Cascade Falls
Time:
9:30 a.m. for the hike. The plunge is between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Length of hike:
3 miles
Where to meet:
Cascade Lake day-use shelter
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?  
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
No
What to bring:
Sturdy shoes, snacks, water and, if you plan to do the Polar Bear Plunge, some dry clothes to get into after you have your dip!
Further information/event cancellation:
Friends of Moran Facebook page

Wallace Falls State Park
Gold Bar

Ranger Kevin will lead hike along Woody Trail to Middle Falls, and Senior Park Aide Leslie will lead a hike on the Small Falls Interpretive Trail. The hike to Middle Falls will focus on park features and history, and the hike to the Interpretive Trail will focus on forest ecology. Both hikes will provide stops at viewpoints, and staff will answer any park-related questions.

Name of hikes:  Interpretive Trail and Middle Falls
Name of trails:
Small Falls Interpretive Trail and Woody Trail  
Time:
9:30 and 10 a.m. respectively
Length of hike:
1-1/2 and 3-1/2 miles respectively
Where to meet:  
Parking area trailhead
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Sturdy hiking shoes, snacks, water and weather-appropriate clothing.
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 793-0420

Puget Sound and Hood Canal state parks

Elk in camground Sept 2017

Have you "herd" the news? You never know who you could run into on a First Day Hike at Dosewallips State Park!

Dosewallips State Park
Brinnon

Take a tour of Dosewallip’s dynamic forest-meets-estuary environment and discover why it is so important to migrating elk herds and spawning salmon. Bring your camera—you may even spot some of the water fowl and other flora and fauna that call this unique park home!  

Name of hike: Steam Donkey Loop
Name of trails: Steam Donkey and Maple Valley
Time:
2 p.m.
Hike leader/organizer:
Ranger Steven Dippery
Length of hike:
3-1/2 miles
Where to meet:  
Day-use parking lot on the east side of Highway 101
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Sturdy hiking shoes, snacks, water and weather-appropriate clothing.
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 796-4415

Added Dec. 19—Fort Flagler Historical State Park
Marrowstone Island

Find out why winter birdwatching is so popular in the Pacific Northwest! Join local bird enthusiast and Audubon Society member John Comstock for  three short but informative walks to look for the some—or all?—of the 65 bird species recently spotted at the park. The walk begins at the beach in the lower campground area, then proceeds to Battery Wansboro and ending with a walk along Marrowstone Point, with a stop at the park’s parade grounds to view plover and dunlin.

Name of hike: Fort Flagler First Day Birding Hike
Time:
  9:30 a.m.
Length of Hike:  1 mile
Where to meet:   Lower campground parking area
Difficulty:
  Easy
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
Things to know:
  These short hikes are located between different locations in the park. Visitors will be expected to drive between locations.
What to bring?: Binoculars or spotting scope. Dress for cold weather.
Further information/event cancellation:  Cancellations will be posted on the park’s web page.

Saltwater State Park
Des Moines

Join park staff for a tour of the park’s flora, fauna and rich history!  Take a brisk stroll on the along the loop trail. Then, visit the displays in the Forest and Marine rooms within the park’s Civilian Conservation Corps cabin, and discover some fun facts about Saltwater’s 90-year history.

Name of hike: First Day Hike
Name of trail: 
Loop Trail
Time:
10 a.m.
Hike leader/organizer:
Ranger Coleman Wright
Length of hike:
1.8 miles
Where to meet:
Civilian Conservation Corps cabin
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?  
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Warm clothes and sturdy shoes.
Further information/event cancellation:
(253) 661-4955

Southwest and coastal state parks

Cape Disappointment skadoosh!

Now THAT'S the kind of new year's drama we like! Enjoy a bracing hike at Cape Disappointment this coming Jan. 1.

Battle Ground Lake State Park
Battle Ground


How about a hike around a volcano? Ranger Tom Benenati will participate with visitors on a hike around Battle Ground Lake, a “maar”—or crater—formed by a volcanic steam explosion. The hike is self-guided and participants may proceed at a comfortable pace.

Name of hike: First Day Hike
Name of trail: Lower Lake Trail
Time:
2 p.m.
Hike leader/organizer:
Ranger Tom Benenati
Length of hike:
1 mile
Where to meet:
Park entrance booth
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?  
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes 
What to bring:
Water, snacks and warm clothing
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 878-4252

Beacon Rock State Park
Skamania

Help us kick off the centennial year of the Beacon Rock Trail with a First Day Hike up the rock!  One hundred years ago, in April 1889, construction of the engineering marvel that is the trail to the top of Beacon Rock was completed. A ranger will share a few historical tidbits about the rock itself and the building of the trail.

Name of hike: Beacon Rock Trail Centennial Hike
Name of trail: 
Beacon Rock Trail
Time:
 
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
 
1.8 miles, round trip
Where to meet:
 
Small picnic shelter across from office, just west of the trailhead
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
 
Yes
Things to know:
Trail features 52 switchbacks, 530 foot elevation gain and is carved out of sheer cliff-faces. There are handrails much of the way, but hikers must exercise caution near the steep drop-offs.
What to bring:
 
Drinking water!
Further information/event cancellation:
509-427-8265. Winter weather and storm damage have caused many trail and park closures in the past, so be sure to call and check if the trail will be open for the hike.

Cape Disappointment State Park
Ilwaco

New this year! Enjoy a little new year’s drama—the beautiful scenic Pacific Ocean kind! Get a taste of this stirring environment where the Columbia River meets the ocean to create some of the wildest waters in the world! Led by Interpretive Specialist Aaron Webster, this hike will explore the mysteries of the Fog Forest and view of a small island that was an important destination for the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery! 

Name of hike: Coastal Loop Trail Hike
Name of trail: 
Coastal Loop Trail
Time:
1 p.m.
Length of hike:
1.5 miles
Where to meet:
Central loop parking lot
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Warm clothing, snacks and water
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 642-3029

Lake Sylvia State Park
Montesano

Lake Sylvia State Park is a perfect place for lowland hiking anytime during the winter—and why not New Year’s Day? You’ll love the idyllic lake setting and the old growth forest trails. A park ranger will lead a 2-mile hike along the trail that loops around Lake Sylvia. A volunteer from the Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia (FOSLS) will lead a shorter stroll as well. Learn about the history of the Lake Sylvia area and discuss native plants and wildlife. FOSLS will provide coffee, cocoa and cookies.

Name of trail: Lake Trail
Time:
1 p.m.
Hike leader/organizer:
Ranger Miles Wenzel
Length of hike:
2 miles
Where to meet:
Kitchen shelter at the day use area        
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Water bottle, warm clothing, good hiking shoes or boots, and an umbrella (if needed).
Further information/event cancellation:
360-249-3621

Lewis and Clark State Park
Winlock

Join the Upper Cowlitz Area Park's Interpretive Specialist and ranger staff as we explore the beautiful old growth forest this park has to offer. Learn about the area's rich history as well as the abundant flora and fauna. This scenic hike takes you under towering cedar and fir trees strung with lichen and moss and through a lush understory teeming with ferns. The hike will begin in the CCC kitchen shelter where a warm fire and drinks/snacks will be provided. A short presentation will take place on the local wildlife as hikers are arriving. All ages are welcome. 

Name of trail: Trail of the Deer
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
2 miles
Where to meet:
Main entrance gate to park
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?  
Yes
Things to know:
Trail can be wet and muddy during the winter months, there are tree roots to step over. Shorter alternate paths are available for those interested.
What to bring:
Rain gear is recommended (just in case). Sturdy hiking shoes or muck-boots are strongly encouraged. No technical gear required.
Further information/event cancellation:
In case of inclement weather please call the park at (360) 864-2643 or park staff at (253) 951-1345.

Millersylvania State Park
Olympia

Hike will be ranger guided starting at 9 a.m., but public is welcome to hike any time.  The guided hike will include impromptu stops at points of interest related to natural and cultural history of the park.

Name of hike: First Day Hike
Name of trail: 
Park Perimeter Trail
Time:
9 a.m.
Length of hike:
3 to 4 miles
Where to meet:
Kitchen Shelter #1
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?:
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
No
Things to know:
Trails may be wet and muddy. Wooden boardwalks may be slippery if wet or in freezing temperatures. Hike leader may adjust the hike to weather conditions
What to bring:
Sturdy, weather and moisture-resistant footwear
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 753-1519

Nolte State Park
Enumclaw

We just love forested, lakeside hikes and Nolte State Park’s Lake Trail around Deep Lake is a lovely, easy 1-1/4-mile-loop—perfect for families! Start out from the main bulletin board along the trail. The hike will continue around the lake through the forested Green River Gorge. You’ll likely spot woodland animals along the way. Ranger Anna Balsamo will lead the tour and discussion about Nolte's history and the local flora and fauna.

Name of hike: First Day Hike
Name of trail: 
Lake Trail Loop
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
1-1/4 miles
Where to meet:
Main bulletin board
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
Yes
Dogs allowed on leash?  
Yes
What to bring:
Sturdy footwear and layered clothing
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 886-0148

Westport Light State Park
Westport

Hit the coast for a guided hike by the ocean! This hike will be led by a ranger who will provide some information about the history of the area and some insight on the dynamic coastline. Travel to Point Chehalis, and take in the sweeping views of Twin Harbors Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Children of all ages are welcome to join. 

Name of trail: Westport Dune Trail
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
2.6 miles round trip with a 1.3 mile option available to those with a shuttle vehicle
Where to meet:
At the park
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
Yes
Stroller accessible?
Yes
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Wear appropriate winter clothing for wind and rain. Dress in layers. Bring water.
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 268-1457

Central Washington state parks

Fat Biking Pearrygin 1-1-15

How about a roll instead of a stroll? At Pearrygin Lake State Park you can go for a fat tire bike ride on New Year's Day!

Alta Lake State Park
Pateros

Explore the flora, fauna and geology of Alta Lake and the Goat Mountain area with a park ranger. Discuss local history and the recent fire seasons, all while leaving no trace! The park rests at the bottom of a glacially carved valley and is included in a transition zone of mountain forest to desert. In addition, this location is at the gateway to the gorgeous Methow Valley and near the confluence of the Columbia and Methow rivers.

Name of trail: Alta Lake Fire Road
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
2 miles round trip            
Where to meet:
Alta Lake State Park office
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Hiking boots, hiking poles, water bottle/hydration backpack
Further information/event cancellation:
509-923-2473

Bridgeport State Park
Bridgeport

Explore the flora, fauna and geology of this section of the Columbia River with a park ranger—all while leaving no trace! Witness evidence of the very powerful natural forces that shaped the area. Learn what a “haystack” is in geological terms. In addition, this location is 2 miles from Chief Joseph Dam and some impressive tree art in the town of Bridgeport.

Name of trail: Roofus Overlook Trail
Time:
9 a.m.
Length of hike:
¼ mile
Where to meet:
Bridgeport State Park group camp parking area
Difficulty:
Easy to moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes 
What to bring:
Hiking boots, hiking poles, water bottle and / or hydration backpack
Further information/event cancellation:
509-686-7231

Lake Chelan State Park
Chelan

Hike at a leisurely pace through the pine forest and learn about forest fire behavior and local wildlife. Ranger Dwight Keegan will recount stories from his career at the park. The hike will conclude at the park picnic shelter with a roaring fire in the fireplace and refreshments.

Name of trail: Little Bear Trail    
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
1-1/2 miles
Where to meet:
Park office
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What you need to know:
Snow conditions may affect the hike
What to bring:
Dress appropriately for winter conditions.
Further information/event cancellation:
509-687-3710

Lake Easton State Park
Easton

Join park staff on a guided snowshoe hike and learn about winter wildlife of the beautiful Lake Easton area.

Name of hike:
Lake Easton Winter Wonderland Snowshoe
Name of trail: Wind Tunnel Way
Time:
1 p.m.
Length of hike:
About 2-1/2 miles
Where to meet:
Lake Easton Day Use Area parking lot
Difficulty: Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
No
What to bring:
BYOSS! Bring your own snowshoes. A Sno-Park permitis required.
Further information/event cancellation:
509-925-1943 (Olmstead Place State Park)

Lake Wenatchee State Park
Leavenworth

Take a guided snowshoe hike along the Wenatchee River up to North Beach for views across Lake Wenatchee. Then, wander through our pine and Douglas-fir forest and finally ending back at the north reservation booth for hot cocoa and light snacks. Along the way, our hike leaders will point out various historical aspects of the park, highlight notable stories and discuss some fun facts. One particular stop at North Beach is a favorite, where participants tend to take a snack break and gather together for a group photo opportunity.

Snowshoes are available to rent in limited youth and adult sizes. Please contact the park ahead of time to reserve a pair if needed.

Name of hike: First Day Guided Snowshoe Hike
Name of trail: Lake Loop Trail
Time:
11 a.m.
Length of hike:
Up to 2-1/2 miles, with options to increase or decrease distance, based on participants’ preferences.
Where to meet:
North park reservation booth
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Appropriate winter attire and snowshoes. Trekking poles, if preferred.
Further information/event cancellation:
Call ahead of time to confirm the event is still occurring—inclement weather may affect this hike. Call 509-763-3101 for related information or questions. If you have a large group coming, please inform the park at least seven days ahead of time.

Lincoln Rock State Park
East Wenatchee

Come join us, and learn some history of Lincoln Rock State Park, the area geology, the Rocky Reach Dam and the Rocky Reach Trail. Bring a camera for an exhilarating scenic shots of the dam and its spillways from the interpretive outlook on the Rocky Reach Trail.

Name of trail: Rocky Reach Trail
Time:
11 a.m.
Length of hike:
2 miles
Where to meet:
Park’s day use area by the monument
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
Yes
Stroller accessible?
Yes
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
Things to know:
There could be snow on the ground and the trail may not be maintained. Plan accordingly.
What to bring: Appropriate footwear for snow 
Further information/event cancellation:
(509) 884-8702

Olmstead Place Historical State Park
Ellensburg

New this year! Start the year out on the right paw! Join park staff for a short, easy hike with your friendly pup. Dog lovers without pups are welcome too. Don't forget to bring those baggies!

Name of hike: Group Dog Walk
Name of trail: Altapes Creek Trail
Time:
9 a.m.
Length of hike:
1 mile
Where to meet:
North end parking area
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
Things to know:
Dogs should be well behaved and like other dogs and people.
What to bring: Your dog on a leash that is not more than 8-feet long 
Further information/event cancellation:
(509) 925-1943

Pearrygin Lake State Park
Winthrop

Take a First Day “Bike” ride in the park with local fat tire bike enthusiasts. Ride through the shrub steppe on the Rex Derr Trail with views overlooking Pearrygin Lake. Drop down to tour the park, looking and listening for evidence of winter wildlife—including tracks, bird songs and howls. Prefer to go on foot? Bring your snowshoes, and head out along the same trail ahead of the bikers.  Rangers Bryan Alexander and Alex Ott will host the event. Each hike or ride will be self-guided; however, park staff will be happy to lead either hike or ride. When we’re done riding and snowshoeing, we’ll have a free barbecue-style lunch with cocoa, coffee and social time at the park’s headquarters. You’re welcome to stay and play in the snow following the hike and ride.

Name of hike: Fat tire bike/snowshoe
Name of trail:
 Rex Derr Trail
Time:
10 a.m. for hikers, 10:30 for bikers
Length of hike:
1 to 6 miles, depending on participants' preference
Where to meet:
Park office/shop compound
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
No
Things to know:  
Please call the park ahead of time if you wish to participate in the barbecue.
What to bring:
Dress for winter weather, fat tire bike, snowshoes, hiking boots, depending on the activity you're interested in. For the ride: Fat bike, warm layers, gloves, hat water and snack. Bike rentals available through Methow Cycle & Sport in Winthrop. For the snowshoe trip, all the same gear, but swap the bike for snowshoes.  
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 646-9218

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
Coulee City

The day will begin at the Dry Falls Visitor Center for an overview of the geology of Dry Falls & the Ice Age Flood National Geologic Trail, plus a tour of the visitor center. Then, we'lll drive down to Sun Lakes to begin a looping hike through the winter wonderland of desert sagebrush and rolling shrub-steppe.

Name of hike: Winter Ecology, New Year’s Day Tracks and Surprises at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls
Name of trail: Trail will be determined based on group dynamics and weather conditions
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
2 miles
Where to meet:
Dry Falls Visitor Center
Difficulty:
Easy to moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?  
No
What to bring:
10 Essentials, a light day pack and proper clothing for the weather conditions
Further information/event cancellation:
(509) 632-5214

Eastern Washington state parks

First Day 16-1 Mt. Spokane resize

Crunch, crunch, crunch... What better way to ring in the new year than a snowshoe trek at Mount Spokane State Park!

Columbia Plateau Trail State Park 
Washtucna

The Columbia Plateau Trail is a 4,109 acre, 130-mile-long, railroad bed that traces the original path of the Spokane, Portland and Seattle railroads. Learn and practice Leave No Trace principles, presented by a park ranger. Enjoy wonderful Snake River views while also learning about the area flora, fauna and geology. Enjoy post-hike refreshments and prizes!

Name of trail: Columbia Plateau Trail, South
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
3 to4 miles, out and back
Where to meet:
Ice Harbor Dam Trailhead, outside Pasco
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
Yes
Stroller accessible?
Yes
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Dress for the weather and conditions; it's winter! Binoculars and a camera. Water. Sturdy hiking shoes, and Yak Traks if conditions are icy.
Further information/event cancellation:
(509) 646-9218

Fields Spring State Park 
Anatone

If we have clear weather, you may catch views of the Wallowa Mountains, Hells Canyon and the Grande Ronde River on this staff-led snowshoe hike. Learn and practice Leave No Trace principles, presented by a park ranger. Discover who Mr. Fields was and what Mr. and Mrs. Puffer did! If snow is a no-show, this outing will become a traditional hike instead. Enjoy post-hike refreshments and prizes.   

Name of trail: Corral Trail
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
Approximately 2-mile round trip snow shoe excursion, out and back. Optional climb for additional views can be done after the guided hike.
Where to meet:
Trailhead near the Puffer Butte Lodge parking area, at the end of Park Road.
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
What to bring:
Dress for the weather and conditions; it's winter! Binoculars and a camera. Water. Your snowshoes. If you do not have snowshoes, there are a limited number on site for rent.  Arrive 20 minutes early if you need to rent. You will also need a Sno-Park permit.
Further information/event cancellation:
(509) 256-3332

Mount Spokane State Park
Spokane

Snowshoe Hike

This route will take participants west along the Lower Kit Carson Loop Road to Smith Gap and the snowshoe hut completed in 2014. Along the way, we'll traverse through a beautiful old growth cedar and hemlock forest and pass several stream crossings. Snacks, hot beverages and other goodies will be provided at the trailhead by REI, Washington State Parks and Friends of Mount Spokane State Park.

Name of hike: Smith Gap Showshoe Hut
Name of trail: Lower Mount Kit Carson Loop Road
Time:
9:30 a.m.
Length of hike:
2 miles
Where to meet:
In the Lower Kit Carson Loop Road parking lot at the first hairpin turn
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
No
Things to know:
Maximum group size is 30. Please RSVP to Lara Gricar at 509-465-5066 or Lara.Gricar@parks.wa.gov by Dec. 22. A Sno-Park permit is required and can be purchased at the Mount Spokane State Park office or online.
What to bring:
Waterproof or water-resistant boots, gators or waterproof pants, snowshoes, trekking poles, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 465-5066 or (509) 570-2763

Summit Snowshoe Hike

Hike past the Bald Knob Picnic Shelter to the historic stone Vista House located at 5,883 feet—the highest point on Mount Spokane. If weather permits, we should have views of the Cabinet Mountains in Montana, Selkirk Crest in North Idaho and nearby lakes. Snacks, hot beverages and other goodies will be provided at the trailhead by REI, Washington State Parks, and Friends of Mount Spokane State Park. Participants also may purchase hot drinks, chili, and snacks at the Vista House.

Name of hike: Mount Spokane Summit
Name of trail: Trail 130 and 131 to the summit via the Bald Knob Picnic Shelter
Time:
9:30 a.m.
Length of hike: 3-1/2 miles
Where to meet:
Lower Selkirk parking lot known as the snowmobile Sno-Park lot
Difficulty:
Strenuous
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash? No
Things to know:
Maximum group size is 30. Please RSVP to Lara Gricar at (509)465-5066 by Dec. 22. A Sno-Park permit is required and can be purchased at the Mount Spokane State Park office or online.
What to bring:
Waterproof or water-resistant boots, gators or waterproof pants, snowshoes, trekking poles, sunglasses and sunscreen
Further information/event cancellation:
(509) 465-5066 or (509) 570-2763

Palouse Falls State Park
Starbuck

During this ranger-led guided hike, enjoy wonderful views of the official state waterfall created by the Palouse River while learning about area flora, fauna and geology of this area. Palouse Falls is a 105-acre park featuring dramatic evidence of the Ice Age Floods. Leave No Trace principles will be taught and practiced. Stick around afterwards for a post-hike refreshments and prizes!

Name of hike: First Day Hike
Name of trail: Palouse Falls
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
1 mile
Where to meet:
Lower parking lot at overlook, near bathroom
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
Yes
Dogs allowed on leash?
No
What to bring:
Dress for the weather and conditions; it's winter! Binoculars and a camera. Water. Good quality hiking/walking shoes, closed toe. Yak Traks if conditions are icy. 
Further information/event cancellation:
(509) 646-9218

Riverside State Park
Spokane

Danny Murphy with Washington State Parks and Ben Baird with the Riverside State Park Foundation will lead the hike. Stroll along the Spokane River among towering Ponderosa pines and massive basalt rock formations in one of the main areas of the park called Bowl and Pitcher. Learn about the park's history, flora and fauna and view many of the distinctive structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, including the iconic swinging bridge. There is a good chance some wildlife including osprey, bald eagles, deer, western gray squirrels, and moose will make an appearance. Snacks and other goodies will be provided by the Riverside State Park Foundation and Washington State Parks.

Name of hike: Bowl and Pitcher Loop
Name of trail: Trail 25
Time:
9:30 a.m.
Length of hike:
2 miles
Where to meet:
Day use parking lot for the Bowl and Pitcher, 4427 N. Aubrey L. While Parkway, Spokane
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
Things to know:
The terrain is primarily flat, but participants should be prepared for some sections of tread that are uneven and rocky.
What to bring:
Hiking boots or shoes with good traction and sunglasses. If there is snow please bring snow-appropriate gear such as snowshoes, micro spikes and trekking poles. Binoculars are encouraged for viewing wildlife
Further information/event cancellation:
(509) 795-4609

Northwest Washington state parks

Rockport Hikers on a Bridge

Fun in the forest with friends? Yes, please! A walk through the Rockport State Park wilderness is always a wonderful way to welcome the new year!

Rasar State Park
Concrete


This walk will include a scenic river loop trail guided by park staff to answer questions and talk about the park's history. Participants may get the opportunity to see elk, eagles and other wildlife. The walk will lead to the wild and scenic Skagit River and return to the parking lot.

Name of hike: First Day Hike
Name of trail: River Loop
Time:
10 a.m.
Length of hike:
1 mile
Where to meet:
Day use parking lot shelter
Difficulty:
Easy
ADA accessible?
No
Stroller accessible?
Yes
Dogs allowed on leash?
Yes
Things to know:
The trail may be covered in snow.
What to bring:
Be prepared for winter conditions. Snow shoes or Yak Traks are recommended
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 826-3942

Rockport State Park
Rockport

This year's First Day Hike kicks off another season of "Healthy Hikes" at the park and will be led by Valerie Stafford, local fitness instructor and owner of Encore Fitness in Concrete. Valerie's hike will also include tips for stretching and warming up, nutrition and other fitness tips to make it a Healthy 2018.

Name of hike: Healthy Hikes
Name of trail: 
Evergreen Trail
Time:
11 a.m.
Length of hike:  
3.2 miles
Where to meet:
Picnic shelter by day-use restrooms
Difficulty:
Moderate
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible?
No
Dogs allowed on leash?  
Yes
What to bring:
Good walking shoes or boots, weather appropriate clothing and trekking poles if you prefer to use them.
Further information/event cancellation:
(360) 853-8461 or (360) 770-7677

Have a wonderful New Years's Day and enjoy your First Day Hike! And once you are done, tell us about it!
Share your Washington State Parks First Day Hikes photos and stories here!

Posting your First Day Hike photos on social media?
Be sure to use the #FirstDayHike hashtag and tag us @WaStatePks (Twitter), #WaStateParks (Instagram) and @WashingtonStateParks (Facebook).”