From petrified forests and Ice Age waterfalls to the formidable Mount Saint Helens, the Evergreen State has certainly earned its nickname. Culture Trip’s local insiders share their favorite state parks to witness the natural splendors of Washington.
Deception Pass State Park
Follow the roar of motorboats to Whidbey Island, where you’ll find Washington’s most popular park, Deception Pass State Park. This 4,134-acre (1,673ha) marine and camping site offers stunning sunsets, tucked-away coves and towering cliffs. Enjoy a peaceful trek through the Pacific Northwest forests, go kayaking or canopy climbing, or simply relax on the shores and watch the whales. Don’t miss an opportunity to cross Deception Pass Bridge on foot to visit the forest-rich Kukutali Preserve.
Cape Disappointment State Park
With miles of pristine hiking trails and stunning coastal views, this popular state park is anything but disappointing. A 3hr drive from Seattle, you’ll find two functioning lighthouses, cabins for camping and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, where you can learn about the area’s rich maritime history. During the summer months, the beaches come alive with free nightly concerts. Hike to the North Head Lighthouse to watch the sunset.
Beacon Rock State Park
This ancient volcano-turned-geological preserve named by Lewis and Clark is now a 4,458-acre (1,804ha) state park offering year-round camping and unparalleled views of the Columbia River Gorge. Here, you can enjoy more than 26mi (42km) of hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails, as well as rock climbing and boating. Don’t be intimidated by the switchback trail that takes you up the 848ft (258m) Beacon Rock; it has majestic views of the surrounding area.
Fort Casey Historical State Park
Fort Casey Historical State Park holds centuries of history along the beautiful coast of Puget Sound. This 19th-century fort is worth a visit for families and history lovers, as you’ll find an early-20th-century lighthouse, labyrinthine underground bunkers and walking trails that provide sprawling views of both Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Soak up some history or the sun’s rays while enjoying a picnic in the park or strolling the beach.
Palouse Falls State Park
Want to experience Washington’s most remote natural wonder? Palouse Falls State Park is the perfect place to turn off your phone and recharge in nature. Come here to witness the state’s most beautiful 200ft (61m) waterfall and hike the scenic trails. You’ll find informative plaques throughout the park explaining how Ice Age floods formed this unbelievable landscape. You can also camp here, but camping spots are first come, first served.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.