Hikes and Stories

How To Avoid The Crowds on PNW Trails


We love our hiking here in the Pacific Northwest. Even if people don’t REALLY hike, they talk about that one hike they did or like to dress as if they hike. It’s all good.

Except for when I want to go hiking and I want it to actually be an outdoor experience and not like being on the escalator at the mall. Sometimes the hiking love we have here is a bit claustrophobic.


Here are a few of the things I do when picking a hike to avoid being annoyed by way too many people in my hiking “bubble”.

  • Don’t hike the first hike up a highway.
  • Go to WTA’s website and check out the trip reports. If a hike has more than 1 report a week, skip it.
  • Follow groups like Washington Hikers and Climbers. They usually talk about the same 5 hikes, avoid those.
  • Check out where all the outdoor Meetup groups are going on the day you want to hike.
  • Actually look up your own hike, do some research. Check out my page, Find A Hike for ideas.
  • Avoid anything on I-90 between Seattle and Snoqualmie Pass.
  • Follow Craig Romano, don’t go to his Hike of The Week the week he posts on Facebook. Disclaimer: I LOVE Craig Romano.  He is a wonderful resource. Just not when I make plans for a new hike and then he posts about it before I can go!
  • Go during the week.  Early. On a rainy day.


Start with these tips and you will be one your way to a bit more solitude while out in the wilderness. What are some of YOUR tips for avoiding crowds?

For more ideas on planning your hike, check out my page Find A Hike.

PS. In case you are wondering, NO it is not acceptable to have your tent within 200ft of a lake. LNT, baby.

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