When you think of Washington state, two images will burn through your mind, a desert wasteland with tumbleweeds galore or a rainy blanket of forest hidden in the Cascade Range of mountains. If you have the time to explore the Evergreen state during the best time to travel to Washington state, then you’ll want to know what is popular to do and how to prepare for it! Lucky for you, these two voyagers are Washingtonians and we know this state like no other!
We made sure to include commonly asked questions about Washington travel, information about passes for visiting the parks, lakes, and forests, background info for popular spots such as the Olympic national park and as well made a packing list for you to follow while exploring the great outdoors of the evergreen state.
Best Time To Travel To Washington State
Commonly Asked Questions For The Best Time To Travel To Washington State
Should I visit Eastern Washington or Western Washington?
Well, it depends on what you want to do when visiting the outstanding natural beauty of Washington state; if you are looking to explore cities, hit the Puget sound, explore new hiking trails that venture through thick forest and hidden waterfalls, then you’ll want to visit the Western side of the state. If you’re planning to do some hiking through the woods, go wine tasting, explore vineyards and visit beautiful lakes then Eastern Washington is your go
Exploring Cities in Washington state?
If your goal is to visit big cities such as Emerald City and Tacoma, you’ll want to hit the state’s eastern side as its city life is night and day compared to the western side of the cascade range. A great reason to take a road trip to visit Seattle, which boasts countless things to do from visiting the Pike Place Market, taking photos with the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington campus, viewing the Seattle skyline from the space needle, and more, plus a lot of these are low cost or free things to do in Seattle!
Are you looking for Laidback, serene spots in Washington state?
If you’re after peaceful night walks through nature, wine tasting at countless family vineyards, and a more laid-back trip, you’ll want to spend time in western Washington. The Yakima Valley is home to generational family vineyards, breweries of some of the best ales and ciders, and fresh fruit such as apples grown in abundance.
What Time of Year is Best to Visit Washington State?
June to September, the summer months are the most consistently dry, so it is the most common time for tourists to explore the wanderlust outdoors. The sun usually appears throughout the day in these pleasant seasons, and rain is typically minimal. However, the western Washington region is known for random rain spurs, while eastern Washington is sunnier and drier.
When Should I go to the Pacific Northwest?
We recommend the best time to visit is during the summer weather months when you’ll have nice weather, dry weather, and sunny skies, and the peak Seattle attractions happen around this time, such as the pride parade, Seafair, and more. Not to mention the variety of infamous hikes that are scattered across the state are bountiful! Washington is known for being home to breathtaking views and trails so make sure to bring along a great backpacking travel camera that is made for rough terrains!
What is the Rainy Season in Washington state?
The rainy season runs from October till March, with December being the wettest month. Still, precipitation is relatively evenly distributed during the Winter and early spring seasons, averaging 75% annual precipitation during the winter dry season.
What Month Rains the Most in Washington?
Most of the rainy days come during December. December averages 19 days of precipitation or snow. When we say rainy, we also mean rainy; it can rain for days straight. So if you’re visiting during our rainiest month, you’ll want to make sure you bring a poncho, umbrella, and rain boots.
What is the Least Rainy Month in Washington state?
June is the hottest month in Washington state and the funniest because many towns usually have their summer parades and festivals. For example, in the west side, Seattle Host its Seafair parade and celebration in the middle of July, and western cities have similar events later in the month. T
What is Winter like in Washington state?
The Winter months in Washington are drastically different depending on what part of the state you’re using. In eastern Washington, winters can be harsh, and inches of snow typically barrage that region frequently. At the same time, the western part, such as the greater Seattle area, is typically more mild and rainy. Although there have been a few snow storms that have shut down the city because Seattle was never really built for navigating the winter season snowy weather.
Suppose you’re into outdoor activities such as snow sports. In that case, you’ll want to visit during the winter season, between November and late March, because there are great activities such as snowboarding, snowshoeing, skiing, snow tubing, snowmobile riding, etc. sledding. These activities are usually hosted at nearby mountains and snow passes such as Snoqualmie Pass, Mt. Stevens, Crystal Mountain, and Mt. Baker.
When is Peak Tourist Season in Washington State?
Unfortunately, the best time to travel to Washington state is when the peak summer crowds are abundant and in full force; it’s also, unfortunately, the best time to visit Seattle.
The best time to visit Seattle is summer is a popular choice for tourists because the average temperature is usually warm and mild, and tourist hotspots such as Pike Place Market, Alki Beach, and downtown Seattle will be crowded.
If crowds are not your thing, we suggest visiting during the low season and Seattle’s rainy season, such as October through May, specifically the early fall and late spring, as the weather is the mildest for the rainy season. Avoid your visit Seattle during labor day weekend as it’s one of the peak tourist weekends.
The Natural Beauty Of Washington State:
Whe visiting much of Washington states lakes, forest, hiking trails and beaches you’ll want to ensure you have the right passes.
Discover Pass: The Washington discovery pass is a must and will set you back $35 for one year of usage or $11.50 for a pass only good for one day. There are also some free days to visit such as juneteenth, june 11th, September 24th and more which are listed at Discover Pass, WA.
Northwest Forest Pass: This pass is good for national forest in Oregon and Washington and will set you back $30.
National America the beautiful pass: The cost of this pass is $80 and works for national parks. You’ll need this to visit mount rainier unless you elect to buy the mt rainier pass which is $55.
CLothing and gear:
Washington is wild and we mean wild, the weather can be sunny and beautiful land then 10 minutes alter be hailing. Thus, you want to make sure yo don’t dress lieky orue i nclaifornia because trust us, its not California weather (unfortunately). It’s also easy to get lost if you’re not following the trail closely or its late and you cant see well. Please never go off your own and always stick to trails and follow signs and policies put in place. Also refrain from hiking when its dark and always be aware of your surroundings.
We recommend you pack the following:
- light jacket
- rain gear for rainy weather
- yoga pants or yoga shorts
- Hiking boots and long socks
- mosquito repellent they are everywhere!
- insect repellent
- Safety kit: Allergy and pain medicine in case you get bit by something or hurt yourself (Follow instructions form your doctor or health professional) bandaids, gauze, antiseptic, wrap for sprains.
- food rations
- extra water
- sun hat
- mini travel towel
- emergency light
- pocket tool that includes, mini corkscrew, clippers, baby knife, and sizzsors
- bear spray
Best Months To Visit Washington state
The best months to visit Washington state are going to be the late spring season to early fall season. These months are when the weather is less rainy, temperatures are mild, and you can still explore Washington while experiencing great weather.
The following months are the best months to visit Washington State
May in Washington offers flowers and mild weather
- flowers blooming
- mild weather
- less rain
June in Washington offers warm days and sunny mornings
- Mild weather with some warm days
- less rain
- Summer activities are beginning to take a full swing
July in Washington offers sunny days and warm weather throughout the month
- best beach weather
- warm weather
- Consistent sunny days
August in Washington is warm and dry
- Perfect weather for hiking and summer sports
- drier days with some rain in between
- Still sunny
September in Washington is mild and cozy
- sprinkles of rain are coming back
- mild weather
- not too chilly weather
- Fall weather is being introduced
October in Washington is slightly chilly and has beautiful fall foliage
- perfect time to do some fall hiking and explore fall foliage in Washington
- lots of outdoor activities
- mildly chill weather
When is the best time to explore Washington’s outdoors? Plus, the best things to do in Washington while outdoors.
Mountains in Washington State:
Home to various nonactive mountains, to name a few: Goode Mountain, Mt Olympus, Eldorado Peak, Tiger Mountain, Mt Si, Dragon Tail Peak, Mt Deception, Badger Mountain,
Volcanoes in Washington:
Home to 5 active volcanoes, most are found in the Cascade Range of Washington State; Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St Helens. If you plan on visiting these active volcanoes, take precautions and always be prepared for the worst. Also, make sure to bring outdoor survival gear such as. Bear spray, food rations, water, and warm clothes. Check road conditions and weather. The parks at these volcanoes are open during times such as the early spring and fall season.
If you have to choose only a few volcanic highlights, then we recommend you definitely choose Mount Rainier as it gives you multiple spots to hit on our checklist of best things to do in Washington.
You’ll want to stop and visit the Mount Rainier National Park, it is absolutely gorgeous and full of hiking trails that wrap around mini lagoons and ventures through wildflowers that are at peak bloom in the early summer months. You’ll be able to see fresh bear tracks regularly, and hike through marvelous view points that deserve a moment to just stand in silence.
Hiking Trails in the Evergreen State:
Home to over 700 miles of hiking trails and roughly 4000 hiking trails, including walking, biking, backpacking, and climbing. You’ll want to bring warm clothes when hiking through some of the trails that this Evergreen State offers. One time we went hiking in the middle of July, which is the hottest month for us here in Washington state, and there was still tons of snow!
Lakes in WA:
There are roughly 8000 lakes nestled in Washington State, such as Lake Chelan, Lake Crescent, Lake Blanca, Lake Washington, Diablo Lake, Colchuck Lake, Rattlesnake Lake, Green Lake, Lake Union, and more. Since visiting lakes means you’ll most likely want to engage in water activities, you’ll like to schedule your trip to them when sunny weather is at its highest, so June through September typically.
Forest of the Upper PNW:
Part of the pacific northwest, it’s only natural for Washington state to be as green as it gets with its forests galore such as the Wenatchee National Forest, Olympic National Forest, Hoh Rain Forest, and Ginkgo Petrified Forest. While you can visit almost all of the outdoor places in Washington year-round, we would recommend trying to see these forests in spring, summer, and early fall.
Hidden Waterfalls in Washington:
When you visit Washington, you have to make a pit stop at some of the gorgeous waterfalls bountiful in the green forest of Washington state. To name a few, there is Snoqualmie Falls, Palouse falls, franklin falls, twin falls, panther creek falls, Nooksack falls, Marymere falls, and dry falls.
Visiting waterfalls can include some hiking to reach them, so we recommend trying to explore these areas on sunny days and with higher temperatures. The weather in Washington state starts to warm up around early May and cools down in late September.
Coastal Beaches of Washington:
Washington doesn’t scream tropical vibes and margaritas, but it is home to many sandy beaches and rocky beaches such as Alki beach, Kalaloch beach, ruby beach, la push beach, long beach, ocean shores, and more!
Some of these beaches are swimmable, and some are too dangerous to attempt. However, you’ll have many things to do, such as horseback riding, kite flying, beach volleyball, kayaking, and more!
Make sure to visit the beaches when it’s the warmer and friendlier weather months, such as June-September otherwise; you’ll be cold in the rainier months due to the wetter weather. However, it’s usually pretty windy even when the weather is warmer, so I suggest bringing light warm clothing such as a light jacket and tennis shoes.
Best Time To go to Washington State
Well that wraps up what we think is the best time to travel Washington State, we hope that you enjoyed this enlightening post and are able to have a blast now that you know the best time to visit Washington! Make sure you try to visit some of the natural beauty spots we pointed out because after all, Washington is known for its iconic views!
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Disclaimer: This guide is based on our own personal opinion and is just that, an opinion. We do not claim to be experts on the matter. The information we gathered is based on personal knowledge and our time living in Washington state. These tips and recommendations may or may not work out for you. Please always do additional research before planning a trip so you have the most holistic view. Also, before heading out somewhere make sure to check for delays and closures, and price changes as they can change suddenly and without notice. This information was accurate at the time of posting. Last thing when visiting an area make sure to always follow the policies and laws of that area and be aware of your surroundings. Be safe!