Four million people make the Puget Sound area home, and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want year-round hiking, world-class wildlife viewing, and thousands of miles of shoreline in their backyard?
Puget Sound is the most populated and most easily accessible region of the Pacific Northwest Trail. Beginning in timbered mountain foothills, the Pacific Northwest Trail travels like a raindrop through rural woodlands and Centennial Farms to meet the saltwater of Puget Sound. With a maritime climate and low elevation, hikers can comfortably hit the trail in July or January. Just don’t forget the rain gear! The scenery here is distinctly Northwestern. Snowy Mt. Baker presides over fields of brightly colored tulips and red-painted barns. Roadside stands serve shots of espresso and pints of farm-picked berries. Herons glide above eelgrass mudflats that shelter crabs, clams, shrimp, and young salmon. After reaching saltwater, hikers travel along Whidbey Island—the largest of thousands of islands in the Sound—and make the windy ferry crossing of Admiralty Inlet to reach the Olympic Peninsula.
- Touring Skagit Valley’s flower farms at spring bloom
- Finding the “Pacific Northwest Trail rock” at the base of Chuckanut Mountain
- Walking the quarter-mile bridge over turbulent Deception Pass
- Exploring WWI- and II-era bunkers at Fort Casey and Fort Ebey
- Whale-watching from Whidbey Island’s bluffs