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10 Sea Breeze Hikes for a Hot Day

When the weather gets hot, try refreshing with an ocean-side trek. Here are five hikes to enjoy a sea breeze this summer.

Summer is prime hiking season—especially in Washington. After a long, wet winter, outdoors enthusiasts look forward to swapping rain boots for hiking boots. However, when temperatures rise, inland hikes can be exhausting with the sun beating down. Luckily for us, Washington is gifted with plenty of breezy shoreline to help beat the heat.

As much as we love the mountains, an ocean side trek is always a refreshing alternative. Here are five choices for sea breeze hikes this summer.

TIPS FOR seaside HIKING


Westport Light Trail 

Location: Long Beach Area
Mileage: 2.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 15 feet

Paved trail along the coast. Photo by Lincoln4.
Paved trail along the coast. Photo by Lincoln4.

The paved Westport Light Trail is an excellent way to see the dunes and grasses of the southwest Washington coast, take in an historic lighthouse, and enjoy the sea and sun without getting sand in your shoes!

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide


Maury Island Marine Park 

Location: Seattle-Tacoma Area
Mileage: 3.0 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: 500 feet

A curving stretch of beach bordered by forest.
Explore the shores of Maury Island at this park. Photo by Rachel Wendling.  

A quick ferry ride from Seattle or Tacoma delivers hikers to this gem of a county park on Maury Island. Explore the trails along the high bluffs, then head down to the beach to walk along the shore. Expansive views abound. 

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide


Lewis and Clark discovery trail

Location: Long Beach Area
Mileage: 7.0 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain: 15 feet

Trail leading through dune grass on the way to the beach on the Lewis and Clark Trail. Photo by Lukin 66.
Trail leading through dune grass on the way to the beach on the Lewis and Clark Trail. Photo by Lukin 66.

This trail in Cape Disappointment State Park at the very SW tip of the state, is paved and gives visitors lots of options. Head out to the beach, or explore along a boardwalk to to a swamp. The trail also extends out and connects the towns of Ilwaco and Long Beach. 

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide


Kukutali Preserve

Location: Bellingham Area
Mileage: 2.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet

A forested island across a narrow channel of water.
Skagit Island from Kukutali Preserve. Photo by thebrink.

Explore more than 2 miles of shoreline at this preserve that is co-managed by Washington State Parks and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Enjoy the views of the sound, marvel at madronas and look out for birds and other wildlife along the way.

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide 


Titlow Park 

Location: Seattle-Tacoma Area
Mileage: 2.0 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: minimal

Old wooden piers sticking out of the water with the sunset in the background.
The old piers at sunset at Titlow Park. Photo by brittanywanderlust. 

Titlow Park was once a roaring resort that brought visitors from all over for a luxury stay. It closed in the 1920s, and has since become a public park where visitors can take advantage of its many amenities as well as its great nature trails and expansive beach. Two loops give hikers a couple route options to explore. 

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide 


Weatherwax Trail

Location: Pacific Coast
Mileage: 1.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal

Arch and signboards at the entrance to the Weatherwax Trail. Photo by phlim89.
Arch and signboards at the entrance to the Weatherwax Trail. Photo by phlim89.

This loop trail winds through the coastal forest of the Weatherwax Preserve and skirts along the edge of Duck Lake, an important wetland ecosystem. The way is relatively flat so it’s a great spot for families and for young kids to experience the joys of the outdoors.

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide 


Foulweather Bluff Preserve 

Location: Kitsap Peninsula
Mileage: 1.0 mile, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 20 feet

A stretch of gray beach curving off toward the horizon.
The calm beach at Foulweather Bluff Preserve. Photo by beachwalkerj. 

This short and sweet trail leads out along a cattail marsh buzzing with birds to a quiet stretch of beach. Enjoy the shady forest before breaking out onto the sunny beach where you can rest on a driftwood bench and saunter along the shore. 

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide 


Griffiths-Priday State Park

Location: Long Beach Area
Mileage: 4.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 40 feet

A gathering of birds on the beach at low tide. Griffiths-Priday State Park. Photo by naturegirlangie.
A gathering of birds on the beach at low tide. Griffiths-Priday State Park. Photo by naturegirlangie.

On a stretch of Washington coast known for its beach-driving, Griffiths-Priday State Park is a welcome respite for walkers. The natural spit features low sand dunes that are protected as a wildlife refuge bordered by Conner Creek on one side and the Copalis River on the other.

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide


Seahurst Park  

Location: Seattle-Tacoma Area
Mileage: 3.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 400 feet

A curving stretch of beach fringed by a green forest.
The forest leads right up to the beach at Seahurst Park. Photo by Luffles. 

Start out in the cool shady forest, then follow a drainage down to the beach. Just outside of Burien, this hike is a great getaway on a hot summer day. 

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide


Ruby Beach

Location: Pacific Coast
Mileage: 6.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 60 feet

Trees lined up along Ruby Beach. Photo by ejain.
Trees lined up along Ruby Beach. Photo by ejain.

Just south of where the Hoh River meets the Pacific Ocean, Ruby Beach offers several miles of beach exploration, with unique rock formations and swirling sun-bleached driftwood. During low tide, it is possible to observe starfish, crabs, and other sea life among the tide pools and sea stacks

> Plan your trip using WTA's Hiking Guide