A great benefit to living in Longview, Washington, is the number of hiking trails that can be found within an hour’s drive of us.
We’re not just talking about taking a nice walk around Lake Sacajawea, either. We mean actual hiking trails in Washington state and Oregon of varying difficulties.
Long hikes for the family to go on or hikes that climb a staggering 4,665 feet in elevation. There’s a hike near here for everyone, no matter the experience level!
We’ve put together a list of 9 hiking trails based on difficulty. Three can be done with the family (beginner hiking trails), three can be done with a little more skill (intermediate hiking trails), and three are for more experienced hikers (difficult hiking trails).
Hiking Trails for the Family
Our area has a ton of family-friendly hiking trails that are perfect for instilling a love for the outdoors in our younger generation.
Ape Cave Hike – Lower Cave
A staple of the Pacific Northwest are the Ape Caves, therefore making it a must hike!
From Longview, it takes approximately an hour and fifteen minutes to reach.
There are two caves to explore; the lower and the upper. The lower cave is a family-friendly 2-mile hike out, and back and the elevation gain is minimal at 180 feet.
Kids of all ages enjoy going through the many tunnels, but be sure to bring a flashlight!
There are also areas to have a family picnic so be sure to bring your lunch!
You will need to have a Northwest Forest Pass, which is honored by all recreational sites that are operated in Washington and Oregon.
Battle Ground Lake Loop
This loop hiking trail is 2.1 miles long and has an elevation gain of 205 feet. This local hiking trail is great for family outings, and your dogs are more than welcome as long as they are leashed.
It takes roughly 45 minutes to get to the Battle Ground Lake Loop from Longview.
A Discover Pass is required for this hike. You can purchase an annual pass or a one-day pass.
The Beaver Bay hiking trail is twice as long as the other family-friendly hikes we’ve mentioned, coming in at 3.9 miles, but it’s well worth it.
This trail is best hiked in the Spring and Summertime, and it’s only an hour away!
There is a $3 day-use fee to access the trail, campground, restroom area, and the picnic area.
Hiking Trails for the More Experienced
If you have a little more stamina and are looking for a longer hike with a fair incline, then we strongly recommend checking out these hiking trails near Longview.
Fort to Sea Trail
Just outside of Warrenton, Oregon, this trail will take you on a 6.1-mile hike from Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach, where you can view the Pacific Ocean.
The Fort to Sea Trail has an elevation gain of 534 feet and can be hiked year-round. People often bring their dogs along with them on this trail as long as they’re leashed.
There is a $10 fee per adult over 16 unless you have an America the Beautiful Pass. However, you can start the trail at the Sunset Beach trailhead, which has no fees.
Gnat Creek Trail
The Gnat Creek Trail is an all-season trail located near Astoria, Oregon.
While it is hike-able all year, it’s best if you go during Spring to Fall. It’s a 6.6-mile trail that climbs 984 feet in elevation and travels through the lush green forest.
If you enjoy taking nature pictures, you’ll love this hike; it’s worth the shot!
As an added bonus, there are no fees or passes required to go on this trail!
North Siouxon Creek to Black Hole Falls
A quick 30-minute drive from Longview to Ariel will bring you to the North Siouxon Creek trail.
You can expect a 9.8-mile hike to the end, which will bring you to the Black Hole Falls. This trail is best done from May to October and is dog friendly, provided they are leashed.
This hiking trail does require a Discovery Pass to access.
Challenging Hiking Trails
If you’re up for an all-day hike and steep elevation gains and have the stamina, then these three hiking trails are for you.
Cinnamon Ridge Loop
It takes a little over an hour to reach this trail from Longview, and it totals 14.1 miles. The elevation gain is almost 3,000 feet and is best hiked during the Summer or Fall.
This trail isn’t typically crowded due to the difficulty, so if you’re looking to test your endurance and get-away this is a great way to go!
You will need to have a Northwest Forest Pass to access the trailhead.
Fossil Trail Loop Hiking Trail
This trail can be found near the Cinnamon Ridge Loop trail, and while it may be a shorter hike (12.4 miles), the elevation gain is 3,300 feet, making it just as challenging.
The Fossil Trail Loop is best hiked in the Summer and Fall.
This trail requires a Northwest Forest Pass.
Mount St. Helens
This last trail is a “bucket list” hike and is not for the faint of heart.
It’s a 9.6-mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 4,665 feet.
Mount St. Helens is best hiked from late June into the Fall. This climb is considered very difficult, therefore, we highly recommend doing this hike with a friend and ensuring you’re properly prepared!
In this case, here are a few resources to help you ensure you’re prepared or to help you prepare.
You will need to get a climber’s permit along with your forest pass.
Local Hiking Trails
In short, the number of hiking trails near us far exceeds the 9 trails we just mentioned. These 9 are just the tip of the iceberg so to speak.
What’s your favorite local hiking trail? Let us know!