Mount RainierWe’re nearing the start of May and with the sun back out, we’re expecting temperatures to climb into the upper 80’s early next week. Alas, we can finally enjoy the scenery of the USA’s most beautiful state!

For Washington’s most daring adventurers, it’s time to lace up the hiking boots, fasten on the crampons and head for the summit of Mount Rainier. However, mountaineering isn’t for the everyone, so for the rest of us, hiking’s a great alternative. In addition to being incredibly fun, hiking offers a number of health benefits, including:

  • Strengthens the core
  • Increases bone density, which combat conditions such as osteoporosis.
  • Builds muscle in calves, glutes, hamstring, quadriceps and hips.
  • Improve balance
  • Releases endorphins, therefore improving mood.

With hiking, there’s also an intangible health benefit that comes in the form of the inexplicable feeling of tranquility that sweeps over you when you’re adventuring amongst the wilderness. So get outside and hike; enjoy the sounds of nature, whether it be the gentle bubbling of a stream, or the distant call of a bald eagle.

Here are the three best hiking spots near Kent, WA:

Soos Creek

Kent, WA

For hikers looking for a local spot, visit Soos Creek, which is located just 5 miles East of downtown Kent, just North of Lake Meridian. This 6-mile trail is great for adventurers of all ages, as it’s fully paved with gentle slopes and plenty of room for bicyclists too.

If you’re seeking a longer hike, the Soos Creek trail connects to the 9-mile, unpaved Lake Youngs trail. If you’re hoping to bring along your furry sidekick, dogs are allowed on both trails, too!

Rattlesnake Ledge TrailRattlesnake ledge

North Bend, WA

While this trail may be a little further away than Soos Creek (30 miles away from Kent), it offers some breathtaking views of Rattlesnake Lake as it leads trail-goers up a gentle incline up Rattlesnake Ledge.

Relative to Soos Creek, this trail is a little more difficult, but should moderately easy for most people. The 4-mile trail’s also dog-friendly and an “out and back”, meaning the hike is a circuit, as it will bring trail-goers right back to where they started.

 

Upper Lena Lake

Olympic National Forest

For more seasoned hikers, some of the best trails are olympic national forestwest of Kent, located in Olympic National Forest. Upper Lena Lake is one of Western Washington’s premier hiking destinations, as it offers a significant increase in elevation for trail-goers. Over the first 3 miles, the hike gains 1,300 feet in elevation. The complete trail is 14 miles long, making it necessary to bring camping equipment if you’re not the fastest hiker. Luckily, there are 28 campsites in the area, and seeing as it’s in a National Park, you will need a backcountry permit.

On behalf of all of us at AFC Doctors Express Urgent Care Southcenter, we hope to see you on the trails soon! And as always, if you’re in need of urgent care, immunizations, or even just a routine check-up, visit us any day of the week – with no appointment necessary!