June is jam-packed with all kinds of splendiferous specialness (new word I just made up): Wedding. Anniversaries. Graduations. Father’s Day. The first day of summer. And GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH! Yeah, baby! Are you as excited as I am?
Here are 15 easy ways to celebrate Great Outdoors Month in the Pacific Northwest! Let’s rock ‘n roll, friends!
- Visit Mount Rainier National Park. Don’t make me explain this.
- Hike to Comet Falls. Spray Falls. Silver Falls. Myrtle, Narada, Ranger, or Chenius Falls. Carter, Madcap, or Christine Falls… See my post on 6 Best Waterfall Hikes at Mount Rainer.
- If you’re in or near Grays Harbor in southwest Washington, don’t miss Johns River Wildlife Area, Damon Point, Makarenko Park, or the Olympic Rain Forest and Lake Quinault. It doesn’t get much better than that.
- Look at the stars. Find some place quiet at night, away from city glare. Bring a chair and just look up. A constellation chart may help. Pro tip: The Ohanapecosh bridge on the east side of Mount Rainier National Park.
- Picnic. The Rooster Rock State Park in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge is perfect! (Day use fee required.)
- Check out Oregon’s Waterfall Corridor. We’re talkin’ seriously awesome!
- Visit a Wildlife Refuge or Reserve. Two of my favorites are the Billy Franks, Jr. Nisqually Wildlife Reserve and the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
- Visit Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park and its Trail of 10 Falls. Yowza!
- If you’re near the Washington State Capitol of Olympia and hankerin’ for a hike, a picnic, playgrounds, or some choice views of the Olympic Mountains, pop in to Priest Point Park and the Ellis Cove Trail.
- Visit Lake Cushman in Olympic National Park. Note that most of the hikes here are either “moderate” (if you’re part Yeti) or “strenuous.” If you’re not up to hamstring-hollerin’ climbs, camping options also abound.
- Go camping.
- If you’re allergic to camping, fire up the ‘ole backyard barbecue and char some burgers or singe some marshmallows. Works for me!
- Read just about anything by Gary Paulsen. Don’t know where to start? Try Hatchet. An old favorite.
- Visit Mount Saint Helens. For choice views of Windy Ridge and Mounts St. Helens, Rainier, and Adams, take the trail to Bear Meadow.
- Pick some flowers (legally). Eat outside. Walk on the beach. Ride a bike. Roll down the car windows. Visit a zoo, garden, or park. Fly a kite. Toss a line in the water. Slow down. Relax. Rinse. Repeat.
For more ideas on outdoor activities you can enjoy with the fam and friends this month, visit me on Instagram at Thymelesswon.
Be sure to check back soon as we launch our new series for June: 30 West Coast Ways: Celebrating Great Outdoors Month in Washington, Oregon, and California. Featuring first-hand accounts of some of the Best in the West outdoor options, from the mountains to the sea.
Meanwhile, if you insist, here are a few more favorites:
What would you add?