When you're in the Evergreen State, chances are you've stopped by a forest every week. But, have you ever paused to think that some of the trees have been around for a thousand years? This easy hike in Washington will take you to an ancient forest full of them. You'll want to see it for yourself to believe it. 

Located in Mount Rainier National Park, the Grove of the Patriarchs is an easy 1.5-mile roundtrip trail. It will take you to an oasis of towering evergreens that are over 200-feet tall and 50-feet wide! 

A National Park Pass of $30 per vehicle will get you into the park and is valid for seven days. So if you can't get enough of it and want to visit throughout the week, you can.

Although it's open year-round, the best (and the busiest) time to visit is between June and October when the park is snow-free.

The Grove is west of Stevens Canyon Entrance. Once on the path, you'll realize that your journey is just as beautiful as your destination. It involves crossing an enchanting suspension bridge over the Ohanapecosh River. 

This can only hold a few people at a time, so you'll have to walk in a single line and yield to those going in the opposite direction as you. 

The river beneath flows around the tiny island which is home to ancient red-cedars, Douglas-firs, and western hemlocks that you can visit. 

To give you an idea of just how old they are, Mount Rainier's official website mentions that, "many of these on the island were on earth when the Normans conquered England in the 11th century." That's ancient in our dictionary. 

The sheer size of them is a rather humbling experience because the diameter of some of these giants is as big as a car!

Wooden boardwalks loop through a canopy of these gentle giants and if you're a tree nerd, there are signs identifying them too. 

As you walk around, you'll even find remnants of trees that once stood tall.

You can crawl up in its roots — in fact, it's one of the most popular photo-ops here.

If you love getting lost in the woods, Washington has several areas that'll quench your thirst for adventure.

Some of our favorites include this rainforest that looks right out of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and this "magical tree" that hangs mid-air!

Like most, you'll have to see it to believe it.

Grove Of The Patriarchs

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 1.5 miles out and back

Address: Eastside Trail, Packwood, WA

Why You Need To Go: You can walk on a secluded island among massive 1,000-year-old trees. 


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


 

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