The five most popular hikes in Washington State.

For recreation, I hike, for my work I find, assess and disseminate data related facts. When I am homebound and can’t hike on my day off…well…

Today I pulled data from the Washington Trails Association hiking guide:

http://www.wta.org/go-outside/hikes

With this, I tried to determine the “most popular” hikes in Washington State.

As with many things, there are many ways to slice the data. In other words, there is more than one way to determine the “most popular” hike in the state. Here are the results using a couple different methodologies:

Most “votes” (most often rated)

Using this method, the list would be as follows:

Name Rating Votes URL
Lake Serene 4.5 259 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lake-serene
Rattlesnake Ledge 4.0 237 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/rattle-snake-ledge
Lake 22 4.2 197 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lake-22
Wallace Falls 4.1 192 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/wallace-falls
Mount Si 4.0 174 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mount-si

This, of course, only captures the number of votes but not necessarily how hikers felt about these hikes. We COULD pull data based on their ratings on a 5-point scale. This could lead to a long list of results, so to limit that list, I looked at just those with 100 or more votes to come up with another top five list:

Highest rated (limited to those with 100 or more votes)

The list does change when using the actual ratings to narrow the list. Using this method, the list of most popular hikes in Washington would be as follows:

Name Rating Votes URL
Lake Serene 4.5 259 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lake-serene
Mount Pilchuck 4.5 109 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mount-pilchuck
Blanca Lake 4.4 107 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/blanca-lake
Mailbox Peak – Old Trail 4.4 104 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mailbox-peak-old-trail
Lake 22 4.2 197 http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lake-22

Certainly, both lists contain some of the most popular hikes in the state. I’ve done all of these (some more than once) and they tend to have a fair number of hikers on them at any given time, especially during the peak summer season.

What do you think? Are there hikes you think these methods miss that belong on a “most popular hikes” list for our state?

You can thank the WTA for the data. Be sure to support their great work advocating for and maintaining our access to these great outdoors areas in our state here:

https://www.wta.org/get-involved/join/join-wta

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