11 places Vancouverites can visit in Washington now that PCR tests aren't required

Mar 3 2022, 12:40 am

Canada scrapped its PCR test requirement for returning travellers this week, meaning Vancouver residents suddenly have a lot more options for local trips than they had throughout the pandemic.

Tired of hiking the same North Shore trails? Explored enough of BC over the last year? Craving a change of scenery? A trip to Washington could be a good way to ease back into international travel.

Vaccinated Canadians can enter the US without a COVID-19 test, but to return to Canada they’ll need to book a rapid antigen test — which is cheaper and faster than a PCR test.

Mount Baker

Mount Baker

@grant_gunderson / Instagram

That giant mountain you can see while crossing the Lions Gate Bridge? Yeah, you can ski there. And it’s about the same distance from Vancouver as Whistler.

Located on the west side of the Cascades between the Canadian border and Mount Rainer National Park, Mount Baker is known for its great backcountry skiing and powdery runs. Purchase tickets on the ski resort’s website.


seattle fall

Chris Nunez/Shutterstock

A must-see stop on any Washington trip is the state’s biggest city. Visit the Public Market, take in the view from the Space Needle, visit some of the city’s beautiful parks, or attend a Seahawks game for a taste of NFL revelry.

Unique accommodation

seattle airbnb


Washington has tons of cozy cabins perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of city life. Check out a chic farm hideaway complete with resident goats, an A-frame cabin with a Lego-themed kitchen, an ’80s time capsule with arcade games in the basement, or a simple studio overlooking the ocean.

Hike the Cascades

seattle propose

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Avid Vancouver hikers will love all the new peaks to explore south of the border. November isn’t exactly the height of hiking season, but some accessible trails include Diablo Lake, Rattlesnake Ledge, Mount Pilchuk Lookout (snowshoeing, rugged vehicle required), and Summit Lake.

Remember to bring appropriate winter gear, including crampons/snowshoes, prep yourself for avalanche safety, and pack the 10 essentials.

Chase waterfalls

silver falls

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The Silver Falls trail to picturesque turquoise water in Mount Rainer National Park is accessible year-round, and gives hikers a view of colourful rocks. It’s a six-kilometre loop that’s rated as intermediate, and visitors can swim in the falls during the summer months.

Hoh Rain Forest

Washington must see


This lush paradise of mossy trees inside Olympic National Park gets an average of 3.55 metres of rain a year. It’s been crowned a World Heritage Site and a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock

This coastal national park also includes gorgeous beaches and hiking trails (which you may need snowshoes for in the winter). Note that Shi Shi beach is closed at least until January.

Lava caves at Mount St. Helens

ape caves washington

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The Ape Cave at Mount St. Helens is the third-longest lava tube in North America. Be prepared to be amazed by an eerie three-kilometre long cave with volcanic rocks and slimy walls. Also keep an eye out for the Meatball — a piece of fallen lava that literally looks like a giant meatball.

Drumheller Channels

Bruce Bjornstad / Youtube

These steep hills surrounded by a braided network of dry stream channels are beautiful to behold. The area also features large excavated potholes and columns of volcanic Columbia River basalt. This area is also home to the Feathers at Frenchman Coulee, which is popular with rock climbers.

Dry Falls

dry falls

@nw_lostboy / Instagram

These falls dried out during the last Ice Age, nearly 20,000 years ago. But during its prime, it was about four times bigger than Niagara Falls. Now, visitors can see the cliffs that remain near Grand Coulee.



@blushing.duck.photography / Instagram

This peaceful Pacific coastal town has been ranked one of the state’s most pet-friendly destinations, and it offers many boutique shops, restaurants, and markets for people. Cottages cost as little as US$95 per night, and visitors may spot grey walls as they migrate past Washington in the spring and fall.



Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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