It’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest is incomparably beautiful. The moss-covered evergreens, rolling hills covered in prairie grass, deep blue lakes, rivers, and waterfalls are all enhanced by the moderate temperatures this area is known for. It’s a hiker’s paradise. Fortunately for these hikers, the best trails are generally within one hour of the city of Seattle. Below are a few of the best.
If bragging rights and notoriety is what you’re after, the quintessential Mount Si is a must-hike. You’ll experience Mount Rainier and other Cascade mountains looming over you while you hike. You’ll also see Snag Flats, a stand of old-growth trees. The trail climbs 3,100 feet in four miles, making it a for-sure challenge, but one which both novice and experienced hikers are known to enjoy. The best way to access Mount Si from Seattle is by taking I-90 to exit 32. It’s an approximately 30-mile drive. You will need a Discover Pass to access the trailhead.
For this hike, you won’t even need to leave the city limits. Discovery Park offers forest, meadow, a beach with a lighthouse, and relics of its former days as an Army Post, such as old officer housing. One option, a 2.8-mile Loop Trail, offers stunning views of Puget Sound and the downtown skyline. To get to Discovery Park, take the 19, 24, and 33 Metro bus lines. The park is located at 3801 Discovery Park Blvd Seattle, Washington, 98199.
Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail
This hike, approximately 45 miles from Seattle, gives visitors many options for different skill levels and preferences. No matter which you choose, your hike will be accompanied by the soothing sounds of rushing water. For those seeking a challenge, 6 miles farther down the trail will get you to the picturesque Dingford Creek bridge. At about an hour’s drive from Seattle, it’s a bit farther from the city than some of your other options, but it’s still a day trip more than worth your while. If you’re driving from Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 34.
Waterfalls are a must-see feature of the Pacific Northwest. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, Wallace Falls offers not one, but three large waterfalls. The 5.6-mile hike is relatively easy, but you’ll reach the first waterfall after two miles. It gets harder from there as a series of switchbacks leads you to the upper falls. This trip is also a bit longer, at 47 miles from Seattle and a one-hour drive. The drive is also a bit more complicated, but worthwhile and not inconvenient. You will need a Discover Pass.
Packing for hiking trips can be tricky, given that you’ll have to carry your supplies on your back, and you never know exactly what you might end up needing. A membership with MedjetAssist will give you peace of mind, especially when you’re deep into the wilderness, and keep you from ruining your hike with worrying about a potential medical emergency.
No matter which of these excellent options you go with, you’re sure to have a magnificent time filled with fresh air, amazing views, and coming home at the end of the day to the comforts of Seattle.