The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closeby & Weekend Trips)

Nestled in the picturesque Pacific Northwest, the Seattle area boasts an abundance of breathtaking natural beauty waiting to be discovered. From moss-covered forests to cascading waterfalls, the region is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers alike. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a nature lover seeking a peaceful escape, the hikes near Seattle offer a myriad of opportunities to explore, rejuvenate, and connect with the great outdoors.

The 25 best hikes near Seattle:

  1. Poo Poo Point Via Chirico Trail
  2. Little Si
  3. Rattlesnake Ledge
  4. Mount Si
  5. Mount Teneriffe
  6. Teneriffe Falls
  7. Twin Falls
  8. Mailbox Peak
  9. Dirty Harry’s Balcony
  10. Wallace Falls
  11. Bandera Mountains
  12. Granite Mountain
  13. And more …

25 Best Hikes Near Seattle, From Closest To Furthest

Whether you want a quick getaway close to Seattle or need a full day’s workout, these 25 best hikes near Seattle will offer you the serenity, peace, workout, and exhilaration you seek.

1. Union Bay Natural Area

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: The Whole U

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 53 feet

Pass/Permit: None

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 5.7 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 15 minutes

Address: 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98105, United States

The Union Bay Natural Area hike, located 5.7 miles from Seattle, offers a serene and enriching nature experience right in the heart of the city.

This peaceful trail spans approximately 1 mile, guiding hikers through wetlands, meadows, and forested areas. As visitors explore the site, the wide variety of bird-spotting opportunities makes it a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts.

The hike’s highlight is the tranquil Union Bay, offering picturesque views and a chance to connect with the surrounding wildlife. The Union Bay Natural Area is a hidden gem for urban hikers seeking a refreshing escape with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural beauty that coexists with the urban landscape of Seattle.

2. Discovery Park Loop Trail

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 140 feet

Pass/Permit: None

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 7.5 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 20 minutes

Address: Loop Trail, Seattle, WA 98199, United States

Discovery Park Loop Trail is a scenic in-city immersive hiking experience showcasing the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty. This well-maintained loop trail spanning approximately 2.8 miles, guides hikers through diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, and sandy shorelines.

The trail leads to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, offering photographic views. As hikers explore the park, they may encounter wildlife, such as bald eagles or marine animals along the shoreline.

The Discovery Park Loop Trail is a favorite among both locals and visitors seeking a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. With its tranquil ambiance, striking views, and varied natural features, this hike provides an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest’s pristine beauty.

3. Poo Poo Point Via Chirico Trail

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,760 feet

Pass/Permit: None

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 19 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 30 minutes

Address: 11400 Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, Issaquah, WA 98027, United States

Poo Poo Point, accessible via the Chirico Trail, is a popular and exhilarating hiking destination near Seattle, Washington. The Chirico Trail spans approximately 3.8 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 1,760 feet, leading hikers to the iconic Poo Poo Point grassy knoll overlook.

As hikers ascend through a well-maintained path, the breathtaking panoramic views reward them with the surrounding landscape, including Mounts Rainier, Mount Baker, Olympic Mountain, and the Issaquah Valley.

Poo Poo Point is renowned for its popularity among paragliders, who launch from the open meadow and gracefully soar through the sky. Visitors can witness these colorful gliders taking flight while enjoying a well-deserved rest at the viewpoint.

4. Rattlesnake Ledge

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,160 feet

Pass/Permit: None

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 34 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 45 minutes

Address: Snoqualmie Valley Trail, North Bend, WA 98045, United States

The Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is located 45 minutes east of Seattle. It’s a captivating hiking destination that offers breathtaking views and a memorable outdoor experience for the whole family.

This popular trail winds through the scenic Rattlesnake Mountain, starting at the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area. The trail had a moderate difficulty level that spanned approximately 4 miles round trip.

As hikers ascend through the lush forest, they are treated to a well-marked path adorned with moss-covered rocks and towering trees. The reward at the top is a stunning panoramic vista that overlooks the pristine Rattlesnake Lake and the Cascade Mountains.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply seeking a picturesque adventure, the Rattlesnake Ledge Trail promises to enchant you with its serene surroundings and magnificent views.

5. Mount Si

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Elevation Gain: 3,200 feet

Pass/Permit: Discover Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 35 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 45 minutes

Address: Washington 98045, USA

The Mount Si Trail, nestled 45 minutes from Seattle, is a captivating and challenging hiking experience that rewards adventurers with breathtaking vistas and a sense of accomplishment. Still, it’s also easy enough for beginners to enjoy.

This iconic trail starts in North Bend and stretches approximately 8 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 3,200 feet. As hikers embark on the journey, they navigate a diverse landscape featuring lush forests, rocky terrain, and moss-covered boulders.

The ascent can be strenuous at times, but the reward at the summit is well worth it. Upon reaching the top of Mount Si, hikers are greeted with awe-inspiring panoramic views of the Southeast, Rainier Mountains, and the city of Seattle in the distance.

The rugged beauty, challenging terrain, and majestic outlooks make the Mount Si Trail a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable adventure near Seattle.

6. Mount Teneriffe

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: Washington Trails Association

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 3,800 feet

Pass/Permit: Discover Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 36 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 45 minutes

Address: Mount Teneriffe Rd, North Bend, WA 98045, United States

The Mount Teneriffe Trailhead is the gateway to a thrilling and challenging hiking experience in the stunning Cascade Mountains. This trailhead serves as the starting point for the ascent to the majestic Mount Teneriffe, a peak reaching approximately 4,788 feet in elevation.

The trail is known for its steep and demanding terrain. It offers a rigorous adventure for experienced hikers seeking a rewarding summit. As hikers make their way through the forested trail, they are treated to glimpses of panoramic scenes and the beauty of the surrounding wilderness.

The Mount Teneriffe Trailhead provides access to an array of trails, including the Kamikaze Falls Trail, that leads to breathtaking viewpoints and unique natural features.

With its challenging nature and breathtaking scenery, the Mount Teneriffe Trailhead offers an exhilarating adventure for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the wonders of the Cascade Mountains.

7. Twin Falls

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 500 feet

Pass/Permit: Discover Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 36 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 50 minutes

Address: Washington 98045, United States

The Twin Falls hike is a picturesque and family-friendly adventure that leads to a captivating waterfall. Avoid the visible social trail that leads downhill to the water. Instead, we recommend exploring alternative paths that will provide better access to the river further along the route.

This popular trail spans approximately 3.6 miles round trip, with a minimal elevation gain of 500 feet, making it accessible for hikers of all ages and fitness levels.

As hikers meander through the lush forest, they are treated to the soothing sounds of the South Fork Snoqualmie River accompanying their journey. The trail culminates at Twin Falls, a majestic cascade where the river plunges into a pristine pool below.

Visitors can marvel at the impressive sight and feel the mist on their faces from designated viewpoints. With its gentle terrain and breathtaking waterfall, the Twin Falls hike offers a delightful escape into nature. It provides a tranquil and memorable experience for all who embark on this enchanting trail.

8. Mailbox Peak

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: All Trails

Difficulty: Very Difficult

Elevation Gain: 4,000 feet

Pass/Permit: Discover Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 37 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 45 minutes

Address: Washington 98045, United States

Mailbox Peak Trail is a challenging and iconic hiking trail that promises stunning panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment. A new path was created with the help of the Washington Trails Association (WTA) for a safer hiking experience for everyone.

This rigorous trail, starting in North Bend, spans approximately 9.4 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 4,000 feet; the last half a mile to the summit has a strenuous 960 elevation grain before you are rewarded with breathtaking outlooks of the surrounding Mountains and the Snoqualmie Valley, with a vantage point looking out onto Granite and Bandera mountains.

The highlight of the trail is the famous Mailbox, an actual mailbox perched at the summit, where hikers leave notes, mementos, and tokens of their triumph. The strenuous journey and the sight of the Mailbox at the top testify to the determination and perseverance of those who conquer this trail.

The Mailbox Peak Trail is a challenging adventure that offers hikers a chance to push their limits and be rewarded with awe-inspiring views.

9. Dirty Harry’s Balcony

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: Washington Trails Association

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet

Pass/Permit: Discover Pass

Dog-Friendly: yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 39 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 50 minutes

Address: 53150 Grouse Ridge Rd, North Bend, WA 98045, United States

Dirty Harry’s Balcony Trail offers a captivating and unique hiking experience that combines natural beauty with a touch of history. This moderate 4.4-mile roundtrip trail, named after the famous logger Harry Gault, which build logging roads where no one else would, takes hikers through the scenic Snoqualmie Pass region.

As hikers make their way through the forested trail, they are treated to glimpses of the picturesque surrounding mountains and the tranquil sound of the nearby creek.

The highlight of the trail is Dirty Harry’s Balcony, a rocky outcrop that provides a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding landscape, including snow-capped peaks of Mount Kent, McClelland Butte, Mount Washington, and the vast wilderness below.

10. Wallace Falls

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet

Pass/Permit: Discover Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 47 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour

Address: 14503 Wallace Lake Road, Gold Bar, WA 98251, United States

Wallace Falls State Park is a nature lover’s paradise offering a picturesque, immersive outdoor experience. This expansive park features the stunning Wallace Falls, a cascading series of waterfalls that tumble down moss-covered rocks, creating a mesmerizing sight.

The main trail in the park spans approximately 5.6 miles round trip, leading hikers through lush forests, over wooden bridges, and alongside the rushing Wallace River. Visitors are mesmerized by breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the tranquil beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The trail culminates at the Lower, Middle, and Upper Falls, each with its own unique charm.

Whether seeking a serene escape or an adventurous hike, Wallace Falls State Park offers a diverse range of trails and natural wonders to explore. A must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts in the Seattle area.

11. Bandera Mountain

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: Washington Trails Association

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 3,400 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 47 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour

Address: Bandera Mountain Trail, North Bend, WA 98045, United States

The Bandera Mountain Trail is a challenging and exhilarating hiking adventure that promises breathtaking views and a rewarding summit experience. This popular trail starts in the heart of the Snoqualmie Pass region and spans approximately 8 miles round trip, with around 3,400 feet of elevation gain.

As hikers ascend through the dense forest, they are treated to sweeping scenes of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The trail to the summit of Bandera Mountain offers a thrilling mix of steep inclines, rocky terrain, and lush alpine meadows. Once at the top, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see, showcasing the beauty of the Cascade Mountains.

The Bandera Mountain Trail is a favorite among experienced hikers seeking a challenging adventure and a chance to immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring natural landscapes near Seattle. However, only a few hikers make it to the True Summit. Little Bandera is only half a mile from the true summit but can be challenging to reach for inexperienced hikers.

12. Granite Mountain

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: Washington Trails Association

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 3,800 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 47 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour

Address: Parking lot, North Bend, WA 98045, United States

The Granite Mountain Trail offers outdoor enthusiasts a challenging and awe-inspiring hiking experience. This popular summer trail in the Snoqualmie Pass region spans approximately 8.6 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 3,800 feet.

It’s open year-round for hikers, and summer is the most popular. Hikers wanting to experience Granite Mountain in winter need to be aware of the avalanche risks.

Hikers ascend through a forested landscape, and the trail gradually transforms into a rocky path, leading to the summit of Granite Mountain, where you can enjoy the views from the lookout.

The reward at the top is nothing short of spectacular. Panoramic views await, showcasing the rugged beauty of the surrounding Cascade Mountains, including stunning views of Mount Rainier and Mount Baker on clear days.

13. Mount Defiance

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Very Difficult

Elevation Gain: 3,584 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 48 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour

Address: Washington 98045, United States

Mount Defiance is a prominent peak located in the Pacific Northwest, part of the Cascade Range, with the nearest peaks being Granite Mountain and Bandera Mountain.

With an elevation gain of approximately 3,587 feet, Mount Defiance offers a challenging and rewarding hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The trail to the summit is 11 miles roundtrip and is known for its steep and rugged terrain, providing a thrilling adventure for those seeking a strenuous hike. This hike is best enjoyed during the summer and fall seasons.

As hikers ascend through dense forests and rocky sections, they are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge, nearby mountains, and the surrounding natural beauty.

The summit of Mount Defiance offers a sense of accomplishment, with its sweeping panoramas that make all the effort worthwhile. This iconic peak is a favorite among experienced hikers and nature lovers looking for a challenging and awe-inspiring journey in the Pacific Northwest.

14. Talapus And Ollalie Lakes

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,220 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, On leashes

Distance from Seattle: 48 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour

Address: North Bend, WA 98045, United States

Talapus and Olallie Lakes offer a picturesque and rewarding hiking experience in the Snoqualmie region. The trailhead for these enchanting lakes begins in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, providing a convenient escape from the city.

The moderate 6.2-mile roundtrip trail leads hikers through a serene forest, across wooden bridges, and along babbling creeks. Along the way, the tranquil beauty of the surroundings provides a peaceful ambiance.

As hikers arrive at Talapus Lake, they are greeted with a serene alpine lake surrounded by towering trees and a peaceful atmosphere. Continuing onward for about 1.5 miles, where Olallie Lake awaits, captivating visitors with its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain backdrop.

Both lakes offer tranquil spots for picnicking, photography, or simply immersing oneself in the natural beauty. The Talapus and Olallie Lakes trail provides a delightful adventure and a memorable experience for nature lovers and hikers of all skill levels.

15. Kendall Katwalk

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 52 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour

Address: Pacific Crest Nat’l Scenic Trl, Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98045, United States

The Kendall Katwalk is a breathtaking and iconic hiking trail located in the Snoqualmie Pass region near Seattle. This round trip spans approximately 12 miles; this challenging trail takes hikers on a scenic journey through the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

The hike’s highlight is the Katwalk itself. This narrow, 150-yard rock ledge provides awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Perched high above the tree line, hikers can enjoy panoramic outlooks that make the trek well worth the effort.

The trail also passes through dense forests, serene alpine meadows, and crystal-clear streams, offering a diverse range of natural beauty to savor. The Kendall Katwalk is a favorite among experienced hikers, campers, and horseback riders seeking a thrilling adventure.

16. Snow Lake

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,800 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 53 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour

Address: Washington 98045, USA

The Snow Lake Trail, nestled in the beautiful Snoqualmie Pass near Seattle, offers a captivating and scenic hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a popular trail, so it’s best to start out earlier in the morning to avoid the crowds.

The best seasons to visit Snow Lake are spring, summer, or fall, as the winters can be dangerous due to avalanche risks.

The trail spans approximately 6.4 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 1,800 feet. As hikers embark on their journey, they traverse through dense forests, lush meadows, and rocky slopes, all while being serenaded by the sounds of babbling creeks.

The trail culminates at Snow Lake, a pristine alpine lake surrounded by towering peaks and breathtaking vistas. The turquoise waters of the lake, set against a backdrop of rugged mountain ranges, create a picturesque scene that is genuinely awe-inspiring.

17. Franklin Falls

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 400 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 53 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour

Address: Parking lot, Denny Creek Trail, North Bend, WA 98045, United States

Franklin Falls is a hidden gem and a must-visit destination for nature lovers. This enchanting waterfall is nestled within the Snoqualmie Pass region, making it easily accessible for a day trip from the city. The trail to Franklin Falls is short and family-friendly, spanning approximately 2 miles round trip with little elevation gain.

As hikers make their way through the mossy forest, they are greeted with the mesmerizing sight and thunderous sound of Franklin Falls, a three-tier waterfall totaling 135 feet. The cascading waters plunge down a rocky cliff, creating a picturesque scene that captivates all who visit.

The falls are particularly stunning during winter when they freeze into a dazzling ice formation. However, the best months to enjoy this hike are spring, summer, and fall.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful picnic spot or a serene setting for nature photography, Franklin Falls offers a tranquil escape with the chance to absorb yourself in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

18. Lake Serene And Bridal Veil Falls

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 53 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes

Address: Mt Index River Rd, Gold Bar, WA 98251, United States

Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls, located near Seattle, Washington, offer a captivating and enchanting hiking experience in the heart of Mount Index.

This popular trail takes a short detour to Bridal Veil Falls trailhead before rewarding you with a view of the stunning Lake Serene. The trail spans approximately 8.2 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 2,000 feet.

As hikers make their way through the lush forest, they are rewarded with the mesmerizing sight of Bridal Veil Falls, a majestic waterfall cascading down a rocky cliff. The trail leads to the stunning Lake Serene, nestled amidst towering peaks and surrounded by pristine alpine beauty.

The tranquil turquoise waters of the lake, reflecting the rugged mountains, create a scene straight out of a postcard. This hike combines the breathtaking beauty of Bridal Veil Falls and the serene allure of Lake Serene, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts seeking a memorable adventure near Seattle.

19. Melakwa Lake

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 2,700 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass / Sno-Parks Permit

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 53 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour

Address: FS 5830, North Bend, WA 98045, United States

Melakwa Lake is a captivating alpine oasis tucked away in the picturesque Snoqualmie Pass region. This moderately challenging hiking trail spans approximately 8.5 miles round trip, leading adventurers through lush forests and rocky terrain with an elevation gain of 2,700 feet.

As hikers ascend through the trail, they are greeted with contrasting sounds, from the first leg of the noisy interstate freeway to the soothing sounds of cascading waterfalls and panoramic landscapes of the surrounding Cascade Mountains.

The journey’s highlight is Melakwa Lake, a shimmering jewel surrounded by rugged peaks and stunning alpine beauty. The crystal-clear waters and serene ambiance make it an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.

20. Heybrook Lookout

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Moderately easy

Elevation Gain: 850 feet

Pass/Permit: None

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 55 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hr and 15 minutes

Address: 313 9th St, Gold Bar, WA 98251, United States

The Heybrook Lookout Trail is known for its beautiful forested surroundings. It leads to an old fire lookout with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. It’s an excellent hike for those seeking a moderate challenge and a rewarding view at the end.

Please note that conditions and regulations may change over time, so checking for any updates or restrictions is always a good idea before visiting the trail.

The Heybrook Lookout Trail is a captivating hiking adventure for the whole family. A round trip that spans approximately 2.6 miles, this moderately easy trail takes hikers through the lush forest of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

As hikers ascend through switchbacks and well-maintained paths, they are treated to glimpses of the surrounding valley and towering peaks.

The highlight of the hike is the Heybrook Lookout, a historic fire lookout tower perched at the summit. From its 67 feet above the ridgeline vantage point, visitors can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Mount Persis, Mount Index, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Philadelphia Mountains.

21. Heather Lake

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Elevation Gain: 1,036 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 57 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes

Address: Washington 98252, USA

The Heather Lake Trail, located near Seattle, Washington, is a delightful and accessible hiking trail that offers a tranquil escape into the beauty of nature. This popular trail, nestled in the stunning Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, spans approximately 4.6 miles round trip, with a moderate difficulty level suitable for hikers of various skill levels, including children.

As hikers embark on their journey, they traverse through lush forests, crossing babbling streams and passing by vibrant wildflowers during the spring and summer. The trail culminates at Heather Lake, a serene alpine lake on the Northeaster slope of Mount Pilchuck, surrounded by towering trees and breathtaking mountain views.

Hikers can relax by the lakeshore, take in the peaceful ambiance, and even spot wildlife such as birds and deer. With its picturesque scenery and manageable distance, the Heather Lake Trail is a beautiful choice for a day hike or a rejuvenating nature retreat near Seattle.

22. Lake 22

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,350 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 57 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes

Address: Mountain Loop Hwy, Granite Falls, WA 98252, United States

The Lake 22 Trail is a captivating and scenic hiking adventure that leads to the stunning Lake Twenty-Two. This famous oasis, situated in the center of alpine wetlands and the Northern shoulder of Mount Pilchuck, spans approximately 5.4 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 1,350 feet.

As hikers make their way through the mountain rainforest, they are greeted with the tranquil sounds of rushing water and occasional glimpses of cascading waterfalls. The trail’s highlight is the pristine Lake Twenty-Two, nestled amidst towering peaks and surrounded by lush greenery.

The lake’s mirror-like surface reflects the surrounding landscape, creating a postcard-worthy scene. Hikers can relax by the lakeshore, take in the peaceful ambiance, and even spot the remnants of an old mining cabin.

23. Mount Pilchuck

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 2,300 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, but not advised

Distance from Seattle: 59 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes

Address: NF-4200, Granite Falls, WA 98252, United States

Mount Pilchuck is a captivating and iconic hiking destination that offers a thrilling adventure and panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

This beloved trail starts in Mount Pilchuck State Park and spans approximately 5.4 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 2,300 feet. As hikers ascend through the forested trail, they are greeted with breathtaking views of the Cascade Range, including the majestic Mount Baker and the glimmering waters of Puget Sound, not to mention a view of Mount Rainier and The Olympics.

The pinnacle of the hike is the restored historic fire lookout tower at the summit, which provides a 360-degree view of the picturesque surroundings. From the rugged mountain peaks to the lush valleys below, the panoramic views from Mount Pilchuck are truly awe-inspiring.

This challenging yet rewarding hike is a must for nature enthusiasts seeking a memorable adventure near Seattle. But make sure to get there early to enjoy the fire lookout before it gets crowded with hopefuls that make use of the first come, first serve option of spending the night at the lookout.

24. Annette Lake

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: WTA

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,800 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 60miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes

Address: Washington 98045, USA

The Annette Lake Trail is a captivating and scenic hiking adventure that immerses nature enthusiasts in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

This popular trail, nestled within the Snoqualmie Pass region, spans approximately 7.5 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 1,800 feet.

As hikers embark on the journey, they traverse through dense forests, meandering alongside a babbling creek and marveling at vibrant wildflowers during the spring and summer months. The trail culminates at the serene Annette Lake, nestled amidst towering evergreens and framed by majestic mountain peaks.

Hikers can relax by the lakeshore, take in the peaceful ambiance, dip their toes in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoy camping to experience the sunset and sunrise views.

With its well-maintained path, picturesque surroundings, and tranquil alpine lake, the Annette Lake Trail offers a perfect escape into nature, allowing hikers to disconnect from the city and experience the serenity of the outdoors.

25. Goat Lake

The 25 Best Hikes Near Seattle (Closest To Furthest)
Source: All Trails

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet

Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on a leash

Distance from Seattle: 78 miles

Travel Time from Seattle: Approximately 2 hours

Address: Mountain Loop Hwy, Granite Falls, WA 98252, United States

Goat Lake is a hidden gem nestled in the enchanting Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This scenic hiking trail spans approximately 10.4 miles round trip, offering a moderately challenging adventure for outdoor enthusiasts.

As hikers make their way through lush forests and meadows adorned with wildflowers, they are treated to breathtaking views of surrounding snow-covered peaks. The hike’s highlight is Goat Lake, a pristine glacial alpine lake surrounded by majestic mountains.

The crystal-clear waters reflect the landscape’s rugged beauty, creating a postcard-worthy scene. The serenity of Goat Lake makes it an ideal spot for a peaceful picnic, meditation, or simply immersing oneself in nature’s tranquillity.

The Goat Lake trail is a true haven for nature lovers, providing a rejuvenating escape for a day trip or quick overnight camping.


Optimal Times To Go Hiking, By Season

Although viewing the majestic landscapes and views you get from these hikes, it’s always best to consider the optimal times to go hiking and which seasons offer the best experience.

Spring

During spring in Seattle, the weather begins to warm up, and the city transforms into a lush green landscape. Here are some considerations for hiking during this season

Park Closures

Generally, parks and hiking trails in Seattle remain open during spring. However, it’s always a good idea to check for any specific closures or trail conditions, as some areas may be temporarily closed due to maintenance or weather-related issues.

Time Of Day

Starting your hike in the morning is usually recommended during spring. The weather tends to be cooler, and you can avoid the crowds that often gather later in the day. Additionally, starting early in the morning allows you to make the most of daylight hours.

Weather

Spring in Seattle can be unpredictable, with a mix of rain, sun, and occasional chilly days. It’s essential to be prepared for varying weather conditions by dressing in layers, carrying rain gear, and checking the forecast before heading out. Trails can also be muddy during this season, so sturdy footwear is advisable.

Summer

Seattle’s summer is characterized by pleasant temperatures and longer daylight hours, making it the most popular time for outdoor activities such as hiking. Here are some considerations for hiking during the summer season

Park Closures

Parks and hiking trails in Seattle are generally open during summer. However, checking for any closures or restrictions is still a good idea. Some popular trails may experience heavy foot traffic during weekends and holidays.

Time Of Day

Starting your hike early in the morning is advisable, especially on popular trails, as it allows you to beat the heat and enjoy cooler temperatures. Additionally, an early start gives you more time to complete your hike and potentially avoid afternoon rain showers. You can also opt to enjoy a more relaxed mid-week hike where you are not competing against other hikers for the trail.

Weather

Summer in Seattle is typically mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from comfortable to warm. However, occasional rain showers are still possible, so it’s wise to carry rain gear. Sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water are also essential for protection against the sun’s rays.

Fall

Fall in Seattle brings vibrant foliage and cooler temperatures, offering a picturesque setting for hiking. Here are some considerations for hiking during the fall season

Park Closures

Parks and hiking trails in Seattle generally remain open during fall, but it’s always a good idea to check for any closures or trail conditions, especially after heavy rain or storms.

Time Of Day

Fall is the second-best time of the year to hike. It’s recommended to start your hike mid-morning during the fall. This allows the morning chill to subside while you enjoy the magical hue of changing colors of the foliage. However, be mindful of daylight hours, as they gradually decrease towards winter.

Weather

Fall in Seattle can bring a mix of sunny and rainy days, so it’s important to be prepared for changing weather conditions. Dressing in layers is advisable to accommodate temperature fluctuations. It’s also a good idea to carry rain gear and sturdy footwear, as trails can be muddy during this season.

Winter

Seattle’s winter season is characterized by cold temperatures, with precipitation of heavier snowfall in higher elevation areas and shorter daylight hours. Here are some considerations for hiking during the winter season

Park Closures

Some hiking trails and higher-elevation parks may be temporarily closed during winter due to snow, ice, or hazardous conditions. Before planning a winter hike, it’s essential to check for closures or restrictions.

Time Of Day

Starting your hike in the late morning is advisable during winter, as it allows time for any frost or ice on the trails to melt. Additionally, with shorter daylight hours, it’s essential to plan your hike so that you have enough time to complete it before sunset.

Weather

Winter in Seattle can bring cold temperatures, rain, and occasional snow. It’s crucial to dress warmly, wear waterproof and insulated layers, and carry appropriate gear, such as traction devices for your shoes, if hiking in snowy or icy conditions. It’s also important to stay informed about weather forecasts and be prepared for changing conditions.


Tips For Washington Hiking Adventures

Washington State offers a plethora of stunning hiking adventures, with diverse landscapes ranging from snow-capped mountains to lush forests and pristine lakes. To make the most of your hiking experience, here are some tips and considerations:

Transportation

If you don’t have a car, renting one for the day can be a convenient option. Several car rental agencies operate in major cities like Seattle and offer flexible rental periods.

Alternatively, you can consider public transportation options, such as buses or trains, to reach trailheads near urban areas.

In-City vs. Out-Of-City Hikes

If you’re short on time or prefer convenience, there are several hiking trails within or near major cities like Seattle, such as Union Bay Natural Area and Discovery Park. These can be ideal for a quick day hike without venturing too far.

For a more immersive experience in nature, exploring hikes outside of the city is recommended.

Popular destinations include Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Parking Passes

Some trailheads and parking areas in Washington require a Northwest Forest Pass or a Discover Pass for parking. You can purchase these passes online or at local retailers. Make sure to check the requirements for your chosen hiking destination in advance to avoid parking tickets.

National Park Passes

If you plan to explore multiple national parks in Washington or other states, it’s worth considering an America the Beautiful Pass (formerly known as the National Parks Pass). This pass provides access to all national parks and federal recreational lands and can save you money if you visit several parks within a year.

Clothing Considerations

Dressing appropriately based on the season is crucial for a comfortable and safe hiking experience.

The weather can be changeable in Washington, so it’s essential to be prepared for varying conditions.

For spring and fall hikes, layering is key. Make sure to bring a windproof outer layer, a waterproof layer, and a moisture-wicking base layer. It’s also vital to pack hats, gloves, and extra socks.

Summer hiking requires lightweight and breathable clothing. It’s highly recommended to wear a hat and sunglasses to protect against the sun and apply sunscreen generously. Don’t forget to carry sufficient water to stay hydrated.

In winter, especially in higher elevations, be prepared for cold temperatures, snow, and icy conditions. Wear warm and insulating layers, waterproof boots, gloves, and a hat, and consider using traction devices like snowshoes, microspikes, or crampons.

Remember to always check trail conditions and carry essential gear like a map, compass, first aid kit, and sufficient food and water. Additionally, inform someone about your hiking plans and estimated return time for safety purposes.

Conclusion

Whether you seek solitude, adventure, or simply a chance to disconnect from the bustle of city life, these hikes surrounding Seattle offer a gateway to extraordinary landscapes and unforgettable memories.

Resources

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/discovery-park-loop-trail

https://www.seattle.gov/utilities/protecting-our-environment/our-water-sources/cedar-river-watershed/recreation-areas-and-trails

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/rattlesnake-ledge

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/rattlesnake-ledge?u=m

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Si

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/snow-lake-1

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lake-serene#hike-full-description

https://www.seattlenorthcountry.com/blog/bridal-veil-falls-lake-serene/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mailbox_Peak

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mailbox-peak#hike-full-description

https://www.parks.wa.gov/548/Mount-Pilchuck

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pilchuck

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mount-pilchuck

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Falls_State_Park

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/wallace-falls

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Defiance_(Washington)

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbs/recarea/?recid=18008

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/heather-lake-1

https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/locations/high-lakes/heather-lake-snohomish#:~:text=Elevation%3A%202399%20ft.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Falls

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Teneriffe_(Washington)

https://www.mountaineers.org/activities/routes-places/mount-teneriffe

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/talapus-and-olallie-lakes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandera_Mountain

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/bandera-mountain

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/annette-lake

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/granite-mountain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Si

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/little-si-trail?u=m

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbs/recreation/recarea/?recid=17762&actid=50

https://www.gaiagps.com/hike/2142/poo-poo-point-via-chirico-trail/

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/dirty-harrys-balcony-via-birdhouse-trail?u=m

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kendall_Katwalk

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goat_Lake_(Snohomish_County,_Washington)

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbs/recarea/?recid=18130

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbs/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=18004&actid=50

About the author

My name is April, and I’m a Seattle-based writer, traveler, and foodie. I started this travel guide blog to share my passion for Seattle with fellow travelers and locals alike.

Whether you’re looking for the best coffee shops, the trendiest restaurants, or the most scenic hiking trails, I’ve got you covered.

When I’m not writing or exploring Seattle, you can find me watching movies with my husband, reading, or gardening with my dog in the backyard.

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