15 Super Convenient Hikes Near Seattle, Washington Just An Hour’s Drive From The City

Post Summary: Amazing Hikes Near Seattle (within a ~1-hour drive)

We may be biased, but living in the Pacific Northwest has some pretty rad perks. Seattle is just a quick drive away from gorgeous mountains, epic trailheads, and there are so many opportunities to get out in nature – even out on the water! 

It’s no surprise then, that hikes near Seattle are a popular recreational activity for locals and visitors alike. When places like the powerful Snoqualmie Falls or the jaw-dropping Rattlesnake Ledge are just on the outskirts of the city, these amazing hikes in Washington can’t be missed! 

In this post, we’re sharing our favorite Seattle hiking trails, Washington and what you can expect outside on these amazing trails. We’ll be giving important information like trail distances, elevation gain, and tips on how to make the most of your time hiking in the Pacific Northwest

For this post, we’re also going to try and share places to hike near Seattle that require a 1-hour’s drive from the city or less. Any longer than that, we would consider it a weekend getaway from Seattle, so we’re just covering things you can do in one day in this blog post!

 

Franklin Falls Trail - Seattle Hiking Trails - TheMandagies.com

 

Amazing Hikes Near Seattle For A Fresh Dose Of The Outdoors

 
Hiking Near Seattle, Washington - What To Pack

What To Bring When Hiking Near Seattle

You don’t need to pack much for these Seattle hikes, but there are some very important items that you shouldn’t leave home without when hiking in the Pacific Northwest. Here’s our list below:

Boots – Choose a pair of hiking boots that are comfortable, and ideally waterproof (you’ll be hiking in Washington, after all). We really love the St Elias GTX boots from Vasque, as they are lightweight, waterproof (Gor-tex) and stylish!

Layers – When planning your Seattle hikes, it’s important to know that the mornings start out very cool, and warm up quickly during the day. Make sure you are wearing all your layers when beginning your hike, as they are much easier to peel off than put on when you’re on the trail!

Day Pack – We like this Luzon 24L Day Pack from Cotopaxi because it holds a lot of gear, and packs down really small when in storage. 

Water – Fill a water bottle and place it in the side pocket of your day pack for easy access. You can’t go wrong with one of these classic Nalgene bottles!

Sunscreen/Bug Spray – If you are hiking near Seattle during the summer season, you’re going to want to pack bug spray to ward off those pesky mosquitos. Even more important, however, is sunscreen. Those high elevation hikes can expose you to the sun a lot more than you might realize!

Optional: Hiking Poles, a Camera, and extra friends!

 

Snow Lake Trail - Seattle Hiking - TheMandagies.com

What Types of Passes Do I Need To Go Hiking In Seattle?

One of the best things to do in Washington is to get outside and explore the endless forests that surround the cities. In order to take advantage of this, you’ll need to get the right recreation passes! Forest pass requirements vary per trailhead, and it depends on where you go hiking near Seattle.

We’ve included whether you need a pass (and which one) in the information below each of the trail titles. However, if you’re looking for more information on Pacific Northwest forest passes and where they can be used, here’s an overview:

  • Washington Discover Pass – Entry to all the state park day-use areas
  • Northwest Forest Pass – Recreation sites in Washington and Oregon that require a day-use fee. You can find these places in National Forests.
  • National Park Pass – Entry to National Parks, including the national parks near Seattle (Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, and North Cascades National Park)

Read More: The Complete Guide To Pacific Northwest Forest Passes (And Exactly Where To Use Them)

 


 

Discovery Park, Hikes in Seattle, Washington - TheMandagies.com

1. Discovery Park

  • Trail Length: Varies up to 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 0-350 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seattle Hiking Features: Lighthouse, Urban Hike, historic buildings, a network of trails
  • Trailhead Location: 47.6629562, -122.4230805
  • Pass Required: None

Discovery Park is a super convenient place to go hiking in Seattle if you don’t have access to a car. You can reach Discovery Park by the King County Metro Bus System (on the 19, 24, and 33 lines), or if you live close to the park, like in the Magnolia Neighborhood, you can even walk!

At Discovery Park there is a huge network of trails to explore, so arm yourself with Google Maps and set out to discover new places! Some great features to check out at Discovery Park include the West Point Lighthouse, Fort Lawton Homes, Magnolia Bluff, and the Fort Lawton Beach. 

 


 

Emily Mandagie sipping coffee at Heather Lake - Mountain Loop Highway - Hiking Trails Near Seattle, Washington - Themandagies.com

2. Heather Lake

  • Trail Length: 4.2 miles out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Heather Lake Features: Old-growth forest, alpine lake
  • Trailhead Location: On the Mountain Loop Highway 48.0754456, -121.7967351
  • Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Heather Lake is an all-around great hike for a fun day trip from Seattle. The trail starts out on an old logging road and then quickly becomes root-tangled and rocky for some challenging steep parts. You’ll find yourself deep in the Pacific Northwest vegetation on this trail, with everything from little stream crossings to moss-covered trees lining your path.

At the top, you’ll come to a peaceful lake, perfect for a snack break and a lake jump (if you dare – it’s cold!). This is a great hike to take children or first-time hikers. The diversity of scenery encountered on the trail paired with a relatively short distance makes this a very friendly adventure for everyone!

Read More: A Quick Morning Hike To Heather Lake on the Mountain Loop Highway


 

Lake 22 Trail - Hikes From Seattle, Washington - TheMandagies.com Emily Mandagie at Lake 22 Trail - Seattle hiking trails, Washington - TheMandagies.com

3. Lake Twenty-Two

  • Trail Length: 5.4 miles out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 1,500
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Lake 22 Features: Alpine lake, old-growth forest, some switchbacks
  • Trailhead Location: On the Mountain Loop Highway 48.0757859, -121.7677752
  • Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Lake Twenty-Two was one of the first day hikes from Seattle that Berty and I took together! Located in the same area of the Mountain Loop Highway (which is one of the most scenic drives in Washington state!) as Heather Lake and Mount Pilchuck Lake, this is an easy option as far as day hikes in Seattle go because it’s only a 1-hour drive from Seattle

This trail includes a handful of switchbacks and a boulder field crossing for some interesting mountain terrain. Once at the top, you’ll be greeted with one of Seattle’s most iconic alpine lake views – bonus points if you see an avalanche on the other side of the lake (but keep your distance please!).

Trail Tip: Pack a picnic to eat up at the top! If you are considering hiking Lake 22 in the shoulder season (late fall or early spring) consider bringing a pair of microspikes too to keep steady footing. This is a popular Seattle day hike, so the snow will likely be packed into ice in certain areas. 

 


 

4. Poo Poo Point

  • Trail Length: 3.2 miles (or 7.2 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seattle Hiking Features: Easy accessibility, city views, rolling hills 
  • Trailhead Location: 47.4999743, -122.0241684
  • Pass Required: None

Located on Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, this is one of the nearest hikes in Seattle, just a quick 25-minute drive east on Interstate-90. It is said to be named for the sounds the loggers working on the mountains would hear as the train chugged along. “…Poo-poo!” Once at the top, you will be rewarded with gorgeous views of Lake Washington and the hills that surround the area. 

Considered an ‘urban-hike’, you won’t find jagged mountain views or pristine alpine lakes, but rather gorgeous rolling hills and the glimmer of the city in the evening. This is also a really popular spot for paragliders, so if you’re lucky you can spot some leaping off the hill on a sunny day!

Take one of these two trail options for a day hike near Seattle:

  • Chirico Trail (Shorter Route): 3.2 miles out and back, but a much steeper climb. 
  • High School Trail (Longer Route): 7.2 miles out and back, extending your Washington hike for a longer, more relaxing trail experience.

 


 

Wallace Falls Waterfall - Hiking Near Seattle, Washington - TheMandagies.com

Picnic Area Near Wallace Falls - Hiking Trails In Seattle, Washington - TheMandagies.com

5. Wallace Falls

  • Trail Length: 5.6 miles out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Wallace Falls Features: Waterfall views, picnic tables, riverside benches, interpretive signs
  • Trailhead Location: 47.8671635, -121.6808345
  • Pass Required: Discover Pass

Wallace Falls Trail is a Washington waterfall day hike that can’t be missed. This gorgeous Pacific Northwest trail has a little bit of everything – moss-covered trees, riverside views up the Wallace River, dense forest, and of course, Washington photo ops! The trail will bring you to three tiers of the Wallace Falls waterfall, each with their own viewing platform. 

This is a popular trail for hikers of all skill levels. The elevation gain is good enough to work up a good sweat for training, but the frequent benches (and picnic area) also make this a great spot to bring the whole family for plenty of breaks. If you’re looking for hikes near Seattle with waterfalls, consider checking out Wallace Falls on your next getaway from Seattle!

Note: A Washington Discover Pass is required to park at the trailhead. Read our Pacific Northwest forest passes guide to find out about what kind of passes you need for certain hikes near Seattle!

Read More: Exactly What To Expect On The Wallace Falls Trail Near Seattle

 


Mount Si Trail - Hiking Trails Near Seattle, Washington
Photo Credit to BrewBooks (See License Here)

6. Mount Si and Little Si

  • Trail Length: 8 miles out-and-back
  • Elevation Gain: 3, 150 feet
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Mount Si Features: Switchbacks, Views of Mt Rainier (on a clear day), Bragging Rights
  • Trailhead Location:  47.4880474, -121.7253526
  • Pass Required: Discover Pass

Climbing Mount Si is like checking off a classic Seattle bucket list item. During someone’s time living in the city, nearly everyone makes it out to this popular hike near Seattle to conquer its intimidating elevation and distance for themselves! It’s one of the few hikes you can take year-round, which makes it a great choice for people who want a good outdoor workout no matter the time of year. 

Drive to the Mount Si trailhead in North Bend, just a 30-minute drive east on Interstate-90 from Seattle. The Mount Si trail takes you in the into the dense woods of the Cascade Mountains and almost immediately you will start to gain elevation. After a series of grueling switchbacks, you’ll reach the top which will be worth all the sweat and water breaks! 

Don’t let the popularity fool you, however. It’s a challenge to climb over 3,000 feet in just 4 short miles, let alone a chore to save your knees on the trek back down to the car. Arm yourself with plenty of snacks, water, and time as you conquer this day hike in Seattle once and for all!

Whether you are coming for training or bragging rights, this is one of the best hikes near Seattle for beginning hikers and experienced ones alike!

Read More: 30 Of The Best Hikes In Washington State You Need To Experience This Season!

 


 

Rattlesnake Ledge Trail - Day Hikes From Seattle, Washington - TheMandagies.com

Rattlesnake Ledge Hike - Day Hikes From Seattle, Washington - TheMandagies.com

7. Rattlesnake Ledge

  • Trail Length: 4 miles out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seattle Hiking Features: Gorgeous Mountain views, lake access, big parking lot, optional trail extensions
  • Trailhead Location: 47.4330876, -121.7693054
  • Pass Required: None

Rattlesnake Ledge is one of the most popular hiking trails near Seattle for its short distance, dog-friendly trek, and accessible trailhead. The big parking lot can hold a ton of cars, and there are also plenty of signs to guide you to the start of the trailhead.

Along the trail, you’ll weave your way up through the tall trees and encounter a number of switchbacks for a fun sweat session. Once you arrive at the top, you can climb around on the rocky cliff edge to find a spot to rest with views of the lake and surrounding hills in front of you. Be cautious around the edge – there are no guard rails!

Rattlesnake Ledge can get extremely busy on a nice spring or summer season weekend in Seattle, so if you have the ability to come during the weekdays we would suggest coming then!

Read More: Discover More Photos of Rattlesnake Ledge Trail

 


 

Mailbox Peak Trail - Seattle Hikes
Photo Credit to Vineesh Devasia See License Here

8. Mailbox Peak

  • Trail Length: 9.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 4,000 Feet
  • Difficulty: More Challenging
  • Seattle Hike Features: Mailbox photo op, sweeping views (and maybe Mt Rainier on a clear day!)
  • Trailhead Location: 47.4669573, -121.6774378
  • Pass Required: Discover Pass

Mailbox Peak is located in North Bend, Washington (like the Mount Si trails) and is one of the hardest hikes near Seattle. This 9.6-mile out and back trek gains 4,000 feet over a series of switchbacks to reach the iconic mailbox at the very top

The mailbox is said to be brought up by a daring mail carrier in the 1960s and is a popular place to snap a photo of your victory at the top! The trail was rebuilt in 2014 by the Washington Trails Association, so the path is clear and wide to the end. 

Read More: 20 Energizing Hikes In The Pacific Northwest

 


 

Deception Pass State Park Hiking Trails - TheMandagies.com

Deception Pass State Park - TheMandagies.com

9. Deception Pass (Lighthouse Point Loop)

  • Trail Length: 2.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Deception Pass Features: Bridge, water access, camping
  • Trailhead Location: 48.4156723, -122.6511274
  • Pass Required: Discover Pass

Deception Pass State Park is located on the north side of Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound. With over 4,000 square acres of recreation land (most alongside the water!) this is an excellent place to discover new hikes near Seattle – there are more than 30 major trails here

Some of the most popular hiking trails in Deception Pass include the Lighthouse Point Loop (2.6 miles) which is great for photographers and wildlife viewers. Another great trail is Hoypus Point Loop, a 5.1-mile loop with low elevation gain, which is great for hikers who want to choose more endurance than effort!

Finally, don’t forget to stop on either side of the Deception Pass Bridge and experience walking across it! Berty and I had a lot of luck spotting some bald eagles flying overhead, as well as sea lions playing in the water below. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

Deception Pass State Park is a great place for day hikes from Seattle for the many unique trails and scenery available to visitors.

 


 

Gold Creek Pond Loop - Day Hikes From Seattle, Washington - TheMandagies.com

10. Gold Creek Pond Loop

  • Trail Length: 1-mile loop
  • Elevation Gain: 100 feet
  • Difficulty:  Easy
  • Seattle Hiking Features: Picturesque lake, easy access, great photoshoot location
  • Trailhead Location: 47.3971411, -121.3817235
  • Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Gold Creek Pond is the perfect option for Seattle hikers who are just beginning their outdoor journey, folks who have small children, and people who would like an ADA-accessible trail. Gold Creek pond is a gorgeous and simple 1-mile loop around this man-made lake, located near the top of Snoqualmie Pass. 

This short and sweet trail features a paved walkway, sections of boardwalk, and a photogenic bridge. You’ll often find groups of people taking family photos or PNW engagements sessions here! The glassy lake and lush surrounding forest make this an incredible place to soak in the scenery. 

Read More: 15+ Top PNW Engagement Photos Locations

 


 

Snow Lake Trail near Snoqualmie Pass - Hiking Near Seattle - TheMandagies.com

11. Snow Lake Trail

  • Trail Length: 7.2-mile round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 1,700 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
  • Snow Lake Features: Alpine lake, waterfalls
  • Trailhead Location: 47.4454196, -121.4257127
  • Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Snow Lake is another really popular day hike from Seattle – this one with a little bit more elevation gain. Located just across from the Alpental Ski Resort (near Snoqualmie Pass), Snow Lake is a great option if you’re looking to seek out a fun summer lake jumping spot! 

Note: While Snow Lake may seem like an invitation to take this trail in the snow, is it NOT recommended to take it as a winter hike in Washington, for its high avalanche danger area. Save this hike near Seattle for a late spring or summer adventure!

 


 

Mount Pilchuck Lookout Hike - Hikes In Seattle
Photo Credit to Jessie Hey See License Here

12. Mount Pilchuck

  • Trail Length: 5.4 miles out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 2,300 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult (Very Steep)
  • Mount Pilchuck Features: Historic Washington fire lookout, mountain views
  • Trailhead Location: 48.0604971, -121.8150619
  • Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

Do you like dramatic scenery and Instagram-worthy spots? You’re going to love this day hike from Seattle to Pilchuck Lookout. This is one of the closest fire lookouts to the city, so you can expect it to be pretty busy on any given spring or summer weekend. However, don’t let the crowds deter you – the top’s 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains (including Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and the Olympics) are worth it!

Located off the Mountain Loop Highway, this hike takes you through a portion of the old-growth forest near Granite, and across boulder fields to reach the top. This is a challenging hike, but the views at the top are absolutely worth every step.

If you’re looking for a short weekend getaway from Seattle, you have the option of camping in the fire lookout! Be prepared though – staying in the building is on a first-come-first-serve basis, and there are crowds at the top nearly 99% of the time. Come with backup sleeping options like a tent or a hammock!

 


 

Franklin Falls Trail - Hikes From Seattle, Washington - TheMandagies.com

13. Franklin Falls

  • Trail Length: 2 miles out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 400 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Franklin Falls Features: Forest walks, accessible waterfall
  • Trailhead Location: 47.4146018, -121.4464564
  • Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

If you are just starting out your hiking journey, we think that Franklin Falls is the perfect hike for you! It’s the perfect trail to hook anyone on hiking in the Pacific Northwest – easy elevation gain, short distance, and a huge payoff at the end!

Franklin Falls is a 70-foot tall waterfall that completely freezes over in the winter months! For the most powerful flow in the spring and summer months, come anytime between April and July to enjoy the powerful mist coming from Franklin Falls!

Read More: 19+ Amazing Washington Winter Hikes To Experience (See Franklin Falls Frozen!)

 


Bridal Veil Falls Hikes in Washington State
Photo Credit to Sean O’Neill (See License Here)

14. Lake Serene Trail and Bridal Veil Falls

  • Trail Length: 8.2 miles out-and-back
  • Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Trail Features: Alpine Lake, Waterfall
  • Trailhead Location: 47.8090185, -121.5739669
  • Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

With both a waterfall and a gorgeous alpine lake, this is a hiking offer you won’t want to refuse! The trail to Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls is a little bit harder than most day hikes near Seattle, but it’s worth every step for the beautiful Washington photo spots at the path’s end!

Your first stop will be Bridal Veil Falls, at about 2.5-miles into the trail. This 1,328-foot cascading waterfall is the tallest accessible falls in Washington State, which glides down the rock cliff for some incredible scenery! After a visit to the falls, continue on to the foot of Lake Serene, with great views of Mount Index in the distance.

 


 

Cherry Creek Falls
Photo Credit to Terri Stewart (See License Here)

15. Cherry Creek Falls

  • Trail Length: 5.5 miles out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seattle Hiking Features: Waterfall
  • Trailhead Location: 47.7455601, -121.9102601
  • Pass Required: None

Cherry Creek Falls is an easy and fun hike, perfect for small children and people who want an easy hiking trail near Seattle! This hidden spot in King County follows an old logging road (no longer in use), so you can expect the trail to be relatively flat and wide. Once you reach the end, you can enjoy picturesque views of the 25-foot waterfall that plunges gracefully into a wide pool below!

If you are looking for hikes near Seattle with minimal driving time to the trailhead, I would definitely consider this trail to Cherry Creek Falls!

 


 

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