Where to Go Hiking in Greater Seattle this Summer
Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to get out of the city and into nature. One of the best things about living in the greater Seattle area is the proximity to outdoor pursuits, so we wanted to share our favorite ideas for where to go hiking in Greater Seattle this Summer.
All of these hikes are within the city or a relatively short drive, so you can use this list to find a new destination or get reminded of a trail you’ve not visited for a while.
Hands down Discovery Park is one of Seattle’s most popular hiking destinations. The park’s urban location means it’s easily accessed by bus and it features a meadow, forest and a beach complete with a lighthouse.
There are two loops to choose from and the 2.8 mile Loop Trail brings you to an incredible bluff that overlooks both Puget Sound and the Seattle skyline.
Cherry Creek Falls
Just outside of Duvall in an old logging forest, you’ll find a 25-foot waterfall on this hike. Hikers are known to cool off in the refreshing pool at the base of the falls after the 2.5 mile hike in from the trailhead.
If you choose to visit Cherry Creek Falls, make a point of staying on the trails as this is private property. Should you choose to bring along your dog, be sure to keep them on leash as well.
For an easy day hike, check out Rattlesnake Ledge which includes a view over Snoqualmie Pass. Conveniently located only 40 minutes East of Seattle, this hike starts at Rattlesnake Lake and then slowly goes uphill.
The location and the stunning views make this a popular destination, so it can get congested on weekends and holidays. Consider a sunset hike during the week or making a day of it by adding on a visit to the lake for a swim.
Located on Whidbey Island’s Western shore this hike offers views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. This coastal hike is packed full of opportunities to see wildlife including ample birdwatching and we recommend you take this hike on a clear day for the best views.
You can access the Bluff Trail by either the seaside parking lot on Ebey’s Landing Road, or via the Prairie Overlook trailhead.
Little Si and Mount Si
These two hikes are only 45-minutes from Seattle and can be accessed using exit 32 on I-90. Little Si is a 5-mile round trip hike with a path through the forest. It includes some rock formations on the trail and at the top you’ll get a view of both Mount Si and the Upper Snoqualmie Valley.
Mount Si is a longer, 8-mile round trip hike that’s definitely more challenging than Little Si. Best hiked between April and November, this trail includes beautiful wildflowers and views at the top. This trail ends on a rocky surface, so if you want to get to the very top be prepared to do a little rock climbing.
Chain Lakes Loop
In the North Cascades, the 8-mile Chain Lake Loop gives you a sampling of everything the area has to offer including lakes, meadows and views of Mt. Shuksan and Baker.
Artist Point where Mt. Shuksan reflects into the water is a highlight of this hike, and if you don’t have time for the full loop, you can park at the Artist Point lot. If you opt for the full loop, the high point of the hike at 5,400 feet has breathtaking views of the Cascades and the lakes below.
If you’re looking for an easy hike that’ll work with the kids and/or the dog, look no further than Carkeek Park in the Northwest of the city.
With a 3.5-mile loop, you’ll follow Piper’s Creek through a canyon and then into an orchard and meadow. If you want to take a quick offshoot of the trail, you can also check out an overlook of Puget Sound and get access to the beach.
Lake Wilderness Trail
Located right near the picturesque town of Maple Valley, the Lake Wilderness Trail offers an excellent adventure for hikers of all skill levels. The trail winds its way through the local area and has sights to take in.
This trail also includes plenty of geo-caching spots along the way for people looking to add an interactive activity into their hike. This 4-mile trail loop welcomes both dogs and horses, along with bikers and runners.
Black Diamond Coal Mine Trail
Known for its outstanding mountain biking, the Black Diamond Coal Mine Trail is a loop trail just shy of 7 miles with moderate traffic. Highlights of the trail include a creek, abundant greenery and even a bit of wildlife if you’re lucky.
Within the loop there are multiple trail options, each signed and noted with their difficulty level. This trail is ideal for people looking for a hike at a lower elevation.
Happy Hiking This Summer
No matter what trail you choose, remember to pack your snacks and water, wear plenty of sunscreen and be ready for the weather to change quickly. Happy hiking!