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Best Hikes near Seattle WA

Best Hikes near Seattle WA

Seattle is a city filled with so many things to do that it’s a full-time job planning your itinerary. The city is full of adventure, and it’s no surprise that many people visit it each year. However, the real highlight of the trip is hiking in the wilderness.

Some of Seattle’s best hiking trails, such as the Discovery Loop, are within the city limits. Others require a short drive to get to. It’s essential to plan ahead, as these trails often go into wild territory, and there may be a good crowd when they’re in the Pacific Northwest. One of the best ways to avoid crowds is to head to the trail at the start of the morning.

There are plenty of natural spaces and road-worthy attractions within easy driving distance of the city, such as Mount Rainier. There are also numerous waterfalls and shoreline lighthouses. Wherever you might be staying in Seattle, below are some of the best hikes to head out on in the Seattle area.

🚙 The best way to get around and hike around Seattle is to rent a car. Discover Cars has plenty of options for cars of different sizes to make your life easier.

1. Rattlesnake Ledge

The popular trail known as the Rattlesnake Ledge is near Tiger Mountain State Forest. It’s a short and steep hike that’s ideal for those wanting to get their blood pumping. The trail’s starting point is about a half-hour away from North Bend.

The ledge at the Cedar River watershed can be reached by hiking over two miles and more than 1,100 feet. The views are big enough to accommodate the large crowd gathering around it. During clear days, hikers can enjoy panoramic views of Mount Washington, Mount Si, and more.

Where to Stay near the Rattlesnake Ledge Trailhead in Seattle

  • Riverbend Bliss – Private 3-bedroom cabin for larger families featuring an onsite ATM.
  • Salish Lodge & Spa – A mix of modern and rustic, with amazing waterfall views.

2. Poo-Poo Point

The start of the Poo-Poo point trail is located in the city of Issaquah, which is about 20 miles away from Seattle. There are two different ways to reach this famous summit, and the Chirico Trail is a four-mile walk, while the Poo-Poo Trail is a seven-mile trail.

Before heading to the shorter trail, it’s important to note that the Chirico Trail goes through more than 2,000 feet of additional path. The views from the top of Poo-Poo Point are worth the effort. There are also several benches along the way to catch your breath.

Where to stay in Issaquah

3. Wallace Falls

The Wallace Falls State Park features numerous waterfalls, including the one that’s named Wallace Falls. It also has old-growth forests that are carved out by the rushing waters of the Wallace River.

The easiest way to reach Wallace Falls is by hiking the trail that passes through three different vantage points. The elevation gain on this route is over 1,300 feet. The trail ends at the upper and middle falls, and the view from these areas is stunning.

Recommended: Waterfall Wonderland Hike

Where to Stay near Wallace Falls State Park

  • Dutch Cup Motel – Budget-friendly affordable motel in Sultan, WA, close to hiking, skiing, and horse riding areas.
  • Best Western Sky Valley Inn – Within driving distance of many parks, this pet-friendly hotel is within walking distance of many good restaurants.

4. Kendall Katwalk

One of the most popular attractions at Snoqualmie Pass is the Kendall Kat Walk Trail, which leads north into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area. This trail is part of a cross-country hiking system known as the Pacific Crest Trail, and it’s usually a 10- to-14-mile trip.

Situated about an hour away from Seattle, this mountain pass offers a variety of recreational activities, such as hiking during the summer and skiing during the winter season.

This area is unsuitable for day hikers due to the various elevation gains and famous Alpine Lakes Wilderness. However, if you’re planning on visiting this area, get an early start and experience the area’s natural beauty.

Recommended Tours:

Where to Stay near Snoqualmie Falls

5. The Enchantments

The town of Leavenworth is the primary base camp for the Enchantments, and the nearby village of Icicle Road is also popular with tourists. This area has various lodging options that can accommodate different types of travelers.

The area’s various hiking trails are designed to accommodate different types of hikers. For example, people who want to experience the wonders of Colchuck Lakes or Stuart may choose to take a short day trip. The access road to the area, which is Icicle Road, follows the contours of Icicle Creek.

The area is known as the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and it can be accessed from Seattle by driving east over Stevens Pass. It has numerous beautiful lakes and is a high-profile destination for hikers. One of the most popular hikes in the area is the 20-mile hike known as the Enchantments Thru-Hike.

Recommended: Icicle Road and the Enchantments E-bike Experience

Where to Stay in Leavenworth

  • Bavarian Lodge – Beautiful Alpine-inspired lodge a short walk from the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum.
  • Alpine Rivers Inn – Featuring views of the river from your room and just a short walk from Leavenworth’s Bavarian Village shops.

6. Mount Pilchuck Lookout

One of the most popular trails in the area is the Mount Pilchuck Lookout, which is a relatively short distance from downtown Seattle. The views from this mountain are some of the reasons why many people visit this area. However, this trail can be challenging due to the area’s extensive elevation gain.

Most of the trail through the area’s rocky mountain slopes is rough. This type of trail can sometimes wear your legs out, but it’s well-marked and has plenty of opportunities to enjoy panoramic views of the North Cascades, Mount Baker, and Mount Shuksan.

The former fire lookout on Mount Pilchuck is a great place to eat before heading back down. People who want to extend their stay in the area can take advantage of its overnight accommodation.

Where to Stay in Seattle within driving distance of Mount Pilchuck

7. Crystal Lakes, Mount Rainier National Park

Crystal Lakes offer visitors plenty of opportunities to experience the area’s natural beauty. However, the great thing about this location is that there are plenty of other things to see when you’re finished with the hike. Some of these must-see areas include the magnificent alpine meadows, waterfalls, and dramatic views of the mountain.

An ambitious individual can easily hike six miles to Crystal Lakes in three hours. Those who want to view the majestic lakes from the top of this challenging route must go through approximately 2,500 feet of elevation gain.

While it’s a bit closer to Seattle than other areas, you can still see some of the city’s best scenery on a day trip with a fast and early start. You won’t want to miss everything that the park has to offer. Feel free to drive up to Paradise and have some lunch after your hike.

Recommended tours

Where to Stay near Mt Rainier National Park

  • LOGE Alta Crystal Resort at Mt Rainier – 4-star cabins with well-equipped kitchens close to hiking, skiing, and fishing spots in Enumclaw.
  • Gateway Inn & Cabins – Just a short walk from the Mt Rainier Park entrance, these affordable cottages are well-equipped and include small refrigerators and microwaves.
  • Grove Getaways – Beautiful tents about 10 km drive from Mt Rainier that includes dining, seating and kitchen areas.

One of the most enjoyable things about Seattle is its proximity to hiking trails and the ability to leave the city behind and escape in the woods whenever you want. Have you tried any of these hikes? Comment and let us know!

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