If you’re going to the Pacific Northwest, there’s one activity you don’t want to pass up: exploring the can’t-miss hikes in the area. Of course, Seattle is known for coffee, craft beers, and eclectic restaurants, but what many people don’t realize is some of the best hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest are located in and around Seattle. While making plans for your trip, you just might realize that stationing yourself in and around the Seattle area to be close to these hiking trails is an idea you don’t want to miss.
Old Mount Si Trail
Want to find a trail less traveled but still itching to experience Mount Si in its entirety? The Old Mount Si Trail gives hikers a view similar to one you would find on the newer Mount Si trail but without the crowds. Located in the Snoqualmie region, the Old Trail is only 24 miles from Redmond, the perfect place to make your hub if you’re wanting to be outside of the city. While this hike will give you a more challenging experience with an 8-mile round trip hike and an elevation gain of more than 3,200 feet, it will be well worth the trek.
Little Si Hiking Trail
With an elevation gain of more than 1,200 feet and a 4.7-mile hike round trip, Little Si is perfect for those hikers who are less experienced or want a moderate workout with stunning sights along the way. At the top of Little Si, you will find a panoramic view of Mount Washington, the Upper Snoqualmie Valley, and Mount Si on a clear day. Make sure to obtain the Discover Pass before hiking Old Mount Si Trail and Little Si Trail.
While Mount Si and Little Si are well-known hikes in the Seattle area, don’t shy away from the lesser-known hikes such as Mount Teneriffe. It’s longer, at 13.8 miles round trip, and has an elevation gain of 3,800 feet. You will pass the Kamikaze Falls and come across incredible views of Mount Rainier from the summit without dealing with the heavily populated trails at Mount Si and Little Si. Note that the trailhead is only 36 miles from Seattle.
Crystal Lakes Trail
For those looking for a hike farther outside of the city, Mount Rainer has the Crystal Lakes Trail. Gaining 2,300 feet elevation during this 6-mile round trip hike, you will come across a view of Mount Rainier, the wildflowers lining lower Crystal Lake, and various wildlife as you make your way towards Upper Crystal Lake. If you’re looking to camp, both Lower and Upper Crystal Lakes have sites available, but be sure to obtain a permit.
Whether you decide to hike Mount Si, Little Si, Mount Teneriffe, or Crystal Lakes, the Pacific Northwest does not skimp on diverse terrain or stunning perspectives. If you can’t decide on one trail, make a weeklong trip out of it to enjoy as much as you can of this spectacular region of the United States.