Sunday, November 23, 2008

Top Seattle Local Hikes

Seattle offers great hikes down by Puget Sound or up in the surrounding Mountains and Foothills. Listed below are some of the best hikes around the Seattle area for hikers.

Top local hikes around Seattle that I have done:

Annette Lake
A "must do" Best Seattle Hike which leads up about 1900 feet up the mountain to a great lake at the top. The trail is 90% covered by trees and makes for a great hike on hot Seattle summer days. Fantastic views along the way up and at the lake. Read more info in this book: Take a Hike Seattle.

Rattle Snake Mountain - to Rattlesnake Ledge
Fairly easy hike up a 1,100 elevation gain to some fantastic views of the Cascades, including Mount Si. But go early - its extremely popular on the weekends. Read more info in this book: Take a Hike Seattle on page 174.

Little Si
A good "sampler" of Cascade hiking with rocky trails, old forests and some fantastic views. Like Rattlesnake Ledge, it can get very busy if you dont go early. Read more info in this book: Take a Hike Seattle on page 178.

Tiger Mountain - West Tiger Mountain #3

Offers a great (but popular) hike up Tiger Mountain to Peak #3. Arrive early or late to avoid the crowds. Read more about this hike in this book: Take a Hike Seattle on page 62

Cougar Mountain - Wilderness Creek to Far Country Lookout

This is a long hike, and has a steep start, but its one of the best all around hikes for Cougar Mountain. Its starts on a less crowded side of the mountain, off SR 900. A similar hike can be found in this book: Beyond Mount Si on page 24

Spray Park
This a very nice trail, offering great views of Mount Rainier and the North Mowich Glacier. The hike ends in a meadow covered in wildflowers. Getting there is a pain, but its well worth it.
The best decription of this hike is in this book: Day Hike! Mount Rainier on page 194

Bandera Mountain
There are a couple hikes in the area, but one of the best is to continue to Mason Lake or Little Mason Lake. The hike starts with a tough uphill and is often crowded, but offers great views back on the Cascades. Multiple hikes found in this book: Take a Hike Seattle - in the Interstate 90 section

Point Defiance - Outer perimeter trail (Square markers)
Great trail in Tacoma -- it offers views of Puget Sound, Tacoma Narrows and Vashon Island. Its a very easy and mostly level hike. Do this hike EARLY on a Sunday to avoid cars and crowds. This hike can be found in this book: Take a Hike Seattle on page 64

Additional Great hikes around Seattle:

Nisqually Vista
Glacier View
Mount Si
Squak Mountain - Bullitt Fireplace