19 Best Hikes Near Seattle

Photo of author
Updated:

Are you planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest and looking for the best hikes near Seattle? There are many stunning trails in Northern Washington, and you can find many of them close to the city.

From beautiful views of towering mountains to plunging waterfalls and shimmering alpine lakes, there are hundreds of trails to check out.

Whether you’re looking for something short within 30 minutes of Seattle or hoping to get out on a longer trail and spend an entire day in nature, there are plenty of options.

Best Hikes Near Seattle

In this post, I’ll share some of the best trails near Seattle so you can get out and enjoy the beauty of the PNW.

1. Rattlesnake Ledge

rattlesnake-ledge
Image Credit: The Hiking Helper.

Distance from Seattle: 40 minutes

Hike Distance: 5.3 miles

The hike to Rattlesnake Ledge is one of the most popular in all of Washington. You’ll start the hike through the forest before you come to an opening with an incredible view.

Rattlesnake Lake is a stunning teal lake that sits just below Rattlesnake Ledge, and you can enjoy the views of it from above. You can view from three different ledges, the first being the most popular.

You’ll often find many other people here since it’s a popular viewpoint. To escape the crowds, continue along the trail past the first ledge to the second and third ledges. The views are just as good, but with fewer people!

2. Snoqualmie Falls 

snoqualmie-falls-thehikinghelper
Image Credit: The Hiking Helper.

Distance from Seattle: 35 minutes

Hike Distance: 1.4 miles

The most famous waterfall close to Seattle is Snoqualmie Falls. This 270-foot waterfall plunges over a rocky cliff back into the Snoqualmie River.

Over the past one hundred years, Snoqualmie Falls has been used as a hydroelectric plant to provide water and electricity to the small town of Snoqualmie.

While the main viewpoint is just steps from the parking lot, you can embark on a steep downhill trek to the waterfall’s base. From here, you can see more about how the waterfall is used for electricity.

3. Twin Falls

Distance from Seattle: 35 minutes

Hike Distance: 2.5 miles

Another great waterfall to hike to is the Twin Falls trail, which leads you to a unique waterfall that slides down the side of a rock wall in two sections. Hence the name Twin Falls.

Along the trail, you’ll pass by a few other smaller waterfalls and viewpoints of the South Fork Snoqualmie River. Another unique feature is the old-growth Douglas Fir that you’ll pass by, a massive tree in the beautiful old-growth forest.

Just past the main viewpoint of Twin Falls, which can be reached by a short staircase, you’ll find a bridge that passes over the river, where you can see Upper Twin Falls.

4. Snow Lake

Distance from Seattle: 50 minutes

Hike Distance: 6.7 miles

There are a few Snow Lakes in Washington, and this one is located just under an hour outside of Seattle. It can be reached by a moderately challenging hike, starting near the Summit at Snoqualmie ski resort.

As you hike along the trail, you’ll be meandering your way through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, which is also home to the well-admired Enchantments.

Snow Lake is nestled in multiple mountains, and you can see even more towering peaks in the distance. The viewpoint is from above, giving you a unique perspective compared to other alpine lakes in the PNW.

While this Snow Lake is famous, it is important to note, though, that it’s not the Snow Lake that connects to the Enchantments trail. This Snow Lake is an entirely different lake. 

5. Heybrook Lookout

heybrook lookout
Image Credit: The Hiking Helper.

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 10 minutes

Hike Distance: 1.9 miles

If you’re looking for a hike near Seattle with beautiful mountain views, the Heybrook Lookout trail is perfect.

This short trail leads you through an old-growth forest on a slight incline for the entire hike. Once you reach the top, you’ll find an old fire lookout to climb up. At the top are incredible views of Mount Index and other towering Washington mountains.

Another option with similar views is to head to the Heybrook Ridge trailhead, where you’ll experience the hike with fewer visitors. It’s a slightly different trail but ends with the same amazing views of Mount Index, Baring Mountain, and more.

6. Wallace Falls

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour

Hike Distance: 4.9 miles

If you’re a waterfall fan, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s another epic waterfall just a short drive from Seattle.

Inside its namesake state park, Wallace Falls is a beautiful waterfall that drops over a huge cliff and into a lush forest of greenery. From the main viewpoint, you can watch as the water plummets over the cliff and continues down the winding river.

The most beautiful part about Wallace Falls is the contrast between the colors of the water and the bright green trees surrounding it. It’s a view that almost makes it feel like you’re in a storybook.

7. Lake 22

lake-22 in WA state
Image Credit: The Hiking Helper.

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 10 minutes

Hike Distance: 6.8 miles

Washington is filled with gorgeous alpine lakes, which are scattered all over the Cascade Mountain range.

Lake 22 is just one of those lakes, nestled in the mountains outside of Seattle. No one knows why it’s been given the peculiar name of Lake 22, but we do know that it’s a beautiful and popular spot to hike to!

Lake 22 is right at Mount Pilchuck’s base, and you can see the snow-capped peaks towering above you.

Walk up to the lake, relax on the shoreline, or continue along the trail and circle the entire lake for a new perspective.

8. Mount Si

Distance from Seattle: 40 minutes

Hike Distance: 7.9 miles

The trek to Mount Si is long and challenging, covering almost 3,500 feet of elevation gain, but once you’ve reached the top, you’ll be met with phenomenal views.

You’ll hike up through the forest and over dozens of switchbacks before making it to the 4,167-foot summit of Mount Si. From the top, enjoy panoramic views of the Snoqualmie Valley and dozens of other mountains in the distance.

On the opposite side of the valley, you might be able to pick out Rattlesnake Ledge and even Mount Rainier or Seattle on a clear day!

9. Lake Serene

lake-serene
Image Credit: The Hiking Helper.

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 10 minutes

Hike Distance: 7.6 miles

Another of the best alpine lakes in Washington is Lake Serene, which is nestled at the base of Mount Index.

Lake Serene is a beautiful, teal lake with views of towering rock formations and mountains behind it. The mountains are so dramatic that it’s almost hard to believe they’re real.

Along the trail, you’ll have stunning views of the mountains that almost feel like you are somewhere in Switzerland, and you’ll also pass Washington’s second-tallest waterfall.

Bridalveil Falls drops almost 1,300 feet in multiple tiers. It’s so tall you can’t even see where it starts or ends.

10. Dirty Harry’s Balcony

Distance from Seattle: 40 minutes

Hike Distance: 4.1 miles

The hike to Dirty Harry’s Balcony is another beautiful hike near Seattle to embark on if you’re hoping to avoid some of the crowds on other trails.

It’s a challenging hike that starts near North Bend and leads you up along the rolling hills that line Interstate 90. From the overlook, you’ll have gorgeous panoramic views of the mountains with the interstate below.

It’s a unique viewpoint you can’t find in many other places around Washington.

11. Gold Creek Pond

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour

Hike Distance: 1 mile

Whether you have kids coming along that need a more leisurely hike, you’d like an ADA-accessible walk, or you just want something easy but still beautiful, Gold Creek Pond is perfect.

This short, one-mile trail is a paved loop hike that brings you to a viewpoint of Gold Creek Pond. The small pond sits at the base of various mountains on the edge of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

The trail leads around the entire lake, so you can see it from all perspectives and enjoy a nice, easy, accessible hike near Seattle.

12. Mailbox Peak

Distance from Seattle: 40 minutes

Hike Distance: 10.3 miles

Another Seattle hike is Mailbox Peak, one of the most popular trails in the area. At the top of this long and strenuous hike, you’ll come to find an old mailbox. Inside, you’ll often find a variety of treasures left by other hikers for newcomers to discover. And that’s not to mention the fantastic views of the surrounding mountains from the top of the Mailbox Peak summit!

There are a few ways to reach the summit. First is the old trail, which is shorter but very strenuous, covering almost 4,000 feet of elevation gain in around 3 miles. On the new trail, you’ll more than double the mileage, but it helps spread the elevation gain out and helps to keep visitors safer. Many people use the Mailbox Peak Old trail as a training route for summiting Mount Rainier!

13. Discovery Park & Lighthouse Loop

Distance from Seattle: 20 minutes

Hike Distance: 4.4 miles

If you want a hike in Seattle, head to Discovery Park for the Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop.

This easy trail covers just over 4 miles of ground and showcases fantastic views of Puget Sound. It wraps around Discovery Park, which is Seattle’s largest park.

You’ll pass by West Point Lighthouse and have the opportunity to stop and enjoy some of Washington’s best beaches.

14. Poo Poo Point

Distance from Seattle: 25 minutes

Hike Distance: 6.6 miles

Although it has a funny name, the views at the top of Poo Poo Point aren’t anything to joke about! After a long and moderately challenging hike through Tiger Mountain State Forest, you’ll reach the top for amazing views.

On your hike, you’ll wander through the forest and pass by many small streams and rivers. From the top of the 1,850-foot peak, you’ll have a great view of the town of Issaquah. You also might have the chance to see paragliders taking off into the wind, as it’s a popular spot for launching.

Pack some snacks or dinner and hike to Poo Poo Point for sunset, as the views are phenomenal!

15. Mount Pilchuck

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 20 minutes

Hike Distance: 5.2 miles

If you’re looking for a rewarding hike by Seattle, the climb to Mount Pilchuck will be worth it. Although long and hard, the views from the fire lookout at the top of Mount Pilchuck are so worth the effort!

Climb up the trail, through the forest, and up one final rock ledge to find the restored fire lookout sitting atop a pile of rocks. From the lookout, you’ll have 360-degree views of iconic Washington landmarks such as Mount Baker and Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park.

This trail is so beautiful that it’s rarely empty, so you’ll want to plan ahead for a busy hike! Get there early to ensure you get a parking spot.

16. Franklin Falls

Distance from Seattle: 50 minutes

Hike Distance: 2 miles

This short and easy hike to a stunning waterfall is prevalent throughout the year. You’ll find lots of people heading to Franklin Falls in the summer and winter!

It’s a smaller waterfall, dropping just 70 feet, but it’s still well worth a visit! A bridge crosses over the falls just a short distance away, and it’s a great hike to bring kids who can’t go long distances.

Even in the winter, many people love to visit Franklin Falls to see the water frozen and the ice clinging to the rock wall. But some people even enjoy ice climbing here!

17. Little Si

Distance from Seattle: 35 minutes

Hike Distance: 3.6 miles

The little sibling to Mount Si is Little Si, which allows you to see some of the same beautiful views with a shorter and easier climb.

Little Si’s peak sits at 1,516 feet, while Mount Si’s is at 4,114, so you can only imagine the distance and elevation gain you’ll cut off by going this route!

But you’ll still get to enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding area and the small town of North Bend below you.

18. Naches Peak Loop

naches-peak
Image Credit: The Hiking Helper.

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours

Hike Distance: 3.2 miles

If you have more time, head down to Mount Rainier National Park, where you’ll enjoy exploring Washington’s tallest mountain.

The Naches Peak Loop trail is a beautiful, short trail leading you around a smaller peak near Mount Rainier. In the spring and summer, some wildflowers bloom around the trail, and you’ll have amazing views of Mount Rainier along the way.

You might even have the chance to spot some wildlife as well, from mountain goats to deer.

19. Lighthouse Point

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 30 minutes

Hike Distance: 1.8 miles

As Washington’s most visited state park, there are many reasons why you should plan a visit to Deception Pass State Park. Lighthouse Point is a nice trail that leads right along the shore and gives you amazing views of Puget Sound.

Lighthouse Point is a small peninsula that juts out into the water and has a small lighthouse to check out. On clear days, you can even see Mount Rainier in the distance. 

Wrap-Up: Hikes Near Seattle, Washington

The Pacific Northwest features some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country, and you can find many of them close to the city.

Whether you’re looking for panoramic views of the mountains or an alpine lake to dip your toes into, there’s somewhere for every type of hiker to enjoy.

So lace up your boots, head out from the city, and check out these best hikes near Seattle.

More Articles by Our Woven Journey:

This article was produced for Our Woven Journey. Featured Image Credit: Maridav | Canva.

Website | + posts

Kassidy is an avid hiker based in Minnesota but loves exploring outside her home state. She loves the Pacific Northwest, lived in Washngton for six months, and hiked every weekend! She writes about her adventures on The Hiking Helper.