6 Best Day Hikes Near Seattle
Hiking near Seattle? Here are six day hikes you won’t want to miss.


day hiking near seattle

Seattle has no shortage of great views and tempting trails. If you’re in search of a great day hike outside of the bustling city, look no further. Below we have six hiking trails near Seattle perfect for your next day hike.

Little Si Trail

Distance from downtown Seattle: 33 miles

Length: 4.7 miles, roundtrip

Type of Trail: Out and back

Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Trailhead Location: 47.486714, -121.753544
little si trail in seattle

Little Si Trail welcomes hikers with a thigh-burning incline, but don’t be deterred. After a few winding switchbacks, the trail will level out and give you a break. And after the final uphill section, which can be a bit tiring, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of tree tops across the valley. Little Si is well-maintained and easy to follow, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself concentrating more on the beauty around you than the actual trail. If you hike on a wet day, though, be cautious of slippery mud on your way back down.

 

Pro tip: A Discover Pass is required for this trail, so make sure to purchase a day or annual Discover Pass prior to arriving.

 

For more information, read our Little Si Trail hiking guide.

Rachel Lake

Distance from downtown Seattle: 70 miles

Length: 8 miles, roundtrip

Type of Trail: Out and back

Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet

Difficulty: Hard

Trailhead Location: 47.400907, - 121.283564

 

This alpine hike is beautiful but difficult. Hikers can enjoy views of fall foliage, wildflower fields, and great overlooks of the lake. Don’t get too immersed into your surroundings, though; there are a number of false trails here, so be sure to refer to your map throughout your trek. And even if you don’t make it to the lake, the area around the hiking trail has lots of sights to be seen.

 

Pro tip: The bugs can be a pain; be sure to bring bug spray in your pack.

 

For more information, check out this hiking guide.

Chirico Trail to Poo Poo Point

Distance from downtown Seattle: 18.9 miles

Length: 3.8 miles, roundtrip

Type of Trail: Out and back

Elevation Gain: 1,760 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Trailhead Location: 47.5000, -122.0219
poo poo point in seattle

Chirico Trail to Poo-Poo Point offers views of wildflowers, jurassic forests, paragliders, and of course, a great view at The Point. The first part of the trail is beautiful, but also steep and rocky, so prepare your knees for the incline. If you have hiking or trekking poles, consider bringing them along for extra stability. This hike is a great, quick getaway for hikers looking to unplug for a bit. Pack a lunch and enjoy a snack at the top while enjoying the view of Mount Rainier (if you go on a clear day). Check out our infographic for more info on this awesome trail.

Pro tip: Because of the trail’s urban location and popularity, parking spots go fast. Plan to give yourself enough time to find parking.

For more information, check out this hiking guide.

Lake 22 Trail

Distance from downtown Seattle: 57 miles

Length: 5.4 miles

Type of Trail: Loop

Elevation Gain: 1,350 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Trailhead Location: 48.077055, -121.745833

 

Lake 22 Trail has much to offer hikers: snowshoeing in the winter and an old-growth mountain rainforest retreat in the spring and summer. This hike starts with well-maintained paths and continues through the forest at a steady incline until it turns to switchbacks. From there, you’ll exit the forest and be rewarded with views of the surrounding peaks. The rocks can be slippery, so please take care as you navigate. If you are hiking during the spring and summer months, Lake 22 Trail continues as a boardwalk that circles the lake. While the boulder fields on the far side of the lake may look tempting, refrain from climbing them as they are dangerous.

Pro tip: While this trail is very well-maintained, there are small creeks that can run over the trail; plus spring can bring muddy conditions, so waterproof hiking boots are a must.

Read our hiking guide for more information on Lake 22.

Big Four Ice Caves

Distance from downtown Seattle: 70 miles

Length: 2.2 miles, roundtrip

Type of Trail: Out and back

Elevation Gain: 220 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead Location: 48.067567, -121.514350

 

Big Four Ice Caves trail can be enjoyed by hikers of all ages and levels. What this trail lacks in difficulty, it more than makes up for in sights. In addition to the ice caves, hikers can enjoy views of a scenic river crossing and a cascading waterfall, and in the spring, hikers can stop and smell the wildflowers along the trail. Once you reach the caves, you’ll see signs that warn against entering the caves or climbing on top. OBEY THEM. Enjoy the beauty of the caves from afar; don’t place yourself or your family in danger.

Pro tip: Cell phone service is spotty at best in this area. Be sure to bring your Ten Essentials and always be prepared.

Read more about Big Four Ice Caves in our day hikes around Seattle infographic.

Snoqualmie Falls

Distance from downtown Seattle: 30 miles

Length: 1.4 miles roundtrip

Type of Trail: Out and back

Elevation Gain: 250 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead Location: 47.5437, -121.8370

 

If you’re an avid hiker, Snoqualmie Falls might not challenge you, but it will give you gorgeous views and a bit of a history lesson. Along the paved trail, experience the interpretive plaques discussing the native wildlife with their Snoqualmie names. For viewing of the powerful falls, you have two options: park and take a short walk to the upper viewing deck or take the hike to the lower deck and base of the waterfall.

Pro tip: The gift shop by the parking area sells pancake mix. Grab some for tomorrow’s breakfast!

Looking for more waterfall hikes near Seattle? We’ve got a guide for that.

Seattle day hike gear guide

seattle day hike gear guide

If you’re hiking near Seattle, you’ll want to make sure your gear is waterproof, as there’s a good chance you’ll venture out on a wet day. Here’s what we recommend to get you started on your day hike packing:
  1. Waterproof jacket
  2. Trekking poles
  3. Waterproof hiking boots
  4. Hydration pack
  5. First aid kit
  6. Multi-tool
  7. Insect repellent
  8. Snacks

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