Looking for a getaway from the noise of Downtown Seattle and traffic along the I-90? Little Si sounds like a great hike for you!
Little Si Trail Guide OverviewLocation: Snoqualmie Region - North Bend Area
Length: 4.7 miles, round trip
Elevation Gain: 1300 ft.
Highest Point: 1550 ft.
Trail time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Attractions: Rock climbing, bouldering, Mount Si viewpoint
Directions to the Little Si Hiking Trail
Make your way east on Interstate 90 if you’re coming from Seattle, and get off on Exit 32 for 436th avenue. There you’ll drive .6 mile before making a left onto North Bend Way. Shortly after, you’ll see a very tiny lot that will most likely be filled with cars, that’s how you’ll know you’ve made it to the trailhead. If there’s no room, head to the overflow lot on SE Mt Si road and 434th avenue SE where there is a trail connecting the two. It’s important to note that parking may be full in both lots on the weekend.
Starting the Little Si Hike
Experiencing the “I’ve been sitting for too long and need to do some activity” post-flight feeling, my group was ready to climb. Little Si was the plan, so after fueling up on water, trail mix, and some jerky, we set off from the trailhead.
I couldn’t resist my desire to photograph the landscape. I’m not a photo hound by any means, but being surrounded by such beautifully dense forests is not what my desert hiking roots are accustomed to.
Eventually, we came to the consensus that we would hike a good chunk of the trail before taking any more photos. That’s when the rain started. Sporting my The North Face Dryzzle Jacket made with GORE-TEX fabric, I looked like I fit right in with the locals as rain pattered off my jacket. Frankly, I was just glad I could get use out of the jacket with it being so dry in the southwest this time of year.
Part of the joy in hiking a new trail is the unknown. Sure, you can read a review and have a general idea of what it’ll be like, but instead of describing what I saw, I want to talk about how it made me feel.
Humans have a unique way of looking at the same thing. Take a painting for instance: Each of us will have an opinion about what the artist intended or why she used a particular palette. Nobody’s wrong; we’re just all different.
It’s the same thing when it comes to nature. I was drawn to the massive rock piles and abundant bouldering areas, thinking back to a climbing adventure I had the weekend before with friends at home. One companion had his eyes set on the brooding trees and the other noticed wildlife before I could catch a glimpse. I can only describe what I felt with one word: content.
Distracted by my surroundings, I almost led us on a wrong turn. Thankfully my counterparts were paying closer attention than I was and we set off in the right direction. I have no shame in missing the sign, though. I’d rather be attuned to the nature surrounding me than focused on staying on the right path. Other hikers were passing us left and right, but I didn’t care. This wasn’t a race to see who could reach the top first. I kept admiring what was around me and who I was with.
We had all been up since the crack of dawn, and, in that state of deliriousness, a hike sounded like the least appealing thing before we reached the trailhead. But once we were out there making the climb up Little Si, my group’s overwhelming enchantment with the area made me wish I was right where I was. Present.
Sure, the final uphill section was a tad bit tiring, but nothing we couldn’t handle. And once we did reach the top, it was nothing short of spectacular. Clouds clung to the trees of Mount Si across the valley, and I got to watch the whole spectacle in pure awe.
I set up a time-lapse of the whole thing, but no media could do this view or moment justice. I wasn’t going to spoil what I was feeling with an obsession to get the perfect shot. No, this time, I’d opt for stillness.
Little Si Trailhead Preparations and Hiking Safety Tips
There’s really not much to this hike. You’re never passing Class 1 climbing, but the hike down is steep at points. A pair of trekking poles is far from a necessity, but your knees might thank you later.
A Discover Pass is required for this hike, so make sure to purchase a day or annual Discover Pass here if you haven’t already done so. There is running water on the trail in the case that you run out, but you should be able to carry all you need on your back.
Little Si Parking
The lot for Little Si is packed on weekends. Try to get there early to get a spot, or hike on a weekday when foot traffic is minimal.
Little Si Gear
- The North Face Dryzzle Jacket with GORE-TEX fabric
- Osprey Ozone Travel Pack 46
- Osprey Water Bladder
- Clif Bars
- Eno SingleNest Hammock
- Salewa Alp Flow Mid GORE-TEX SURROUND® Boots
- Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles