12 Best Hikes near Seattle

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Seattle is full of fun, entertainment, and various opportunities to keep you engaged. With such a large scope of things to do within the city, you often surpass the opportunity to undertake some outdoor activities in Seattle. If you are up for skipping the long waiting hours at the city restaurants this weekend, and getting some adrenaline rush, hit the road en route to some really addictive adventures!

With national parks like the Cascades on the East and the Olympics on the West and Mt Rainier on the South, Seattle enjoys the perks of a convenient location. We cannot help mentioning the stunning Enchantments either, besides a ton of gorgeous glacial lakes and waterfalls that you can hike up. Choose your pick from these 12 Best Hikes near Seattle that are certain to make you fall in love!

1. Mt Pilchuck hike - go for a one day hike near Seattle

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If you are looking for a one-day hiking adventure from Seattle, the Mt Pilchuck is one of the best options. Towering the Mountain Loop Highway, this mountain bestows you with the quintessential amazing views you have in mind, the minute you think "Hike”! So, you do not have to wait up for a while, like most other hikes to bask in some glorious views. On your ascent and at the summit you get to see other popular spots for hiking near Seattle like North Cascades, Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier and San Juan Islands.  Owing to these factors, this is also one of the most crowded hikes near Seattle.

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 35 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 5.4 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Moderate

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2. Mt. Tenerife hike - for the experienced hikers

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While this is a difficult hike, the tranquility of hiking through forests, to the sound of cascading waterfall, Mt. Tenerife is a favorite of those looking for something advance. It is located next to the smaller yet more famous Mt. Si. The hike is a good mix of steep trails, unmaintained trail cuts and seasonal waterfalls like the Kamikaze. It can be approached via multiple entries including Crater Lake Peak, Blowout, and peak-bag Dixie. The highest point of the hike lies at 4788 feet. Best suitable for those who have a previous hiking experience. The months of spring bring out the best nature panoramas.

Distance from Seattle: 41 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 13.8 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Difficult


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3. Rachel lake hike - best lake hike near Seattle

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Located near Kittitas County’s city Cle Elum, the Rachel and Rampart Lakes is one of the most popular spots for hiking near Seattle. As the name suggests, this trail includes a lake that further adds to the diversity of the terrains here. Verdant forests make for a suitable hike to even bring your dog up here. If you happen to hike up this lake from the months of July to October, you will be bestowed with a lot of options on the activities front. The views are incredible; but make sure to carry a map with you, as the paths can get a little overwhelming.

Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 32 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 8.9 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Difficult 

4. Kendall Katwalk - great winter hiking spot near Seattle

PC: Wikimedia Commons 


Looking for hikes near Seattle winter? Kendall Katwalk could undeniably be one of the best choices. Being a part of the fabulous Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), this hike starts with a moderate challenge amidst an old growth forest that gradually alters into difficult, owing to its highly narrow ridge. On your gradual ascend you will encounter spectacular views of several alpine lakes. Hiking enthusiasts love a night of camping here, given some great camping sites around the lakes. The wilderness, complete with pretty wildflowers and lush woodlands make for one hike, you would want to come back to.

Distance from Seattle: 57 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 11 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

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5. North Cascades National Park

PC: Wikimedia Commons

Mention the North Cascades National park and we cannot hold back from mentioning our favorite The Enchantments! One of the best lake hikes close to Seattle, the Enchantments are nestled in the beautiful City of Leavenworth, Washington. One can go on and on about the mesmerizing natural beauty of this place, but it is necessary to note that access to this area requires a permit. Whether you plan to hike in the night or day, you need a permit to do so. However, night permit is limited to the time frame of- May 15 through October 31. Free permit during this time, has made it one of the most popular hikes in Washington.

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours, 7 minutes
Hike distance: 18.0 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

6. Sol Duc Falls - go for a quick weekend break

PC: Andrew Smith/flickr.com

One of the best hikes in Olympic National Park, the Sol Duc Falls can be considered by those who are looking for easy to moderate hikes. One cannot miss the fact, that these falls also make for the prettiest of hikes in Washington state. An ideal spot to quench your thirst for a quick getaway combined with just the right amount of thrill, the Sol Duc Falls are resorted to by all kinds of hikers. Conclude the hike by immersing yourself in the super therapeutic Sol Duc Hot Springs. The highest point of this trail lies at 2000 feet. To access the trail, you will require a National Park Pass.

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours 12 minutes
Hike distance: 5.3 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate

7. Snoqualmie Falls - refreshing waterfall hike near Seattle

PC: Wikipedia.org 

What would it be like to hike up one of Washington's most popular scenic attractions? Only the Snoqualmie Falls can tell! One of the best hikes near Seattle waterfalls, these falls are popular for being the backdrop of the cult television series Twin Peaks. Factors like this have several visitors drawn to the falls. You can choose to bask in the beautiful vistas of the adjoining areas from the observatory deck, or get moving and literally hike up the falls! Whether you visit the falls on a good day or bad, you are certain to get a glimpse of all its dramatic patterns.

Distance from Seattle: 34 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 1.4 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Easy

8. Tonga Ridge - famous hiking trail in fall

PC: Peter Stevens/flickr.com

Scouting for fall hikes near Seattle? While there may be a ton of beautiful ones, our heart goes to the Tonga Ridge for more reasons than one. Primarily, given its easy difficulty level, this hike makes for a perfect family getaway during fall. It’s nothing too strenuous, but more leisurely, that can be enjoyed by the kids and parents alike. Add in some spellbinding fall panoramas and the ridge emerges as a winner! Heather meadows, dancing deer, and fiery huckleberry are some things you must look forward to here, apart from sweeping views of the Cascades!

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours 14 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 6 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Easy

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9. Chelan Lakeshore Trail - best for hiking near Seattle

PC: Dan Nevill/flickr.com

Spring sounds like the most ideal time to get some hiking done. And if you are looking for hiking near Seattle in April, then you have got to consider the Chelan Lakeshore Trail. A beautiful journey of reaching the Lake Chelan before you take a ferry to Prince Creek, this hike is mighty rejuvenating. Considered to be a brilliant spot to swim; additionally, you can even canoe, kayak or do some boating. Spending time besides the lake watching the wide variety of birds and other wildlife here is a popular thing to do too. You will notice that there are a lot of backpackers here.

Distance from Seattle: 4 hours 11 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 24 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Moderate

10. Baker Lake Trail - go on a solo hike


The snow can bring about a one-of-it-kind hiking experience. If you ever contemplated about a good session of hiking near Seattle in December, then Baker Lake Trail could be a strong consideration. And if you are intrigued by the thought of hiking in snow, FYI the trail remains snow-free almost throughout the winter. On a crisp and clear winter day, you can get to see the views of Mount Baker clearer than ever. This trail is known for being a well-known solo hiker spot. At the summit, you will find a few accommodations, as well as campsites.

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours 14 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 9.0 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Easy

Try out: Best Waterfall Hikes in USA

11. Cedar River Trail - an ideal traiking spot for families

PC: Robert Ashworth/flickr.com

Emerging from the Lake Washington in Renton, the Cedar River serves as one of the best places for hiking around Seattle Washington. Given the easy difficulty level of this trail, several families pack some lunch and snacks to enjoy a picnic here. Given its being a partially paved trail, it can be accessed even by strollers and wheelchairs. The spaces between Renton and Maple Valley are popular as cycling and skating paths too. Fitness enthusiasts can enjoy a good run here, and others, a leisurely stroll perhaps. All the factors along with ample parking, make the Cedar River Trail one of the most undertaken hikes near Seattle.

Distance from Seattle: 30 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 17.2 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Easy

12. Mailbox Peak

PC: Peter Stevens/flickr.com

Saving the last for the quirkiest one, the Mailbox Peak bestow you with the opportunity to create history! Now history, of course, is not easy to create and that is what the Mailbox Peak urges you to do. Full of rocks, mud, stubborn ascends and descends this hike, is indeed not for the faint-hearted. The entire trail is well-marked by white highlighters. As you reach close to the mailbox, evading through steep slopes and climbs, you are also rewarded with views of the Mount Rainier, that appears to be unbelievably close. Once you reach this point, you can indulge in the ultimate pleasure of inscribing your name in the register inside the mailbox!

Distance from Seattle: 44 minutes, approximately
Hike distance: 5.2 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty Level: Difficult 

As you venture to any of the above, you are certain to have found a new love for hiking!

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