Seattle and the greater Washington area is a perfect vacation destination for nature enthusiasts. In and around Seattle, you will find many trails for both day hikes and running. Whether you are local to Seattle or visiting, there are plenty of cool days hikes near Seattle. If you are looking for a little adventure for the best day hikes from Seattle or easy to moderate hike that you can do near the city these offer great scenic trails that you can do by yourself, with friends, or taking the kids for a hike.
Whether you wish to test your endurance on a run or explore new trails to see amazing views, Seattle has it all. Here are the ten best day hikes and five best running trails in and around Seattle. There are also plenty of amazing books with cool Seattle hikes that you can do in the winter, fall, spring and summer and with or without kids.
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- 1 10 Cool Day Hikes From Seattle
- 2 Top Running Trails In Seattle
10 Cool Day Hikes From Seattle
Below are some coolest day hikes from Seattle’s with plenty of kid-friendly hikes too. Some of these can also be included among easy hikes in Washington. Also, on many of the trails, you will pass by cool waterfalls in Seattle that we covered in a separate post.
1. Rattlesnake Ledge
In North Bend, you will find a four-mile roundtrip hike from Rattlesnake Lake up to three ledges, the lower, the middle, and the upper ledge. Although Rattlesnake Ledge is a relatively easy hike, it is also somewhat steep. However, the cliffside views of North Bend and the Cascade Mountains are not to be missed. The middle and upper ledges are usually less crowded and offer an even better view with fewer people around. This hike is perfect for those less experienced with hiking.
2. Little Si
Just off Interstate 90, there is a beautiful hike in Snoqualmie Pass known as Little Si. This easy hike is about a five-miles round trip with about 1,200 feet in elevation gain. The path is forested and even includes rock formations you can try your hand at climbing if you want. At the top of the path, you will be greeted with stunning views of North Bend, the Upper Snoqualmie Valley, and even Mount Si in the north. Little Si is the perfect beginner hike to accomplish near Seattle.
3. Mount Si
A moderate, eight-mile roundtrip in Snoqualmie Pass, Mount Si is a day hike that is near downtown. With an elevation gain of 3,150 feet, the hike is more difficult but offers stunning views of Mount Rainer in the south and many other Cascade peaks in view on a clear day as well as the Seattle skyline and the Olympic range. Mount Si is a very classic Seattle hike, and although it can be somewhat difficult, pays off with gorgeous views.
4. Mailbox Peak
In North Bend, Mailbox Peak is a newer trail built from the original Mailbox Trail. The signature mailbox at the summit was placed by a postman in the 60s. The new trail is safer and easier to navigate, but still difficult, 9.6-mile roundtrip hike up an elevation of 4,000 feet. Once on the top of Mailbox Peak, you will find the iconic mailbox, perfect for a photo opt to prove you conquered the mountain. You will also be greeted with 360-degree views of the north and the central Cascades. For the more advanced hiker, Mailbox Peak is a perfect Seattle area hike.
5. Mount Pilchuck
Within the North Cascades sits Mount Pilchuck, which holds a 5.4-mile roundtrip trail. One of the more popular hikes on the Mountain Loop Highway, you will climb about 2,200 feet in elevation on this moderate hike through forest and boulder fields to reach a restore fire lookout tower. The beautiful views from on top of the mountain include the Olympic Peninsula, Mount Rainer, and Puget Sound.
6. Cherry Creek Falls
If you are looking for waterfall hikes in Seattle then this is a perfect one to check out. In an old logging forest outside Duvall sits Cherry Creek Falls, a 25-foot waterfall. The hike to get there is about 5 miles, roundtrip, and gains very little elevation, with smoother trails due to the old logging rounds, making this hike relatively easy. However, the trail can be hard to follow, so make sure you have a reliable way to follow the trail. At the falls, you will find a cool pool that you can dip your feet in. The picturesque view of the falls with the forest surrounding it makes a nice, relaxing hike.
7. Poo Poo Point
With two different trails, Poo Poo Point is a grassy field on the west side of Tiger Mountain. Supposedly named for the train steam whistles loggers could hear while on the mountain. A hidden gem hike in Issaquah, you will be awarded with amazing views of Lake Washington and the surrounding area. If you take Chirco Trail, you will have a 3.8-mile round trip that is steeper, while High School Trail is 7.2 miles round trip but is less steep. Whichever you choose to take, the views at Poo Poo Point is a perfect easy to moderate hike. For additional tips on trails in Washington I highly recommend checking out WTA.
8. Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail
Only about 30 minutes from downtown Seattle in North Bend, Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail follows the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. The trail is about 12 miles round trip if you turn around at the Dingford Creek bridge, but you will see hikers turn around throughout the hike. Although there is no peak to reach, you will be surrounded by a beautiful forest and mountain peaks while you hike to the sound of rushing water. A simple, relaxing hike, the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail is perfect for a beginner hiker.
9. Wallace Falls
Hiking in Seattle up the Wallace River, this popular hike gains an elevation of about 1,300 feet and is a 5.6-mile round trip hike. There are three large waterfalls and nine falls overall that you will see that are breathtaking. The lower falls are reachable after two miles and after another half miles, you will be greeted by a beautiful view of the middle falls, perhaps the most impressive panoramic view on the trail. If you push on the steep switchbacks to the upper falls, you will see plenty of stunning views of the falls. The entire hike is gorgeous and is great for both newcomers and seasoned hikers.
10. Chain Lakes Loop
The Chain Lakes Loop shows off the beautiful North Cascades from the towering peaks to the wildflower meadows. This moderately difficult 8-mile roundtrip hike goes from the Bagley Lakes Trailhead past several lakes and into the Herman Saddle. Chain Lakes Loop continues between Table Mountain and Ptarmigan Ridge and reaches Artist Point lake. Mount Shuksan is reflected in the lake, creating a stunning image that is arguably one of the prettiest views in the North Cascades. This hike offers picturesque views of lakes and nature and is a perfect way to see some of the beauty that surrounds Seattle. Among some of the most scenic hikes in Washington.
Top Running Trails In Seattle
We have talked about cool Seattle Hikes above, now, if you don’t have time to head out on the trails mentioned, below are cool running trails in Seattle. These are also perfect for those looking for urban hikes in Seattle.
1. Green Lake
This running trail is beautiful. Green Lake trail wraps around Green Lake, a 50,000-year-old glacial lake in Seattle. Looping around the lake once for 2.8 miles, this trail offers greenery as far as the eyes can see. The trail is flat and paved, making it perfect for an easy run, walk, or even a bike ride. Green Lake is very popular with locals, especially when it is sunny, so get there early to enjoy some relaxing quiet.
2. Discovery Park Loop
The Discovery Park Loop trail is 2.8 miles and offers a stunning view overlooking Puget Sound. The trail is flat and there are few trees. For a longer jog, take some of the cut-throughs and alternate routes for up to an extra five miles. These extra trails in Discovery Park will bring you around the area from wooded regions, meadows, forests, and a beach with the West Point Lighthouse. This beautiful running trail is perfect for any runner.
3. Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum offers beautiful, well-kept trails. A botanical garden, the Arboretum offers a view of more than 20,000 plants. On Azalea Way trail, you will follow a three-mile roundtrip. There are plenty of other trails weaving throughout the Arboretum, so be careful to not get lost! Your run will never be boring in the Washington Park Arboretum, as you are surrounded by stunning plants and picture-perfect lakes. The manicured gardens are perfect for a run.
For a longer trail, Burke-Gilman offers more than 18 miles of jogging. Offering a tour of the city, you will cross through Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, the University District, and the Golden Gardens Park. If you are training for endurance or a marathon, the Burke-Gilman trail is perfect. You can even just take parts of the trail to see more of Seattle without needing to follow the entire path. For a long yet unique trail through Seattle, Burke-Gilman is the best trail.
5. Interlaken Boulevard
A quick yet challenging trail, Interlaken Boulevard will make you feel like you have transported out of the city, starting at Roanoke Park into Interlaken Park. You will be greeted with green trees and a steep and winding road. At just around two miles, this trail still has cars driving next to it but is still a great paved trail to get both the beauty of the city and the picturesque views of nature. Interlaken Boulevard is completely paved and takes you in and out of the woods. For the best of the city and nature, the Interlaken Boulevard is perfect.
Seattle offers visitors a big city with a unique twist of having plenty of day hikes and running trails. Unlike the cities on the East Coast, the nature in and around Seattle is abundant. Whether you hike Rattlesnake Ledge to view North Bend and the Cascade Mountains, visit the mailbox on Mailbox Peak, or run through Washington Park Arboretum, you will find beautiful views, stunning mountains, and gorgeous lakes wherever you look. These ten best day hikes and five best running trails are perfect for any skill level, from the beginning runner to the advanced hiker. Seattle has plenty to offer its visitors with amazing trails for hiking and running.
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