As we’re fast approaching the summer months, now is the time to get outside and enjoy the splendid weather. Are you looking for something fun to do outside without having to go too far out of the city? Spending the day hiking out in nature is the perfect way to get a breath of fresh air while seeing stunning views at the same time. With all of the amazing hiking trails so close to home, Seattle provides an easy way to get out of the house without having to drive far get there.
Here are six of our favorite day hikes around the city that you don’t want to miss out on. Remember before you head out to know your skill level. You don’t want to get yourself into something you aren’t prepared for.
1) Mount Si
Region: North Bend
Distance: 8 miles, round trip
Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Elevation Change: 3,150 ft
Mount Si is easily one of the most well-known hikes in the Seattle area, which means you can expect to see a lot of other people on your journey. With the spectacular sights of Mount Rainier and the Seattle skyline, it gets its popularity for a good reason. Plus, with the potential to spot some wildlife along the way, you’ll understand why this is one of our favorites.
While it may be a very popular hike, don’t let it fool you. With the strenuous steep elevation change and switch-backs, it is a difficult hike as well. If you’re willing to hike in the fall and winter, you will find that it’s cooler and less crowded.
2) Poo Poo Point
Distance: 7.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Change: 1,858 ft
While it is one of West Tiger’s summits, Poo Poo Point is a grassy knoll only a few feet higher than the surrounding area. This spot is said to have gotten its namesake from the train steam whistles that loggers could hear while working on the mountainside. Poo Poo Point, while hilariously named, is a hotspot for paragliders.
Though if you aren’t looking to jump off the side of a mountain, it’s also a wonderful day hike too. This hike is perfect for beginners with a stunning view at the top. When you get to the top you’ll be able to see Lake Sammamish and Mount Rainier. If you’re lucky, you might also be able to watch one of those brave souls soaring off the mountainside.
3) Discovery Park
Region: Magnolia Neighborhood
Distance: 2.8 miles, round trip
Elevation Change: 140 ft
If you’re looking for an easy hike in the city, then look no further than the Discovery Park Loop Trail. The former Army Post is chocked full of amazing sights. The forest, meadow, a beach, and even a lighthouse. The 2.8-mile loop through the woods and meadows takes you up to a bluff overlooking Puget Sound and offers a beautiful view of downtown. While there, you can also walk down to the beach and lighthouse before heading back up to the loop.
4) Ebey’s Landing Loop
Region: Whidbey Island
Distance: 5.2 miles, round trip
Elevation Change: 260 ft
Located on Whidbey Island, Ebey’s Landing loop is part of the national historic reserve. The trail passes along the bluff, giving hikers plenty of chances to see wildlife. You may be able to see bald eagles soaring along the cliffs as well as seals and sea lions on the surf. Even orca pods can be seen in the summer months.
Near the end of the bluff, you’ll come to the restored homestead before heading down the cliffside to the stony beach. If you can, try this hike in the evening to see some gorgeous sunsets. After your hike, be sure to stop in at Kapaws Iskreme on Front Street in Coupeville for some delicious ice cream.
5) Rattlesnake Ledge
Region: North Bend
Distance: 4 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Change: 1,200 ft
Only 40 minutes outside of Seattle, the Rattlesnake Ledge is a perfect hike to get away for the day. The gentle switchbacks head up to the first of three rocky ledges jutting out from the mountain. Where you’ll find a beautiful view of the peaks surrounding North Bend, but don’t stop there. Head up to the middle or upper ledge where you’ll find fewer people and even more spectacular views. Try hiking it in the evenings for a stellar view of the sunset.
6) Mailbox Peak
Region: North Bend
Distance: 9.4 miles
Elevation Change: 4,000 ft
Because of the 4,000 feet switchback climb, the Mailbox Peak hike is for experienced hikers. If you’re up for the task, the path takes you through the forest and up to the peak. Where you’ll find the namesake: the mailbox mounted on stone. There you’ll not only be able to get a photo with the sticker-covered mailbox, but you’ll also have stunning views of the north and the central Cascades.
Keep in mind, there are two trails you can take. However, the Old Trail is shorter and much steeper than the newer and more sustainable trail.
While we’ve only highlighted our top six favorite day hikes for you to pick from, this is by no means an all exclusive list of hikes you can do around the Seattle area. There are so many we weren’t able to mention in the post but are definitely worth your time too. Let us know in the comments which day hikes are your favorites to go on around the area.
If you’re looking for a new place to live, or if you’re interested in moving to the wonderful city of Seattle, find your next dream apartment here. And while you’re on your search for the best apartment, be sure to check out our post on some of the reasons you should live in Seattle.