When I think of Seattle, a lot of things come to mind. The birthplace of Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon. Seattle Seahawks, Mariners, Supersonics (bring them back!). Puget Sound and Lake Washington, maybe even whale watching at the right time of the year.
Hiking is pretty far down the list, but let me tell you it should be much higher! I know what you’re thinking, ‘yeah Mt Rainier and the Olympic Range are awesome, but those are 4 hours of driving one way.’ Hold up, wait a minute.
We know of at least a few stunning Seattle hikes that are straight-up show-stoppers. What’s better? They are LESS THAN AN HOUR OUTSIDE THE CITY. No, I’m not puffin the magic dragon (though it is legal here…) I’m giving you the straight dope. Here are the 3 best:
1. Rattlesnake Ledge
This was one of our favorite hikes we’ve ever done, let me tell you why. LOW EFFORT, HIGH REWARD! The Rattlesnake Trail is a gradual and easy 2 miles (3.2 km) up thanks to the well engineered switchbacks. During the hike you find yourself surrounded by huge mossy cedar trees and nice boulders, you’ll like these boulders.
There is one ENORMOUS benefit of a trail being around 2 miles at a gradual incline: the dogs. If you are not a dog person, then feel free to opt out of this hike and on to some of the others, because the pups are out IN FORCE at Rattlesnake. First off, there is an off-leash dog area at Rattlesnake Lake at the start of the trail. You might catch a glimpse of a Maltese or a few Husky pups if you’re lucky. Then, on the trail, you will run into at least 15 breeds. We saw everything from a Great Dane to a Pomeranian, each one friendlier than the last. Pro tip: bring a few dog treats and this is no longer a hike, it’s a wilderness petting zoo experience you will not soon forget.
At the top you emerge from the forest to climb on the edge of sheer cliffs with a view of Cedar River watershed and Rattlesnake Lake. In the distance you get a picturesque view of Mount Si, Mount Washington, and Morse Lake. Check out the view, drink it in it always goes down smooth:
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When we heard that Beecher’s Mac & Cheese is unhealthy, we hiked up Rattlesnake Lake looking for a f*ck to give, but even looking out over the Washington wilderness we couldn’t find a single one! In all seriousness, Julie looked like Golem in Lord of the Rings guarding her ‘precious’ Mac & Cheese, I think she would bathe in it if she could… ••••• #rattlesnakeledge #seattlewashington #rattlesnakelake #washingtontrails #hikingadventure . • • • • • #theglobalwanderer #travelandlife #travelasmuchasyoucan #thegreatoutdoors #coupleswhotravel #creativetravelcouples #wanderwashington #emeraldcity #pnwparadise #pnwdiscovered #hikrlife #ontopofamountain #takeahike #hikingaddict #weliveelevated #wildernessnation
Another pro tip: pack a picnic, leave it in your car and enjoy it next to the lake after you finish your hike. The lake is a great place for a lunch and you can do so in view of the off-leash dog park.🐶🐶
2. Poo Poo Point
“Haha that’s a funny made up hike.” “No way the Seattle Parks & Rec put their heads together and literally landed on Poo Poo Point as the name of a real place.”
Well my friends, you are wrong. Poo Poo Point is real, and it is glorious. Only 30 minutes outside of the city center, this trek is one you won’t want to miss. It is moderately difficult, 3.6 miles each way and a few points where breaks were necessary. To pass the tie, we played 20 questions (is it an elephant? is it a puppy?) and sang out loud (screamed) our favorite Rocky soundtracks.
“I want to poo poo on Poo Poo Point” – Julie
Now, for a hike named Poo Poo Trail, there was absolutely nowhere to go, you know, poo poo. Zero porta-potties in sight on our 7 mile jaunt. That is a challenge for Julie, there was at least 2 separate instances of her whispering, ‘I want to take a poo poo on Poo Poo” and laughing maniacally. By this point we were already married, so my only choice in responding to comments such as these is to ‘lean in’ and accept that this is my life for the next 50 years.
At the crest of the mountain you get a gorgeous view of Issaquah and Lake Sammamish toward Bellevue’s downtown. Squak Mountain and the Cougar Mountains, and maybe even a hint of Seattle’s downtown if it’s a clear day, are visible in the distance.
Most days, especially during the summer months, you might even see some paragliders plunge off the edge of the mountain and glide down, finishing directly at the trail head. Pretty damn convenient if you ask me. If you are brave you can take the plunge yourself!
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This hike is literally called Poo Poo Point. Seriously. The only shitty part about it was no bathrooms on the way up or down, good thing I didn’t get the breakfast burrito like Julie did this morning… I felt bad for her sneaking into the woods and raising Poo Poo Point just a little bit higher that day. ••••• #seattlewashington #poopoopoint #washingtontrails #visitseattle #seattlelife . • • • • • #keepexploring #letsgoexplore #letsgoeverywhere #letsgothere #lifeisanadventure #lifeofadventure #goodtrip #takeahike #globetrottingcouples #goadventuretogether #pnwroamers #vacationmood #venturelist
3. Snoqualmie Falls
This “hike” is easy-peezy and well paved. The entire trail is only 1.4 miles, but don’t you for a second think that the views you get will suffer because of it. Along the trail you will get a lower and upper view of the massive Snoqualmie Falls. And don’t you think for a second that just checking out 1 will suffice. It’s like looking at boobs and butts. Yeah, technically you’re only looking at one body (of water in this case), but that doesn’t mean both aren’t equally beautiful and worthy of your attention.
The sheer power of Snoqualmie Falls is mind-boggling! Standing and looking out at the falls, you get the same feeling you get at the Grand Canyon, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. The feeling that nature is so incredible awe-inspiring, it gives you goosebumps in the best way!
On your next trip to the great Northwest, don’t skip over Seattle because it is a booming metropolis and you’ve had enough of big city livin. Less than one hour driving, ONE HOUR I SAID, there are beautiful sites, sounds, and hikes that are not within eyesight or earshot of the big city on the coast.
If you are interested in the big city in the Great Northwest, here is our article on everything to do inside the city!
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