Ways For Travel

The Unforgettable Hikes of Seattle: From Stunning Views to Alpine Lakes

The Beauty of Hiking Near Seattle

Seattle, Washington is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, with mountains, forests, and waterways just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking to explore the great outdoors, Seattle offers a plethora of hiking options that will leave you awe-struck.

In this article, we will be exploring some of the best hikes near Seattle, as well as highlighting hikes with stunning views. So put on your hiking boots, grab your water bottle, and let’s hit the trails!

Best Hikes near Seattle

Rattlesnake Ledge:

Nestled in the Cascade Mountains just 30 miles east of Seattle, Rattlesnake Ledge is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. This 4-mile round trip hike offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the pristine Rattlesnake Lake.

The trail is well-maintained and relatively easy, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels. As you ascend the trail, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the Snoqualmie Valley and the sparkling blue waters of Rattlesnake Lake below.

The hike culminates at the rocky outcrop of Rattlesnake Ledge, where you can catch your breath and take in the awe-inspiring scenery. Don’t forget your camera, as this hike offers plenty of Instagram-worthy photo opportunities!

Discovery Park:

If you prefer a hike closer to the city, look no further than Discovery Park.

Located in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, this 534-acre park offers miles of trails through lush forests, meandering streams, and majestic coastal cliffs. The Loop Trail, a 2.8-mile hike that takes you around the perimeter of the park, offers stunning views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in the distance.

Along the way, you’ll encounter diverse wildlife, including deer, bald eagles, and even the occasional seal or sea lion. With its proximity to the city and its unparalleled natural beauty, Discovery Park is a must-visit for any nature enthusiast.

Hikes with Beautiful Views

Fremont Lookout:

For those seeking jaw-dropping views, Fremont Lookout is the hike for you. Located in Mount Rainier National Park, about two hours southeast of Seattle, this 5-mile round trip hike takes you through alpine meadows and snowfields, eventually leading you to a fire lookout perched on a rocky peak.

From the lookout, you’ll be greeted with panoramic vistas of Mount Rainier, as well as the surrounding glaciers and peaks. The hike itself is moderate in difficulty, with some steep sections, but the payoff is well worth it.

This hike offers a true wilderness experience and a chance to witness the grandeur of one of Washington’s most iconic mountains. Poo Poo Point:

If you’re looking for a unique hiking experience, look no further than Poo Poo Point.

Located just east of Seattle in the Issaquah Alps, this 7.2-mile round trip hike takes you through lush forests and meadows, eventually leading you to a grassy hilltop. Poo Poo Point is not only known for its stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys but also as a popular launch site for paragliders.

If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of these colorful contraptions taking to the skies as you enjoy your well-deserved rest at the viewpoint. This hike offers a little something for everyone, from beautiful scenery to a touch of adventure.

So there you have it some of the best hikes near Seattle, as well as hikes with beautiful views. Whether you’re a local looking to escape the city or a visitor in search of natural wonders, these hikes are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

So lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and embark on a journey through the stunning landscapes that Seattle has to offer. Happy hiking!

Hikes to Alpine Lakes

Seattle, Washington is not only surrounded by stunning mountains and forests, but it also boasts an abundance of alpine lakes that are waiting to be explored. These picturesque bodies of water are often nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes, offering hikers a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

In this article, we will be delving into two hikes near Seattle that lead to alpine lakes: Snow Lake and Lake 22. Snow Lake:

Located in the Snoqualmie Region of the Cascade Mountains, Snow Lake is a pristine alpine lake that captivates hikers with its crystal-clear turquoise waters and towering peaks.

The hike to Snow Lake covers a distance of 6.4 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of approximately 1,800 feet. The trailhead is easily accessible and can be found off of the Alpental Exit on I-90 East.

As you embark on this adventure, you’ll find yourself weaving through dense forests of towering evergreen trees. The trail gradually gains elevation, offering glimpses of breathtaking vistas along the way.

As you approach the lake, the terrain opens up, revealing the breathtaking beauty that lies ahead. Snow-capped mountains reflect on the glassy surface of the lake, creating a scene straight out of a postcard.

The trail continues to circumnavigate the lake, providing ample opportunities to find a peaceful spot to take in the stunning surroundings. Many hikers choose to pack a picnic and enjoy a well-deserved rest by the lakeshore, savoring the tranquility and serenity that can only be found in nature’s embrace.

Lake 22:

Nestled in the heart of the North Cascades, Lake 22 is a hidden gem that boasts both stunning beauty and unique ecological importance. This 5.4-mile round trip hike takes you through old-growth forests and alpine wetlands, eventually leading you to this mesmerizing alpine lake.

The journey begins at the trailhead, located off of the Mountain Loop Highway near Granite Falls. As you step onto the trail, you’ll immediately feel transported into a world of towering trees and moss-covered rocks.

The trail meanders alongside a babbling creek, offering a soothing soundtrack to accompany your hike. As you continue on, you’ll traverse a boardwalk that winds through the alpine wetlands.

This delicate ecosystem is home to a diverse array of plants and wildlife, including rare and endangered species. Take a moment to appreciate the fragile beauty of this unique environment and tread lightly to protect its delicate balance.

Upon reaching Lake 22, you’ll be greeted by a sight that will leave you spellbound. The sparkling blue waters of the lake are framed by towering peaks and granite cliffs, creating a surreal backdrop.

In the warmer months, you may even witness waterfalls cascading down the surrounding cliffs, adding to the overall majesty of the scene.

Challenging Hikes near Seattle

For those seeking a more exhilarating and challenging hiking experience, Seattle has plenty to offer. From alpine ridges to intense ascents, these hikes will push you to your limits and reward you with stunning scenery and a sense of accomplishment.

Kendall Katwalk:

The Kendall Katwalk is a trail that takes you along an exposed alpine ridge, offering breathtaking views and a thrilling sense of adventure. Located in the Snoqualmie Pass region, the hike to Kendall Katwalk covers around 12 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of approximately 2,600 feet.

The trailhead can be found off of I-90 East at the Snoqualmie Pass exit. The hike begins with a gradual ascent through a dense forest, with glimpses of towering peaks teasing you along the way.

As you emerge from the tree line, the trail leads you along a narrow ridge, with steep drop-offs on either side. This section of the hike is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

From the Kendall Katwalk, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of surrounding peaks, deep valleys, and vast alpine meadows. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the awe-inspiring vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see.

The exposed nature of the trail also means that weather conditions can be unpredictable, so come prepared with appropriate gear and clothing. Mailbox Peak:

If you’re in search of a hike that will truly test your mettle, look no further than Mailbox Peak.

Located near North Bend, this intense trail covers approximately 5.4 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of over 4,000 feet. The trailhead is easily accessible off of Exit 38 on I-90 East.

The hike begins with a steep climb that steadily increases in difficulty as you ascend. The trail is notorious for its relentless incline, challenging even the most experienced hikers.

But for those who persevere, the summit offers a sense of accomplishment like no other. At the top of Mailbox Peak, you’ll be greeted by the sight of an actual mailbox, placed there by hikers as a symbol of their triumph over adversity.

Take a moment to sign the guestbook and bask in the satisfaction of conquering this formidable peak. But remember, the journey doesn’t end at the summit you must also make your way back down, fully appreciating the beauty of the surroundings.

In conclusion, Seattle offers an abundance of hiking opportunities that cater to a variety of preferences and skill levels. Whether you’re seeking the serenity of alpine lakes or the thrill of challenging climbs, there is something for everyone.

So lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and embark on a journey that will not only connect you with nature but also leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Hikes in City Parks

Seattle is a city that prides itself on its commitment to preserving and integrating nature within its urban landscape. In addition to the vast wilderness areas surrounding the city, Seattle is also home to several remarkable city parks that offer beautiful hiking experiences.

In this article, we will be exploring two hikes within city parks: Lincoln Park and Seward Park. Lincoln Park:

Nestled on the shores of the Puget Sound, Lincoln Park is a hidden gem in West Seattle.

This 135-acre park offers a variety of amenities, including walking trails, picnic areas, and even a saltwater beach. The park’s hiking trail, known as the Loop Trail, covers approximately 4.6 miles and provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The Loop Trail meanders through the park, taking hikers through lush forests and along the scenic coastline. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the Puget Sound, with its shimmering waters and distant islands.

Keep an eye out for wildlife, as the park is home to a variety of bird species and even the occasional sea lion or seal. One of the highlights of the trail is the path that leads to Colman Pool, a saltwater pool located on the beach.

This unique feature allows hikers to take a refreshing dip in the pool and cool off on hot summer days. Afterward, continue your hike along the trail, taking in the sights and sounds of nature as you explore this urban oasis.

Seward Park:

Located on a peninsula that juts into Lake Washington, Seward Park is a 300-acre gem that provides a natural haven within the city limits. The park offers numerous trails, but the Seward Park Loop Trail is the most popular, covering approximately 2.5 miles and offering stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

The Loop Trail takes you through a dense forest, providing shade and a sense of tranquility as you hike. Follow the trail as it winds its way along the shoreline, offering glimpses of the lake through the trees.

Be sure to take advantage of the park’s many benches and lookout points, allowing you to pause and fully appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you. One of the highlights of Seward Park is its old-growth forest, which is a rarity within a city park.

Towering trees, some over 250 years old, create a magical atmosphere that transports you to a different time. Take a moment to listen to the birdsong and breathe in the fresh air, as you immerse yourself in the peace and serenity of this unique natural treasure.

Hikes with Waterfalls

There’s something truly captivating about the sight and sound of water cascading down a rocky cliff. Luckily, Seattle is home to several hiking trails that lead to breathtaking waterfalls.

In this section, we will explore two of these hikes: Franklin Falls and Lake Serene & Bridal Veil Falls. Franklin Falls:

Located in the Snoqualmie Pass region, Franklin Falls is a hidden gem that offers easy access to a stunning waterfall.

The hike to Franklin Falls covers approximately 2 miles round trip, with minimal elevation gain. The trailhead is easily accessible off of I-90 East, making it a popular destination for hikers of all skill levels.

The trail to Franklin Falls weaves through a lush forest, with towering trees providing shade on hot summer days. As you approach the falls, the sound of rushing water grows louder, building anticipation for the grand spectacle that awaits.

And when you finally arrive, you’ll be greeted by a 70-foot waterfall cascading into a crystal-clear pool below. Take a moment to bask in the beauty of this natural wonder and cool off in the refreshing mist.

Lake Serene & Bridal Veil Falls:

If you’re looking for a more challenging hike that rewards you with multiple waterfalls, look no further than Lake Serene & Bridal Veil Falls. Located near Index, this 8.2-mile round trip hike provides stunning views of both Bridal Veil Falls and the picturesque Lake Serene.

The hike begins with a steep ascent, gaining elevation with every step. As you make your way up the trail, you’ll be treated to glimpses of Bridal Veil Falls cascading down a sheer cliff face.

Take a moment to appreciate the power and beauty of this waterfall before continuing your journey. The trail eventually leads you to Lake Serene, a stunning alpine lake nestled amidst towering peaks.

The crystal-clear waters of the lake reflect the surrounding mountains, creating a mesmerizing scene. Find a comfortable spot along the lakeshore to rest and take in the serene beauty that surrounds you.

In conclusion, Seattle is a city that offers a remarkable blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. From hiking trails within city parks to those that lead to towering waterfalls, there is something for everyone to explore.

So lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and immerse yourself in the beauty that Seattle has to offer. Happy hiking!

Hikes Outside Seattle

While Seattle is surrounded by natural beauty, sometimes it’s worth venturing beyond the city limits to explore even more stunning landscapes. In this section, we will be diving into two hikes outside of Seattle: Summerland and Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.


Situated within the majestic Mount Rainier National Park, Summerland is a hike that takes you through some of the most awe-inspiring alpine meadows in the Pacific Northwest. This 8.4-mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of over 2,000 feet offers hikers breathtaking views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding peaks.

The journey to Summerland begins at the White River Campground, located on Sunrise Road in Mount Rainier National Park. As you ascend the trail, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush meadows blanketed with vibrant wildflowers during the blooming season.

The trail meanders through the picturesque Fryingpan Creek, providing hikers with a refreshing soundtrack of babbling water. As you continue on, the trail becomes steeper, and the real adventure begins.

You’ll notice the landscape changing, with rocky outcrops and snow patches becoming more prevalent. As you approach Summerland, the trail opens up to reveal a breathtaking panorama that will leave you in awe.

Towering glaciers and snow-capped peaks surround the alpine meadows, creating a surreal and picturesque scene. Take some time to explore the meadows, admiring the delicate wildflowers that paint the landscape in vibrant hues.

If you’re lucky, you may even spot some wildlife, such as deer or mountain goats, gracefully traversing the slopes. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the beauty of Summerland, as this hike offers countless opportunities for stunning photographs.

Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve:

For a different kind of outdoor adventure, head to Whidbey Island, just a short ferry ride away from Seattle, and explore Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. This unique hike offers a combination of natural beauty and historical significance, providing a truly immersive experience.

The hike at Ebey’s Landing covers approximately 5.6 miles round trip, starting at the Prairie Overlook trailhead. The trail meanders along the bluff, offering sweeping views of the Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and the rolling farmland that defines the reserve.

Take a moment to appreciate this panoramic vista, as it serves as a reminder of the rich history and natural beauty that coexist in this area. As you continue along the trail, you’ll come across the historic town of Coupeville, where time seems to stand still.

This charming town, with its well-preserved 19th-century buildings, offers a glimpse into the past, allowing hikers to step back in time and learn about the region’s rich colonial history. The trail eventually takes you down to the beach, where you can explore the shoreline, comb for seashells, or relax and enjoy the gentle lapping of the waves.

Keep an eye out for wildlife, as the beach is a haven for shorebirds and seals. Ebey’s Landing is not only a place of natural beauty but also a living landscape that tells the story of the people who have called this area home for generations.

Take some time to visit the historic sites and interpretive displays scattered throughout the reserve, offering insight into the rich cultural heritage of the region. In conclusion, while Seattle offers an abundance of natural wonders, it’s worth venturing outside the city to explore even more stunning landscapes.

From the alpine meadows of Summerland to the historical charm of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, these hikes provide a chance to connect with nature and immerse yourself in the beauty and history of the Pacific Northwest. So pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on an adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

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