Best Hiking Near Seattle

Welcome to the Emerald City, where the urban landscape seamlessly merges with the great outdoors. 

Seattle, renowned for its vibrant culture and innovative spirit, is not only a bustling city but also a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. Nestled amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle offers unparalleled access to some phenomenal hiking. From lush forests to majestic mountains, there’s a trail for every adventurer just a stone’s throw away from the city center. 

Olympic National Park

Hiker stroll Olympic National Park beach at sunsetEmbark on an unforgettable adventure in Olympic National Park, where nature’s grandeur unfolds in every direction. 

From towering old-growth forests to rugged coastline, the park boasts an unparalleled diversity of landscapes. With an array of hiking trails crisscrossing the Olympic Peninsula, visitors can immerse themselves in the pristine beauty. From lush rainforests to cascading waterfalls and panoramic vistas, the Olympic Peninsula showcases the true essence of the Pacific Northwest and offers some of the best hiking near Seattle. 

Hoh River Trail to Mineral Creek Falls 

5.5 Miles | 213ft Elevation Gain | Out and back

Immerse yourself in the legendary Hoh rainforest by following the Hoh river to a cascading Mineral Creek Falls. If you are trying to feel the energy of a forest bursting with life, but do not want to deal with the crowds that some of the other trails in the area receive, then this is the perfect trail for you.

Mount Storm King or Mount Angeles

Storm King: 4.1 Miles | 2,106ft Elevation gain | Out and back

Angeles: 5.6 Miles | 2,178 Elevation gain | Out and back

For breathtaking views of the Hurricane Ridge and some high quality cardio, hiking up Mount Storm King or Mount Angeles are enriching hikes for you. 

 Hole in the Wall Trail 

3.1 Miles | 108ft Elevation gain | Out and back

Feeling more enticed by the rich coastline of the Olympic Peninsula? Then venture to the Hole In The Wall on Rialto beach to see unique rock formations, impressive driftwood, and striking black sand.

Seattle Local

Mt. Rainier summit stands above alpine lakeJoin us as we embark on a journey to explore some of the best hiking near Seattle. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, get ready to discover the wonders of nature near this city. 

Some would say the best hiking near Seattle lies in the city itself! Discover the hidden gems of Seattle’s backyard with these local hikes that promise exceptional natural beauty without straying far from the city limits. From serene forest trails to panoramic viewpoints, these hikes offer a refreshing escape into nature just a short distance from downtown. Lace up your boots and explore lush greenery, tranquil lakes, and breathtaking vistas, all conveniently accessible for a rejuvenating day trip amidst the Pacific Northwest’s stunning landscape. 

Poo Poo Point Trail 

6.6 Miles | 1,794ft Elevation gain | Out and back

Less than half an hour drive from downtown Seattle, the Poo Poo trail is anything but that. Lush flora, a well maintained trail, and a sweeping view of the Issaquah Valley. This trail is absolutely worth the drive! l

Rattlesnake Ledge 

5.3 Miles | 1,459ft Elevation gain | Out and back

The view is impressive, but the drive time is equally as astounding, only 35 minutes from the city to this incredible hike. Rattlesnake Ledge will remind you of how amazing the Pacific Northwest is. 

Coal Creek Falls Loop 

2.7 Miles | 547ft Elevation gain | Loop

If you are looking for that classic Washington flora, then this is the trail for you. This pleasant, short hike will make you appreciate the impressive biodiversity that this region has. Only 20 minutes from downtown, the Coal Creek Falls Loop is a perfect afternoon hike to squeeze in after work or school. 

Mount Rainier 

An unforgettable journey through the enchanting landscapes of Mt Rainier National Park awaits hikers of every skill level. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker seeking the challenge of summiting the iconic peak or a casual stroller yearning for a scenic walk amidst wildflower meadows, this park caters to all abilities. With a diverse array of trails ranging from easy nature hikes to strenuous alpine ascents, Mt. Rainier beckons outdoor enthusiasts to explore its majestic wonders. An icon of the city skyline, Mount Rainier indisputably boasts some of the best hiking near Seattle.

Pacific Northwest Camping Tour

Fremont Lookout Trail 

5.7 Miles | 1,108ft Elevation Gain | Out and back

An absolutely breathtaking view from a trail with relatively low elevation gain could be in your future. For extra awe, hike to Fremont Lookout for sunrise and see first light on Rainier. 

Bench and Snow Lakes Trail 

2.2 Miles | 449ft Elevation gain | Out and back

Venture to two beautiful alpine lakes just south of Rainier and bask in the striking turquoise water. If you are looking to spend the night, there is a campground at Snow Lake where you can see the silhouettes of the mountains under a blanket of stars 

Panorama Point Via Skyline Trail 

3.8 Miles | 1,322ft Elevation gain | Out and back

There is a reason why Panorama Point is a classic on Mount Rainier. Beautiful any time of year, this short hike has sweeping views for the entire trek. It is definitely a must see if you are visiting Mount Rainier! 

North Cascades National Park

A hiker journeys into the mountains of North Cascades National Park

The untamed beauty of North Cascades National Park is nothing to overlook, where an array of unique hiking trails await exploration. Nestled within this rugged mountain range, hikers can traverse paths that wind through old-growth forests, cascade alongside rushing rivers, and ascend to breathtaking alpine views. With its remote and pristine wilderness, North Cascades National Park offers not only unparalleled natural splendor but also the opportunity for serene solitude, making it yet another sought after destination for those seeking to find the best hiking near Seattle. 

Cascade Pass Trail 

7 Miles | 1,784ft Elevation gain | Out and back

If you are looking for a high alpine view of the North Cascades, then this is a phenomenal hike for you. The sweeping views from Cascade Pass will feel like a worthy reward after the switchbacks to the top. 

Thunder Knob Trail 

3.4 Miles | 675ft Elevation gain | Out and back

This hike provides classic views of the ever-impressive North Cascades and bright blue alpine lakes. For a relatively short hike, Thunder Knob offers top tier views that are well worth it. 

Big Four Ice Caves 

2.4 Miles | 305ft Elevation gain | Out and back

Just south of the North Cascades is a very unique destination, with various ice caves tucked into the side of the mountains. Along with alpine lakes, beautiful views, and impressive waterfalls, this ice caves hike offers the perfect formula for a great experience. 

Hike the PNW

A person takes a hike through the rainforest of the Pacific NorthwestThe Pacific Northwest offers an abundance of hiking experiences to suit every preference. Additionally, the proximity of Seattle to these diverse outdoor treasures ensures that nature enthusiasts can easily escape the urban bustle for a rejuvenating day in the wilderness. 

However, it’s crucial for hikers to conduct thorough research and exercise caution, understanding the terrain and potential hazards before venturing into the backcountry. The Pacific Northwest is rugged, and being aware of the hazards based on the location and time of year will be important in granting you safe passage through the terrain. By doing so, they can ensure not only a memorable hiking experience but also a safe and rewarding journey through these breathtaking landscapes and scenic trails that offer the best hiking near Seattle. 

The region around Seattle offers a deep wealth of beautiful hikes, and taking the time to find and explore them will enrich your day and your soul. Get after it and enjoy this beautiful natural haven!

About Andrew Michalik

-Wildland guide and blog contributor-

Andrew began his outdoor career at an early age in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where he built a foundation and love for skiing, hiking, and climbing. After graduating from high school, he went west to push further into nature. Since then, Andrew has worked in many fields of the outdoor industry, including snowshoe guiding in the high peaks of Colorado, wilderness therapy guiding throughout Utah, teaching wilderness medicine in the La Sal Mountains of Utah, and ski guiding in the Wasatch Mountains. Andrew calls the Wasatch Mountains of Utah home. He has a strong interest in wilderness or emergency medicine, works as an EMT in Salt Lake City and teaches First Aid, CPR, Basic Life Support, Wilderness First Aid, and Wilderness First Responder courses through the American Red Cross and the National Association of Search and Rescue. Andrew has a deep love for the pristine beauty of nature and enjoys sharing that beauty with others. When not guiding, he is chasing snow on a high peak, swimming in an alpine lake or capturing the beauty around him with his camera. He loves interacting with the outdoors in as many ways he can, and will most likely have a huge grin on his face any time he’s in the wild!

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