Short Hiking Trips in Seattle area
April 29, 2006 5:00 PM   Subscribe

I will be in Seattle in mid-August and would like recommendations for short (2-3) hiking trips that are accessible by public transit. Or by car (no more than 45 minutes from downtown). Thanks,
posted by quintno to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Cougar Mountain is probably your best option, although I don't think it's that accessible by bus (if at all).

Ollalie State Park
has some great short trails, but it's just outside of the 45 minute line (in traffic). Definitely no transit.

In the city, Carkeek Park is bus-accessible. You'll probably want to use the McAbee trailhead behind the QFC, since that's the Piper's Creek trail and is relatively wild. It's not old growth, but it's a nice nature excursion.

Oh, and there's Green Lake, if you're into overpacked trails filled with beautiful people.
posted by dw at 5:15 PM on April 29, 2006

The gorgeous stuff is over an hour away, usually two. There are some great hikes just off i90 at Snoqualmie pass, but everybody else looking for a quick hike will be there too and you don't start getting magnificant views until you've hiked a couple hours.

You can get to Tiger mountain (it's just east of aforementioned Cougar) in about 30 minutes when the traffic's light. There are trailheads just off 90 and the climb to the top of Tiger or the one to Pu Pu point (where the paragliders take off) are quite worthwhile and can be completed in 3 hours assuming you're in shape.

But if you really want to stay close and quick, I agree with PST- stay in town. Seattle has great city parks- Discovery Park in Magnolia is by far the largest, and personally I love Seward and Lincoln. If you happen to be doing this on a Sunday, find out where the Peace Concert is being held for an idyllic afternoon of sun, frisbee, peasant dresses and reggae...
posted by carterk at 5:34 PM on April 29, 2006

Take the ferry to Bainbridge Island, and wander around there until you feel tired, then take the ferry back.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:40 PM on April 29, 2006

Second Bainbridge, and add Mt. Si. Si may be a bit more than 45 mins, but it's a really cool hike, and on a clear day the view's pretty amazing. The plus about Bainbridge is that it's a cool ferry ride - as long as you don't take your car on the ferry.

Discovery Park and Seward are good options as well; Seward's pretty flat, so if "hike" means "climb hills, break sweat", Discovery'd probably be more up your street.
posted by pdb at 6:11 PM on April 29, 2006

Actually, Seward Park has tons of smaller trails up/over/around the hill off of the main bike/jogging path, some of them quite steep and unspoiled-oldgrowthy. I lived a few blocks away last year and miss it already... also, if you go at dusk there's a good chance you'll see owls 'n bats.
posted by runehog at 6:16 PM on April 29, 2006

Nobody's mentioned the Washington Park Arboretum yet? Lots of good stuff to see in there.
posted by Hildago at 6:22 PM on April 29, 2006

I'd recommend Discovery, Seward, Carkeek, and Cowen parks, if you're staying inside Seattle. The Arboretum is nice, but take shoes that can get very muddy (and definitely do the marsh walk). Here's a list of major Seattle parks, with links to info on all Seattle parks if you're interested. And Metro should be able to tell you if each one is inside of 45 minutes (I'm pretty sure the ones I mentioned are, but it depends on whether one bus does the job or two share it out.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:17 PM on April 29, 2006

Seconding Rattlesnake... less than an hour to get there, about an hour's hike up to the main ledge -- a good workout the last 15 mins or so -- with stunning views at the top, and a lake at the bottom.
posted by skyboy at 8:28 AM on April 30, 2006

what kind of hiking do you want to do? a few of the suggestions above are city parks. The arboretum and green lake are nice for an evening stroll, but if you want a wilderness experience, it's best to ask these folks. This is an online group dedicated to discussing hiking in the North West, and many (if not most) are from the Seattle area.

Or you can consult this book about Day Hikes in the North Cascades, or this this book about Short Hikes in WA North Cascades and San Juan Islands.
posted by seawallrunner at 11:08 AM on April 30, 2006

Snoqualmie Falls.
posted by ilsa at 3:24 PM on April 30, 2006

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