The Pacific Northwest is all about out-of-this-world landscapes and breathtaking scenery. From Mount Rainier and the Olympic National Park to the North Cascades and the wonderful Salish Sea coastline, Seattle’s reputation as an outdoorsy city is well deserved. Some of the most impressive mountains, valleys, coastal rainforests, and volcanoes in the country are just a couple of hours away from the city, and if you are a fan of hiking then the Washington trails won’t disappoint.
So whether you’re leaving Seattle on a cruise or taking a road trip down the coast, don’t miss the chance to explore this fantastic corner of the world on foot. These are some of the best hikes in and around Seattle.
Discovery Park for Hiking
You don’t even have to leave the city to find decent hiking in Seattle. The lovely coastal surrounds of Discovery Park include beach, forest, and meadows, and over five miles of exceedingly convenient hiking trails. If you are lucky with the weather you’ll get a glimpse of majestic Mount Ranier and the Olympic National Forest across the water.
Bridal Veil Falls
The slopes of Mount Index in the North Cascades make for a reasonably challenging hike, but the gorgeous vision of the Bridal Veil falls themselves are well worth the trek. Water pours down the smooth rock face in a delicate cascade and it is easy to see why it is so poetically named. Amazingly enough, this magnificent wilderness landmark is less than 90 minutes drive from central Seattle.
The indescribable, alpine beauty of this extraordinary glacial lake is hard to pass up, particularly as it is less than an hour away from the city. The hiking here is pretty gentle, with out-and-back trails of 6.5 and 8 miles giving beginners a wonderful opportunity to get right up close to the natural beauty of the area.
Rattlesnake Ledge for Hiking
Probably Seattle’s most popular hiking destination, the majestic stone outcrop that marks the furthest point from the trailhead is as much a social gathering space as it is a hiking challenge. The uphill walk through the picturesque forest is pretty gentle, but you’ll climb about 1,000 feet from the lake at the start, so be prepared! The views of the hills that mark the beginning of the Cascades are pretty spectacular and make for one of the best sunrises you’ll find anywhere.