For the perfect early fall stroll, head to Alki Beach Park, a long beach strip that runs from Alki Point to the Duwamish> Head on Elliott Bay. Approximately a 2.5 mile walk, the whole beach offers panoramic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Start at Jack Block Park—drooling over the skyline on the way—then round the point at Anchor Park and make for the Alki Point lighthouse.
Length: 2.5 miles Distance from Seattle Southside: 14 miles
Coal Creek Trail
Follow the small but mighty Coal Creek Trail through a deep ravine, past old mine shafts, rail ties, and other coal-mining remnants from the late 1800s. Now reforested, Coal Creek Park is a rugged surprise among the suburban hills. This first part of this hike can be popular on weekends, but the upper part of the hike is less crowded. The grade is relatively flat—more a place to stretch the legs than to tire yourself out.
Length: 3 miles Distance from Seattle Southside: 13.5 miles
Grand Ridge Park
Grand Ridge Park includes 7 miles through western red cedar trees and is open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. This 1,300-acre wilderness area is located directly north of Issaquah and Lake Sammamish. One of the highlight of the trail is a beautiful 40-foot long, hand-built bridge spanning Canyon Creek.
Length: 14 miles Elevation: 1,100 feet Distance from Seattle Southside: 25 miles
Hikes with Views Not Far from Seattle
Granite Mountain Trail
The Granite Mountain Trail is the most heavily traveled summit path in the Snoqualmie Pass corridor. Well worth the heel-blistering 3,800 foot climb in 4.3 miles, you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of Mount Rainier and Snoqualmie Pass on the horizon. Make sure to pack plenty of water, as there is no good source along the trail.
Length: 8 miles Elevation: 3,800 feet Distance from Seattle Southside: 52 miles
Pratt Lake Trail
Pratt Lake near Snoqualmie Pass is ideal for this transitional season. The Pratt Lake Trail accesses a number of areas and offers an almost unlimited amount of possibilities for hiking, fishing, and scrambling. Roundtrip this is an 8 mile hike through forest and an occasional rocky slope featuring mountain views, wildflower meadows and old growth forest.
Length: 8 miles Elevation: 2,300 feet Distance from Seattle Southside: 52 miles
Located on the west side of the Cascade Mountains, Wallace Falls, features a series of nine falls the tallest at 265 feet. Roundtrip this is a 5.5 mile hike featuring old-growth coniferous forests, fast- moving rivers, mountain views and plenty of wildlife along the way. While the falls are beautiful any time of year, we’re told its best to visit on a rainy day. Each raindrop that falls makes its way to the Wallace River enhancing the intensity of the crashing crusades.
Length: 5.5 miles Elevation: 1,200 feet Distance from Seattle Southside: 55 miles
Mount Si is part of the Cascade Mountain range and the climb to the top is 4,167 feet and 4 miles to the summit plateau. The vertical elevation change is about .
After exiting off I-90 my friends and I drove through North Bend enjoying the sights and the outlet mall, small shops and restaurants and the beautiful scenery. North Bend may look a little familiar as the television show "Twin Peaks" was filmed there in the 90s.
Upon arriving, we parked in the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area parking lot. Make sure you have a Discover Pass to park so you don't get a ticket.
The hike begins in a conifer forest and climbs to the site of an old burn where new trees are growing, There is a small stream and large rocks set along the walking path.
About a mile in it starts to get steeper and there is a view point and then a resting point with benches to take a breather and a water break.
After our short break we started up again and faced the switchbacks. This a pretty popular trail so we encountered several friendly hikers of all levels. Some people use this a training hike, others are out for a leisurely stroll with their family.
Once we were closer to the top, the descending hikers offered words of encouragement. It gets more rocky closer to the top and there are a few boulders to climb or hike around. At the plateau, there are several areas to sit and enjoy the view and a snack.
You Can See Both Mt. Rainier and Mt. Saint Helens from atop Mt. Si
For the adventurous, the Haystack at Mt. Si is a short scramble to the top and is considered a moderate class 2/3 climb.
We sat in the sunshine and relaxed for a bit, taking in the expansive view, wildlife and some snacks. After posing for a few photos to document our accomplishment we headed back down the mountain offering our own encouragement to hikers on their way to the top.
Since we had worked up such an appetite on the climb we stopped at North Bend Bar and Grill for burgers. This is a good ol' home town restaurant with great food and a cozy atmosphere. There is even a fireplace with a huge couch to cozy up on in the colder months.
Length: 4 miles Elevation: 3,700 feet Distance for Seattle Southside: 40 miles
Grab your hiking boots, water, and possibly a rain coat, and get outdoors before the sunshine is gone for the winter.