4 Fulfilling Hikes within 1 Hour from Seattle

When you’re in the middle of the rainy season, you can’t always bring yourself to travel 2+ hours for a good hike. I get it, and I hear you. Sunny days are still few and far between, so here are four beautiful hikes to get your outside fix without spending the whole day in transit. They have great views, moderate elevation, and are perfect for a misty weekend morning. If you’re looking for a hike close to Seattle, you’ve got options!

Talus Rocks Loop

AllTrails: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/talus-rocks-loop
Washington Trails: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/talus-rock-trail
Location: 47.5198, -121.9707
Mountain Range: Issaquah Alps — Tiger Mountain State Forest
Distance: 2 miles, roundtrip
Time: 1.5-2 hrs
Elevation gain: 767 ft.
Highlights: rock formations, waterfall crossing, small bridges, moderate elevation

A wonderful place for people of all ages and abilities to spend a few hours exploring. It’s technically a connector trail, meaning it joins West Tiger 3, Nook Trail and Section Line Trail, but it’s also perfect as a standalone hike. It was relatively quiet on a misty, Saturday afternoongiving us plenty of room to explore on our own and connect with nature. There are a few creeks and a small waterfall crossing before you reach the famous mossy rocks for which the hike is known. I’m not encouraging you to climb the rocks (safety, danger, etc, etc), but the area offers a number of great caves and nooks to view.

Pratt River Trail

AllTrails: Not available as of March 2017
Washington Trails: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/pratt-river-trail
Location: 47.5480, -121.5384
Mountain Range: Snoqualmie Region — North Bend Area (Discover Pass)
Distance: 6 miles, roundtrip
Time: 3 hrs
Elevation gain: 100 ft.
Highlights: scenic bridge, river views, little elevation

This downstream trail is a peaceful river walk with a rainforest vibe. It’s a fairly new trail, but a well-marked addition by the WTA that starts off crossing the same bridge as the Middle Fork Trail. The moss and dampness give the new Pratt River Trail a similar feel to those within the Hoh Rainforest. There was snow on the ground in early March and some wide creeks to cross, so proper hiking ankle boots are recommended. The trailhead parking is plentiful (though arriving early is still recommended) and there’s a riverside picnic area that would make for a great post-hike lunch spot. The trailhead is miles down a National Forest road, but fear notthe road is paved and smooth the whole way. If you’re feeling good

Franklin Falls Trail

AllTrails: http://alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/franklin-falls-trail
Washington Trails: ttp://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/franklin-falls
Location: 47.4130, -121.4416
Mountain Range: Snoqualmie Pass
Distance: 2 miles, roundtrip
Time: 1 hr
Elevation gain: 400 ft.
Highlights: easy hike that ends with a spectacular waterfall

Franklin Falls is a wild and tall falls that takes just a quick 30 min walk out and back. It’s suitable for absolutely any age and capability (read: very easy). It’s worth hiking in the rain or snow, as the beauty of waterfalls take on new shapes with precipitation. Weather also mean less crowds, but even on the snowiest of days we weren’t alone at the falls for more than a few seconds. It’s a local and visitor favorite alike. Head to Snoqualmie and enjoy this quick walk in the woods. More on this hike here.

Poo Poo Point Trail

AllTrails: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/poo-poo-point-trail
Washington Trails: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/poo-poo-point
Location: 47.5195, -122.0299
Mountain Range: Issaquah Alps — Tiger Mountain
Distance: 7 miles, roundtrip
Time: 4 hrs
Elevation gain: 2000 ft.
Highlights: Small creeks, Mount Rainier view, city views, paragliding launch pad

An easy Issaquah trail that is accessible year-round, Poo Poo Point is as fun to hike as it is to say. There is a gravel parking area at the trailhead that fits a few dozen cars, so go early or try your luck with someone leaving in the afternooneither way, no parking pass is required. The trail starts off relatively easy and become more difficult towards the end. The switchbacks are balanced by rewarding views on two occassions: once at a clearing with Rainier views south and another at the top with northwestern views of Lake Samammish and the city of Bellevue. The trail is wide, so there’s very little dodging of other hikers or dogs, making it a nice beginner hike if you make frequent stops or feel like hiking at a leisurely pace. Bring some layers and food for the top as the summit can get windy, but it’s a place you’ll want to stay and have a snack. This is especially true if you catch a group of paragliders launching off the runway at the top.

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