The Best Hikes from Seattle this Spring

April 21, 2021

The Best Hikes from Seattle this Spring

Jane out on the trail.
Where to Hike

Lately, we’ve been getting lots of questions from guests about the best places to hike and experience nature near Seattle. The Cascade Mountains and foothills are very accessible from Seattle and offer lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Washington State had some record-breaking snow this year, so many of the higher elevations still have snow on the trails. So, we consulted with assistant innkeeper Jane on the question of the best places to take a hike this spring.  Jane is a lifelong Washingtonian and experienced hiker. She is typically out hiking the Cascades about once a week. Here are Jane’s top recommendations right now for trails that are fun, close to Seattle, and clear of snow. All of them should have some pretty wildflowers emerging during April and May. Trillium, a small white flower native to the area, is especially prevalent.

Man hiking on trail in woods, Little Si
Blayne hiking through the woods on Little Si
Little Si (3.7 miles, roundtrip)

This hike offers a good workout, especially at the end. Walk through old growth forest and then get a view from the top of the valley around North Bend. A Discover Pass required to park.

Teneriffe Falls (5.6 miles, roundtrip)

The falls here are simply beautiful. It’s a great hike on a rainy day as the falls are pretty in any weather. A Discover Pass is required to park.

Twin Falls (2.6 miles, roundtrip)

This hike is just 31 miles from Seattle so it’s a nice quick drive to get there. The falls are pretty and the hike is not long. It interacts with the John Wayne trail so you can also walk along that for a while.

white flower trillium
Trillium is native to Western WA and blooms in spring.
Cougar Mountain (many hikes)

Cougar Mountain was a busy coal mining site from the mid-1800’s to mid-1900’s. This close-in area near Issaquah has over 38 miles of easy hikes and has good signage. Shy Bear Loop is a favorite hike. Coal Creek Falls is another easy, family-friendly trail. No pass or entry fee is required.

Wallace Falls (5.6 miles, roundtrip)

Unlike the previous hikes along Snoqualmie Pass (I-90), this hike starts further north, near Stevens Pass (Highway 2). The hike to Wallace Falls is a good uphill climb workout. This hike is quite popular and there is lots to see along the way to the nine dazzling falls. There are options for other side hikes along the way. A Discover Pass is required (available at a dispenser in the parking lot).

girl holding firewood in the woods
Linsy out in the Cascades
Get More Details

We recommend checking the Washington Trails Association website to get directions and up to date information about all of the trails and current conditions. Many trails require a Discover Pass to park, which is available online and at more than 600 retail locations and state parks. A day pass is $11.50 (per car) and an annual pass is $35.00. Be aware that the weather can change quickly in the spring, so be prepared with a raincoat and extra dry socks and carry the 10 safety essentials for day hikes with you.

Need more ideas? We’ll be happy to share suggestions for urban walks and hikes within the city, local gardens, and memorable day trips from Greenlake Guest House. We also have a number of Seattle guidebooks, a day pack, and even a small cooler available for you to borrow for adventuring during your stay.