5 of the best Day Hikes Near Seattle

June 22, 2017

photo by Branden

Summer is here, which means it's hiking season! 

Part of the beauty of living in Seattle is being in the foothills of some of the best hiking not only in the Pacific Northwest, but in all of the country. With diverse scenery, towering mountains, and a variety of difficulties for beginners and mountaineers, there's something for everyone. 

So strap in, go get some chocolate milk, and check out five of my favorite hikes in the PNW that take just about an hour to get to if you leave from the 107.7 The End studio (or pretty much anywhere else in Seattle! 

1. Bridal Veil Falls/Lake Serene (1 hr 10 min drive, Northwest Forest Pass required)
Distance:4.0 miles (roundtrip)
Elevation Gain: 1000 ft
Things to know: This hike is technically two hikes in one! On your way up, you’ll see a fork that takes you up to the base of the towering Bridal Veil Falls and once you’re done taking that in, head back down and continue on the trail up to Lake Serene. It’s a insanely beautiful hike, which means it gets busy. Make sure you leave at an early hour to get a parking spot at the base.

2. Poo Poo Point (30 min drive, no passes required)
Distance:
7.2 miles (roundtrip)
Elevation Gain: 1858 ft.
Things to know: Poo Poo Point is the closest hike on this list requiring just a 30-minute jaunt over to Issaquah. You walk through a large paraglider-landing field to get to the trailhead and when you get to the top, you can watch the gliders take off while taking in panoramic views of Issaquah and on a clear day, the south Sound.

3. Lake Twentytwo (1 hr 10 min drive, Northwest Forest Pass required)
Distance:
5.4 miles (roundtrip)
Elevation Gain: 1350 ft.
Things to know: Lake Twentytwo is S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G. While accessible nearly all year round, the summer hikes make things a bit dryer, but you’ll still want waterproof boots and maybe even gaiters to traverse the wet ground that lasts all year. Once you’re at the top, take in the beautiful views of the face of Mount Pilchuck and even hike a loop around the lake. Make sure to stay off the boulders, though.  

4. Mailbox Peak (49 min drive, Discover Pass required)
Distance:
9.4 miles (roundtrip)
Elevation Gain: 4000 ft.
Things to know: Not for the faint of heart, Mailbox Peak is. a. climb. But at the peak, if you make it, breathtaking 360° views of the Cascades and a humble mailbox signed by previous guests await you. Make sure you check the mail to see if anybody left a gift (aka beer or a hand-written letter, hopefully both).

5. Mount Defiance (1 hr drive, Northwest Forest Pass required)
Distance:
11 miles (roundtrip)
Elevation Gain: 3584 ft.
Things to know: While technically a day-hike, this one is extra long and in the summer it gets HOT despite the possibility of finding snow on the ground higher up the trail. The earlier you can leave, the better. On a clear day at the summit, you can see Adams, Rainier, AND Baker making the 11-mile trek 100% worth it.

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Any other favorite day-hike trails in the PNW you want to share? Hit me up!

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