Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Mt. Si (at night)

Quick facts
Driving distance from Seattle: usually less than 1 hour
Hiking distance (both ways): around 8 miles (13km)
Elevation gain: 3,400ft (1,050m)
Green Trails Map: partially on 206
You need the NW Forest Pass to park at the trailhead

Mt. Si, located less than an hour drive from Seattle, just off I-90 highway, is probably one of the most convenient hikes for Seattle residents and thus probably one of the most popular. The trails starts wide and flat, and is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. After a short while, however, it turns narrower and steeper. On nice days the trail is reportedly quite crowded but if you can spare only a little time, this may be a good destination.

This was indeed the case for Stebbi, Lilja and myself when we decided to go for a fast hike after work on Wednesday, July 30. We started the hike after 7pm and we made it to the top around 9, just when the sun was about to set (see the pictures below). Consequently, we were returning in the dark. The trail goes almost entirely through a forest (and mostly on the East side of the mountain) so good lights are required to come down safely after dusk.

Driving directions
To get there from Seattle, take I-90 East to North Bend (about 30 miles from Seattle). Get off the highway on 436th Ave SE (Exit 32), going North into the town. When you cannot go straint any further, turn left on SE North Bend Way and shortly after turn right onto SE Mt.Si Road. Follow it for about 2 miles until you reach the large parking lot at the trail head. The parking lot is designed to hold up to 175 cars, which should give you some idea of the popularity of the hike.

The following book includes the Mt. Si trail and a number of other hiking destinations in the Snoqualmie Pass area; all within 30-90 minutes away from Seattle by car: