5 Great Hiking Spots Near Seattle

2017-06-27

Getting outdoors is a great way to explore Emerald City and beyond.

One of the best ways to experience a new destination is on foot. Get outdoors and soak up Seattle like a local with these five quintessential hikes. They’re all fairly easy, so you don’t need to be a super experienced outdoor enthusiast to enjoy the gorgeous views on each of these hikes. Lace up some sneakers, pack a camera and a requisite reusable water bottle, and you’re ready to go. Hike on!

Rattlesnake Ridge

Alexis Beeton, chief concierge at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle, recommends hiking Rattlesnake Ridge, which is east of downtown Seattle, just southeast of North Bend. “It’s great for kids, singles – anyone, really,” she says. The Rattlesnake Ledge Trail “has a beautiful view overlooking Rattlesnake Lake, and it’s fairly easy, too. With the view you’re getting, you don’t expect it to be an easy hike, but it definitely is.”

Rattlesnake Ledge is a fairly moderate 4-mile hike with an elevation gain of more than 1,000 feet. Allow two hours to complete the hike, and leave your bikes and horses at home. Leashed dogs are OK. There’s no fee for parking or entry.

Discovery Park

(COURTESY OF SEATTLE PARKS AND RECREATION AND TIA INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY)

Chuck Watts, head concierge at Hyatt at Olive 8, recommends Discovery Park, the city’s largest park, which is just 6 miles from downtown. “It contains about 12 miles of hiking trails, and it’s bordered by the beautiful Puget Sound,” he says. “There’s a really nice trail that goes along by the beach,” Watts adds, referring to the nearly 3-mile Discovery Park Loop Trail.

Lara Dennis, head concierge at the Kimpton Alexis Hotel Seattle, says, “You can get there on public transportation, which is awesome. You don’t have to have a car to get those waterfront views. That lighthouse is iconic. It’s a nice kind of light hiking, so if you’re not already an avid hiker but you still want to live like the locals do, Discovery Park is a great in-between.”

It’s open from 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Expect photo-op-worthy views of Puget Sound and both the Cascade Range and Olympic Mountains. Leashed dogs are OK.

Burke-Gilman Trail

(COURTESY OF SEATTLE PARKS AND RECREATION AND TIA INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY)

Walking the Burke-Gilman Trail is a good way to feel more connected to Seattle, says Jessica Gomes, VIP coordinator at Hotel 1000. “You hit all these spots from Ballard all the way up to Bothell, if you want to,” she says. “You get to experience Elliot Bay, Lake Washington, Lake Union and you can go off-track at any point there. Whether you’re on a bike or on foot, you can pop up to Green Lake. It’s a cool way to explore.”

The nearly 20-mile asphalt trail is open from 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. It’s well-suited for walking, biking and inline skating, and is wheelchair-accessible. Leashed dogs are OK.

Franklin Falls

Isaac Tarin, concierge at Hotel Andra, recommends Franklin Falls, a roughly 50-mile drive from Seattle. “This is perfect for families and has great views during the hot days,” he says. “This is an easy 2-mile hike, well worth the view.”

The hike is great for all skill levels. Due to snowfall in Snoqualmie, the best time to go is between March and October. Leashed dogs are OK.

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Fall is one of Washington state’s most popular attractions, drawing more than 1.5 million visitors each year.

“Snoqualmie Falls is really as beautiful as everyone says,” Dennis says. “It only takes, say, 45 minutes to get out there and the hikes are that good. You get a little bit of a challenge, but mostly [it’s] just pretty relaxed. You can enjoy the scenery without stressing yourself out too much.”

The parking lots are free, and dogs are allowed. Bring your camera to capture the famous 270-foot waterfall, then meander the short, scenic nature trail to the river, which is well-marked near the observation platform. The parking lots and viewing area are open from dawn until dusk.

Courtesy of USNews

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