- Hiking, Parks and Gardens Type
- Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
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If you don't have time to make the drive to Mount Rainier (about 80 miles southeast of downtown Seattle), Mount Si offers a popular alternative. Sitting about 30 miles east of the city center, Mount Si offers several opportunities to strap on your hiking boots and hit the trails. According to most, Mount Si is also a good place to get warmed up before tackling some of the more challenging trails found in nearby Mount Rainier National Park.
On a clear day, views from the summit stretch across the city to the Olympic Mountains. And many recent travelers say the hike is a fun way to get in some exercise on vacation.
Be aware that getting to Mount Si requires a car: The easiest route from downtown Seattle is to follow I-90 East to Mt. Si Road. The North Bend trail to the summit is about an 8-mile hike there and back. Keep in mind that this is a pretty difficult trek; inexperienced hikers may want to stick to the trails in Discovery Park.
You'll need a $30 Discovery Pass in order to hike the trails (they are valid for one full year), as well as pay $10 for a day parking pass. If you plan on hunting or fishing, you'll need an additional Fish and Wildlife Vehicle Use Permit or Vehicle Access Pass. For more information on Mount Si, check out the Washington Trail Association website and to purchase your passes in advance, visit the Discovery Pass website.