HIKE MOUNT SI TRAIL
MOUNT SI | NORTH BEND, WASHINGTON
Overall, it’s a good workout. Some people climb the mountain very quickly with heavy packs to train for other mountain adventures. Lots of people use the trail for a trail running route. I like to go in the morning. I don’t hike to the top. I time myself, and usually I go for one hour on the clock, and then I turn around. I don’t try to go fast or slow, I just set a comfortable pace. I want to enjoy my time on the hike.
Mount SI trail - What You Need to Know!
The reason I often choose this trail for my morning hike is that I feel very good no matter what the conditions. It’s no secret that it rains a lot in North Bend, but I like to hike this trail in the rain. The beautiful trees cover me from getting completely drenched, even when it is raining hard. For clothing, I just hike in hiking boots and hiking pants and a t-shirt, then I take a good fleece in case it rains. I suppose you might take a good rainjacket if it is pouring.
Breakfast where Twin Peaks was filmed!
On my latest adventure, I stopped with friends at Twede’s Cafe for a quick bite. I needed some energy for the trail, and they wanted to see the place where Twin Peaks was filmed. I like Twede’s for its connection to Twin Peaks, the television series created by David Lynch. I loved the first installation in the early 1990s, and I love the new version on Showtime. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll notice Twede’s as the location where certain characters have a piece of cherry pie and a cup of coffee. Today, we did the same. I also add four scrambled eggs for protein. Twede’s is fun. Check it out. I’d even budget a few extra minutes to make this stop, especially for a little socializing with friends. They open at 630AM on Saturday. You can see Mount-Si from the front door.
Hiking the Mount Si Trail!
On this hike, I took several friends I arrived at the trailhead just past 7:00 AM. There weren’t too many vehicles in the lot, maybe twenty total cars, most of them had just arrived. The weather was good. I set a solid pace, nothing too fast, but something I can keep up no matter how steep the terrain. As I said, I set a time limit for one hour. Wherever I am at after one hour of hiking, I’m going to turn around and head back. Plus, the group was in no hurry. We wanted to talk and tell jokes while we hiked.
Immediately, when we crossed the footbridge over the small creek near the trailhead, we were in another world. I was out in front and completely forgot about my friends for ten minutes while nature soaked in. I don’t know what it is, but I always feel very content and happy when I am hiking. One of my friends commented on how green everything was, and that brought me back to the real world. This is a great trail to show to friends. They’ll appreciate it, no matter where they are from.
We cruised through the switchbacks. The trail was dry. The weather was good. We talked a lot while we hiked, but we got a good workout. All of us are in good trail shape, and so it was not uncomfortable, but we were all sweating when we turned around. It was an enjoyable walk, and it was a good time to share stories and create a new one.
I like to get to the old-growth trees about a mile or so up the trail. We found some huckleberries, and we saw ferns, we saw evergreens and cedars. There were squirrels and gray jays. I was hoping to show my friends some elk, but they are challenging to see in summer. Winter is the time to see elk, especially down near the homes along the river on the drive in to the trailhead.
We hiked without packs or water, but we just walked for an hour and a half. If you plan to hike to the top, you might take more gear. You might like to bring a bottle of water, hiking poles, a light jacket, and a phone or camera. If the weather is clear up top, you’ll be able to want to take a photo or selfie with Mount Rainier. In winter, you might want crampons for your boots or hiking shoes if there are snow and ice.
Mountains to Sound Greenway
One of my friends wanted to know more about the Mountains to Sound Greenway. We saw signs for it all over the place. I knew a little bit about it. It’s an initiative to protect and observe green spaces along the I-90 Interstate, the road that we took to get to the Mount Si Trailhead. It’s designated as a National Scenic Byway. We did a little more investigating on our phones and found out that the Greenway connects 1.5 million acres along the interstate. That is amazing. When you get out to see nature firsthand, it quickly becomes more relevant to you. I encourage you to check out the Mountains to Sound Greenway.
Mountains to Sound Greenway
Remember the Discover Pass
The trail is convenient for me. It’s just off I-90 Interstate. It’s close to some stores where I can get some food in the morning if I need it. The trailhead has good bathrooms. There’s a parking lot at the base of the hike. I’ve never been turned away from a parking spot, but I always get there pretty early. Remember, you’ll need a Discover Pass to park your vehicle in the parking lot. It costs $30, and you can buy it online, by phone, or at state offices and retail locations.
Washington State Discover Pass
Seafood dinner by the sound
After our research on the Greenway, we brainstormed some restaurants in Seattle that would complete our journey from mountains to the sound. We wanted seafood, and we also wanted someplace that was locally-sourced and environmentally friendly. I suggested The Walrus and the Carpenter, which is in Ballard near the locks.
We enjoyed wine and beer along with fresh oysters from around the Pacific Northwest. They have many different kinds of seafood specials, and our table tried fried oyster with cilantro aioli, grilled sardines with walnut, parsley, and shallot, and steamed clams with lentils, curry, and cream. Amazing. They were also serving fresh vegetable dishes, and we tried grilled treviso and shaved summer squash, both of which were perfect. The Walrus and the Carpenter is a great restaurant, one of the new establishments that makes you feel good about what you are eating, who you are supporting, and that your money is going toward people’s livelihood. They give their employees full benefits, and they provide lots of money to local charities. It’s an excellent place to support.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Here are some final thoughts
After the hike up Mount Si and dinner at the Walrus and the Carpenter, we all agreed that Seattle offers the best place to live. There are very few places in the world that you can enjoy mountain and saltwater scenery, two completely different places only about an hour apart. I love the Mount Si hike, and my friends loved it too. When I hike this trail alone, I have a completely different experience. I hike this trail often so that I will link to another review of a trip up to the top! I hope you’ll try Mount Si. It’s worth every step. Hopefully, you’ll find a long-lasting connection to nature. You’ll get in shape too.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about MOUNT SI:
How long does it take to hike Mount Si?
Mount Si hike is roughly 8 miles roundtrip. Numerous switch-backs take you up the hill with an elevation gain of 3,150 feet. You are looking at around 3-4 hour trek. This travel time may be extending in the winter as it does get icy which will slow your time a little.
Directions from Seattle to the Mount Si Trailhead?
The first time you drive out to the Mount Si trailhead, the directions can be a little tricky, so take a map, or take your phone, or write down some street names. There are lots of signs for how to get to the trailhead, but you might miss one in all the excitement of your adventure.
1. Follow signs for I-90 E/Bellevue/Spokane and merge onto I-90 E 30 Mi
2. Take exit 32 for 436th Ave SE 0.3 mi
3. Turn left at 436th Ave SE/Cedar Falls Rd 0.5 mi
4. Take the 3rd left onto SE Cedar Falls Way 0.3 mi
5. Take the 1st right onto 432nd Ave SE/Stilson Ave SE 0.1 mi
6. Continue onto SE Mt Si Rd 1.3 mi 7. Continue onto 452nd Ave SE 0.4 mi
8. Continue onto SE Mt Si Rd/Nat for Dev Rd 9010
9. Continue to follow SE Mt Si Rd 0.8 mi
10. Turn left at Mt Si Trailhead Parking Lot 0.1 mi
Do you need a parking pass or entry fee?
Yes, you will need a Discover pass to park and enjoy Mount Si trail.
You need a Washington State Discover Pass to park.
Can I bring my dog on Mount Si trail?
YES! There are always lots of dogs on this trail.