5 Best Big View Hikes near Seattle

Last Updated on December 14, 2019

This is the time for a big view hike…the snow is mostly gone, skies are generally clear, wildflowers are blooming! If you’re craving a climb with big views but don’t want to drive too far, here are five suggestions for big view hikes near Seattle:

  1. Bandera Mountain (1 hour from Seattle on I-90): Bandera is a challenging climb but provides spectacular views (my personal favorite along the I-90 corridor). After a climb through the forest, the hike opens up with great views the rest of the way. As you approach the top, you can see over to the other side of the ridge and Mason Lake (also a fantastic hike sharing the first half of the trail with this one).  This trail  generally snow  free  by  June.
    Mt Rainier in the background with high green mountains and purple flowers in the foreground
    Mt Rainier as seen from the Bandera Mountain trail
  2. Naches Peak Loop (2 hours from Seattle at Chinook Pass): I’ve discussed this loop hike previously as a fantastic wildflower hike in Mt Rainier National Park that is in a less crowded area than Paradise or Sunrise. This hike doesn’t have too much climbing and includes views of Mt Rainier as well as surrounding mountains and lakes.  It  is  often  not  free  of  snow  until  late  July.
    Mt Rainier in the distance, tall evergreen trees in the foreground
    Mt Rainier as seen from the Naches Peak Loop trail
  3. Mt Catherine (1 hour and 15 minutes from Seattle at Snoqualmie pass): Mt Catherine is a short but steep hike to spectacular views of the entire Snoqualmie Pass area.  It  is  usually  snow  free  sometime  in  July.
    Tall mountains in the distance, smaller mountains and evergreen trees in the foreground
    View from the summit of Mt Catherine looking towards surrounding mountains and the I90 corridor
  4. Poo Poo Point (30 minutes from Seattle in Issaquah): Poo Poo Point is a crowded but spectacular view hike close enough to Seattle that you can see downtown. Generally, you’ll also get to see lots of paragliders too! Beat the crowds (and heat) by leaving work early to head up on a weeknight. Poo Poo is generally free of snow much of the year.
  5. Rattlesnake Ledge (45 minutes from Seattle in North Bend): Rattlesnake Ledge is probably the least spectacular of these, but it’s all relative because the views from any high point in the northwest are pretty great! You’ll see the North Bend area and surrounding mountains. This one is short and while it climbs quite a bit, it’s never terribly steep. This one you could do after work without leaving early during our long summer days! It also stays snow free for much of the year.

Wondering why the highly popular Mt Si didn’t make the list? See why here!

Mt Rainier in the background with high green mountains and purple flowers in the foreground. Text reads: Best big view hikes near Seattle
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Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite who lived in Alaska for 7 years and I still spend lots of time there every year. I've been a tour guide for many years in both Alaska and Washington and am a field editor for the Milepost. I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you along on the journey to experience your best adventure in Washington, Alaska and Western Canada!
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