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Best Fall Hikes near Seattle
Posted On September 19, 2018
Fall is the BEST time of year for hiking near Seattle! It’s cooler, less crowded and generally no bugs! In the Pacific Northwest we have an abundance of gorgeous fall color and hiking trails to enjoy them. So pack a hot drink, some soup , some extra warm clothes and everything you need for a day hike and make sure you’re keeping track of time on these shorter days and get ready for the best scenery of the year! If you’re looking specifically for larch hikes, read here for the best larch hikes in Washington. Not sure you want to hike in the fall? Check out these gorgeous fall drives in Washington instead.
Cedar River Trail – Renton, 30 minutes from Seattle
Location: Renton to Maple Valley (multiple places to start and end). This is the land of the Duwamish and Stillaguamish people.
Why it’s one of the best fall hikes near Seattle: If the weather isn’t great or you just don’t want to drive far, give the Cedar River Trail a try! If you want to cover more ground on this long trail, this also makes for an excellent bike ride.
Length: 17 miles (but you can turn around at any point)
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Passes Needed: None
Dogs Allowed: Yes, on leash
Best place to stop after: Common Ground for cupcakes or the Berliner Pub for an Oktoberfest, brat and pretzels!
Gold Creek Pond – Snoqualmie Pass, 1 hour from Seattle
Location: Snoqualmie Pass, just east of the summit. This is the land of the Duwamish and Wenatchi people.
Why it’s one of the best fall hikes near Seattle: This flat trail around the pond (you can go much farther if you like up the valley) features gorgeous mountain scenery as well as the stunning and vibrant vine maples in red, orange and yellow.
Length: 1 mile around the pond, but can go up to 4 miles into the valley
Elevation Gain: None, unless you go many miles up the valley!
Why it’s one of the best fall hikes near Seattle: A spectacular hike with amazing views of Mt Stuart and surrounding peaks and golden larches in Headlight Basin. Watch for goats! This also makes an amazing fall backpacking trip.
Why it’s one of the best fall hikes near Seattle: This is one of the best hikes in all of Washington! Amazing views of the North Cascades and gorgeous larch trees along the whole middle part of the hike. Add in a good chance of seeing and hearing pikas and lots of other low land fall color and you have the perfect fall hike! The long drive to North Cascades National Park makes it worth spending a weekend and checking out some other amazing fall larch hikes in the area, such as Blue Lake and Cutthroat Lake.
Location: The Naches Peak Loop is located at Chinook Pass on the east side of Mt Rainier National Park on the homeland of the Yakama people
Why it’s one of the best fall hikes near Seattle: this moderate hike has amazing views of Mt Rainier as well as surrounding mountains and lots of bushes and undergrowth changing color. Keep an eye out for possible snow!
Length: 4 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 1000 feet
Passes Needed: none
Dogs Allowed: Dogs are allowed on the first part of the loop only which is on the Pacific Crest Trail. The other part of the loop in Mt Rainier National Park is NOT open to dogs.
Best place to stop after: Pie goddess in Enunclaw!
Best Rainy Day Fall Hikes near Seattle
Hoping for a sunny clear day with epic mountain views and alpine fall colors? Woke up to rain? No problem! Here are a few excellent hikes for late fall or any rainy day:
Twin Falls: A three mile round trip with 600 feet of elevation gain to a stunning waterfall that is even more beautiful in the rain. Old growth forests too!
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite who lived in Alaska for 7 years. I've been a tour guide in both Alaska and Washington and 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 low key adventure in Washington, Alaska and Western Canada!
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