Taylor Mountain Hike: Peaceful forest close to town

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Many layers of green on the Taylor Mountain hike. Large, tall trees are in the middle with many smaller trees around them. There is thick moss on some of the trees.
Green forest dominates the Taylor Mountain hike all year

This little known trail, the Taylor Mountain hike, provides a mellow, quiet walk in the forest with about 500 feet of elevation gain over 5 miles, an excellent half day or after work in the summer option!

Is the Taylor Mountain Hike right for me?

If you’re looking for a half day forest hike that’s close to town and don’t mind not having views in favor of peace and quiet, this hike is probably for you! The trail is in good condition and the junctions are well marked along the way.

When is a good time for the Taylor Mountain Hike?

This is a good option for when you don’t want to drive to far, or it’s raining and you don’t want to be out all day but still want to get out of town (for another hike like this check out this one). This is also a good option if you don’t have any of the passes because you don’t need any here! Note: The route described below goes up the Holder Ridge trail, the first part of which is closed from 10/15 – 4/15. During this time, you can go out and back on Road A, or make up your own loop from this map, which shows which trails are open and closed, along with their distances.

Where is it?

The trailhead is located just off highway 18 between Issaquah and Maple Valley. Google maps will get you to the trailhead, and basically you exit Highway 18 at Issaquah Hobart Road/276th Avenue SE and it’s just east of the junction. There’s a large parking lot and an outhouse. No pass needed!

Trail Description

There are quite a few options of trails at Taylor Mountain. I would suggest a 5 mile loop as described here. Bring the map (link above) and you can make up your own loop!

To do it how I did, start to the left on the Holder Ridge Trail. You’ll be winding through the forest for just over a mile and a half. Here you find a junction with the Holden Knob trail, and go left. Go a bit over half a mile, and at the junction go right, towards Road A. There are quite a few junctions, but they are well signed.

There are a lot of junctions, but also a lot of clear signs. Bring the map so you know which trail you’re looking for

When you get to Road A, cross it and you’ll be on the Whiskey Still trail. Go half a mile and come to a junction with Road F. Turn left, and in another half mile you’ll reconnect with Road A, turn left here and head back towards the parking lot on a more direct route, getting back to your car in about two miles.

Many layers of green on the Taylor Mountain hike. Large, tall trees are in the middle with many smaller trees around them. There is thick moss on some of the trees. Text reads: Taylor Mountain half day hike near Seattle
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Jennie Flaming
Jennie Thwing Flaming, Chief Adventure Officer: Jennie's life has been a continual quest for adventure (of the non-adrenalin inducing kind) from birth till now. Professionally, she pursues adventures in teaching, counseling and working to obliterate institutional racism for students in our region's public schools and also works as a tour and hiking guide. Previous professional adventures include working in schools in Seattle and Alaska, leading tours and managing tour guides and presenting traveling science shows and lessons with Pacific Science Center. She believes in sharing her beloved Pacific Northwest home with visitors. She likes to be outdoors and spend time with the people she loves. Jennie is born and raised in Seattle and has also lived in Alaska and the Netherlands.