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10 Best Hikes near North Bend that aren’t Mt Si
Posted On January 23, 2021
The North Bend area has an abundance of wonderful hiking trails within an hours drive of the greater Seattle area. As a born and raised Seattleite, I’m sharing my favorite hikes near North Bend. This list does NOT include some of the famous (and extremely crowded) hikes in the area such as Mt Si, Little Si, Mailbox Peak and Rattlesnake Ledge. Each of these well known and busy trails have spectacular views and are worth doing, if you can find parking and deal with crowds (read my tips for finding less crowded hikes here). I’m passionate about helping people find new trails and new discoveries so let’s get to some of the other fantastic trails near North Bend.
All these hikes near North Bend welcome dogs on leash and are all within 15 miles of downtown North Bend. Some are served by the Trailhead Direct Bus when it’s running (usually late spring through early fall). If you’re looking for other hikes even closer to Seattle or Bellevue, check out my favorite hikes in Issaquah.
The North Bend area, Snoqualmie Valley and surrounding mountains and hiking trails are the homeland of the Duwamish, Snoqualmie and other Coast Salish people.
Why it’s one of the best hikes near North Bend: This hike is a mellow hike along the river through a gorgeous forest. It’s also enjoyable all year and on rainy days.
Watch out for: trees down on the trail, especially in winter from frequent storms. Lots of mud on the trail in wet weather. At the time of this writing (January 2021) the upstream trail is closed due to a washout. Head right after the bridge downstream along the Pratt Connector Trail at this time.
Distance: Up to 6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: Minimal
How to get there: Take Exit 34 from I-90. Coming from Seattle, go left at the end of the ramp and cross the freeway. When the road comes to a T intersection, go right on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road. Follow it about 12 miles until you see the large parking lot for the trailhead on the right.
Type of Hike: Forest and river walk with a beautiful waterfall at the end
Best season: March through June when there is the most snowmelt in the waterfall (although you can go here all year)
Why it’s one of the best hikes near North Bend: Otter Falls offers something that is hard to find this close to Seattle – no crowds! You will encounter other people but this trail is not crowded. In addition, it’s a lovely (though long) forest walk and a beautiful waterfall into a tiny lake.
Watch out for: Despite being mostly flat, this trail is not easy, due to the many rocks along the trail and the length of the trail. There are also several stream crossings that get more challenging in wet weather. Trekking poles can be very helpful for this!
Distance: 10 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 700 feet (mostly this is the final half mile to the waterfall, which is off the trail to the left – look for the pink tape on a tree)
How to get there: Take Exit 34 from I-90. Coming from Seattle, go left at the end of the ramp and cross the freeway. When the road comes to a T intersection, go right on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road. Follow it for just over 12 miles, past the Middle Fork Snoqualmie trailhead and the Middle Fork campground. The Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead is the starting point, but the road deteroriates rapidly once you pass the campground so you can park along the road before that, just make sure you aren’t blocking it.
Iron Horse Trail from Olallie State Park to Rattlesnake Lake
Type of Hike: Wide, graveled forest hike on an old railroad grade, shared with bikes
Best season: All year
Why it’s one of the best hikes near North Bend: Though both trailheads are busy, the Iron Horse trail itself is much less crowded than many others. The trail is wide and mostly flat. There aren’t rocks or roots or even much mud along this trail (though there could be near the trailheads).
Watch out for: Mountain bikes. There is plenty of room for bikes to pass comfortably around hikers, but make sure you are not blocking their path and that your dog is leashed so as not to get tangled up with bikes!
Distance: 5 miles one way
Elevation Gain: None, except a little bit of a hill getting onto the Iron Horse at the trailhead.
How to get there: The Homestead Valley Trailhead in Olallie State Park is just off Exit 38 on I-90. Coming from Seattle, go right at the bottom of the ramp at the parking area and trailhead will be on your right. If going one way, you’ll come out at the trailhead for Cedar Butte, described below.
Type of Hike: Challenging forest and ridge hike, ideally done one way.
Best season: All year
Why it’s one of the best hikes near North Bend:Rattlesnake Mountain is an opportunity for true solitude very close to town. The two trailheads are extremely busy but the middle section you are likely to have all to yourself! You also get the chance for a challenging workout without having to drive far.
Watch out for: This hike is DIFFERENT than Rattlesnake Ledge! If you do the entire traverse of Rattlesnake Mountain you will end (or start) on the Rattlesnake Ledge trail, which is extremely busy. If you don’t want to deal with that, or want a shorter hike, you can turn around at Stan’s Overlook or Grand Prospect for a round trip hike. The ridge of Rattlesnake Mountain is lightly traveled, make sure to have a map! On the Snoqualmie Point side, there are several mountain bike crossings, so pay attention at junctions. Mountain bikes and hikers do not share the trail except for about a quarter mile at the very beginning.
Distance: The one way hike from Snoqualmie Point to Rattlesnake Lake is 10.5 miles. Snoqualmie Point to Stan’s Overlook is 4 miles round trip.
Elevation Gain: 2500 feet on the one way traverse, 1000 to Stan’s Overlook
How to get there: I like to start at the Snoqualmie Point side and get picked up at Rattlesnake Lake since parking is so crazy there! To get to Snoqualmie Point, take Exit 27 off I-90 East. When you get to the end of the off ramp, turn right and it will take you straight to the parking lot
Type of Hike: Flat then uphill forest hike to a view
Best season: All year
Why it’s one of the best hikes near North Bend:Cedar Butte has a great view and you get to hike through a beautiful forest. On top of that, it’s much less crowded than many hikes in the North Bend area, including Rattlesnake Ledge which is literally across the street!
Watch out for: Mountain bikes on the Iron Horse Trail during the first par of the hike. There is plenty of room for them to pass, just be aware and keep your dog leashed.
Distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 900 feet
How to get there: From Seattle, take I-90 east to Exit 32. Turn right at the bottom of the ramp on Cedar Falls Road. In about three miles come to the Rattlesnake Ledge parking area (which might be really crowded), go just beyond it to the Cedar Falls trailhead on the left.
Type of Hike: Forest loop hike with views and some climbing
Best season: All year
Why it’s one of the best hikes near North Bend: The Talus Loop is a great alternative if you carpooled with someone doing Mt Si! Once you get off the Mt Si trail, you are likely to see no one (although the trailhead and first bit to the turnoff will be extremely crowded).
Watch out for: Massive crowds at the trailhead and the first part of the trail, possibly impossible parking (try for late in the day for better chances)
Distance: 4 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 1500 feet
How to get there: From Seattle, take I-90 to Exit 32. Go left at the end of the ramp, then left on North Bend Way and right on Mt Si Road, which will take you to the trailhead in just over 3 miles.
Type of Hike: Forested climbing hike to a beautiful waterfall
Best season: June has gorgeous pink and white foxglove wildflowers along with lots of water from snowmelt in the falls. May is also a good time for the waterfall along with fall (October and November).
Why it’s one of the best hikes near North Bend: The Teneriffe Falls trail is my personal favorite trail near North Bend! It has a gorgeous waterfall, wonderful wildflowers (especially in June) and has far less people than Mt Si (which is only a mile away!).
Watch out for: Some sections of the trail are very rocky and wet and can be tricky to navigate.
Distance: 6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1500 feet
How to get there: From Seattle, take I-90 to Exit 32. Go left at the end of the ramp, then left on North Bend Way and right on Mt Si Road. After passing the Mt Si Trailhead, continue a bit less than a mile to the large trailhead on the left.
Type of Hike: Forest and river hike to a beautiful waterfall
Best season: This hike is extremely busy in the summer and can be very busy the rest of the year. In my opinion this is an excellent winter hike when there are less crowds and lots of water in the waterfall
Why it’s one of the best hikes near North Bend:Twin Falls is a truly gorgeous waterfall. This is a great hike for kids because there are tons of big logs, a beautiful river, a waterfall and the hike is relatively short for the pay off! It also has some incredible ancient old growth trees to explore.
Watch out for: Lots of mud and water on the trail during and after wet weather. Big crowds and limited parking.
Distance: 3 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
How to get there: From Seattle, take I-90 east to exit 34 and turn right. In a short distance, turn left on SE 159th St and it dead ends in the parking lot.
Type of Hike: Steep and difficult hike through the forest to a spectacular view
Best season: July – October (great wildflowers near the top in July and August)
Why it’s one of the best hikes near North Bend:Mt Washington is a difficult big view hike with far less people than nearby view hikes like Mt Si. The lack of crowds and amazing views make it an excellent choice on a clear summer day.
Watch out for: Some sections of the trail are extremely rocky.
Distance: 8.5 miles round tirp
Elevation Gain: 3200 feet
How to get there: The Mt Washington trailhead is shared with several other trails at the Homestead Valley Trailhead in Olallie State Park just east of North Bend on I-90. Coming from Seattle, go right at the bottom of the ramp at the parking area and trailhead will be on your right
Volition Brewing – Excellent craft beer with plenty of outdoor seating in downtown North Bend. It’s a taproom that doesn’t serve food but they have frequent food trucks.
Electric Vehicle Charging in North Bend
There is an excellent fast charging station at the North Bend Outlet Mall. There are two different providers and lots of stations for CHAdeMo and Tesla. You can walk to Pioneer Coffee from here while you wait! There’s also a Subway to get sandwiches if you want something fast, it’s right by the charging stations.
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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