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Hikes Within 30 Minutes of Seattle

Seattle has some wild refuges right in the city and plenty of nearby trails that can be hiked all year round. Waterfalls, views, old-growth forests thick with ferns — they're all right here.

You don't have to scale Mount Si to get your hiking fix. Seattle has some wild refuges right in the city and plenty of nearby trails that can be hiked all year round. Waterfalls, views, old-growth forests thick with ferns — they're all right here.

Try one of our suggestions below or share your local favorite in a trip report.

Is it really a 30-minute drive? Your starting point and traffic may make these 5 minutes or 40 minutes away. And if you're taking a bus, it may take quite a bit longer to reach the trailhead. (Be sure to double check routes and schedules.)


    Location: Seattle -- Magnolia Neighborhood
    Mileage: 2.8 miles, round trip
    Elevation Gain:
     140 feet
    Public Transportation: Yes

    Discovery Park Loop Trail by ZiaT.jpeg
    Photo by ZiaT.

    The Discovery Park Loop Trail offers an enjoyable outing without having to leave the Seattle city limits.  While the park contains a trail network of over 11 miles, the 2.8 mile loop hike is a great way to take in a wide range of diverse scenery in a relatively short distance.  Roughly following the perimeter of the park, the loop winds through second-growth forest groves, open meadows and sandy bluffs overlooking the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. From toddlers to trail runners, this urban hike has something for everyone.

    > Plan your trip to Discovery Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

    Cedar River Trail

    Location: Renton
    17.4 miles, one-way
    Elevation Gain: 820 feet
    Public Transportation: Yes

    The paved surface of the Cedar River Trail leads to a rusty bridge over the Cedar River.
    Bridge over the Cedar River. Photo by Wafflesnfalafel. 

    You can stroll, hike or run for miles on this tree-lined, bus-accessible trail, which has multiple access points from Lake Washington to Maple Valley. This former railroad is great for a family outing, a long hike to catch up with your best buddies or for a long after-work run to burn off the stress of the week.

    > Plan your trip to the Cedar River Trail using WTA's Hiking Guide

    Evans Creek Preserve

    Location: Sammamish
    Mileage: 4.2 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain: 325 feet
    Public Transportation: Not easily

    Evans Creek Preserve by kokay.jpeg
    Photo by kokay.

    The Evans Creek Preserve is an 179-acre old farmstead off the Redmond-Fall City Road with about two miles of trails creating several loops. These volunteer-built trails run through and skirt a variety of habitats, including wetlands, meadow and forest. The trail is perfect for families or for folks out walking their dogs (on a leash). In the morning, birdwatchers will find plenty of activity and can observe from four viewing platforms. The wetlands flow through the center of the preserve and necessitated fourteen short bridges and one impressive, long boardwalk -- handcrafted by WTA volunteers.

    > Plan your trip to Evans Creek Preserve using WTA's Hiking Guide

    Soaring Eagle Regional Park

    Location: Samammish
    Mileage: 12.0 miles of trails
    Elevation Gain: varies
    Public Transportation: Not easily

    Soaring Eagle Regional Park by mOuNtAiNeEr51.jpeg
    Photo by mOuNtAiNeEr51.

    With a system of 12 miles of trails running through 600 acres of forest and wetland in this park, every kind of trail user, from families out for a stroll to trail runners in training can create their own perfect loop.

    Not sure where to start? The backbone of the trail system is the wide, flat Pipeline Trail. Start there, and head off the beaten track when you feel like exploring. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, as this park plays host to deer, 40 species of birds and even the occasional black bear.

    > Plan your trip to Soaring Eagle Regional Park using WTA's Hiking Guide

    Wildside Trail - De Leo Wall

    Location: Issaquah Alps -- Cougar Mountain
    Mileage: 4.2 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain: 489 feet
    Public Transportation: Yes, with an extra mile road walk

    De Leo Wall by Daywithdre.jpeg
    Photo by Daywithdre.

    Discover your wild side. History, waterfalls, views of Mount Rainier and many add-on trail options in the extensive trail system on Cougar Mountain make this area a nice new option for your hiking regular list. When it's snowing in the high country, this low elevation hike delivers a fine fern-filled retreat. If wildflowers are your thing, this trail provides a great place to start watching for trillium in early spring.

    > Plan your trip to the Wildside Trail using WTA's Hiking Guide

    Poo Poo Point

    Location: Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
    Mileage: 7.2 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain: 1748 feet
    Public Transportation: Yes, with an extra mile road walk.

    Poo Poo Point by Hikeswith3.jpeg
    Photo by Hikeswith3.

    A local favorite, Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain offers up stunning views of the area, including Lake Sammamish and Mount Rainier. At 7.4 miles, the climb up to this vista is plenty long enough to give your legs a workout. Return again and again through the seasons to watch the foliage change, to catch paragliders in action or the western sun sinking over the water.

    > Plan your trip to Poo Poo Point using WTA's Hiking Guide

    Camp Long

    Location: Seattle -- West Seattle Neighborhood
    Mileage: 1.6 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain:
    240 feet
    Public Transportation: Yes

    Camp Long by ejain.jpeg
    Photo by ejain.

    Camp Long is a hidden gem, a 68-acre enclave on the crest of West Seattle featuring old growth forest, wildlife, a variety of hiking trails, ropes courses and even camping. Stroll under a canopy of alder, birch, maple, Douglas fir, sitka spruce, and cedar. Several trails crisscross this forest, including the Animal Tracks Nature Trail (0.34 miles), the Ridge Trail (0.11 miles), the Middle Loop Trail (0.45 miles), and the Lower Loop Trail (0.53 miles).

    > Plan your trip to Camp Long using WTA's Hiking Guide

    Saint Edward State Park

    Location: Between Kirkland and Kenmore
     3.0 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain: 400 feet
    Public Transportation: Yes

    Saint Edward State Park by NREPP.jpeg
    Photo by trip reporter NREPP.

    Saint Edward State Park is a 316-acre park with 3,000 feet of freshwater shoreline on Lake Washington. Once a Catholic seminary, the park's rich history reflects in its grounds and architecture. Explore the north trail, search for fall and winter fungus or play along the undeveloped lakeshore, habitat to a wide variety of birds and sea life, as well as plenty of native flora. Discover Pass required.

    > Plan your trip to Saint Edward State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide