We have chosen two hikes on Mt. Si that are beautiful, conveniently located, and good for every level of hiker! All information about the trails has been gathered from the Washington Trail Association.
Gaining 3,100 feet in a little under four miles, it falls in a kind of sweet spot for experienced and novice hikers alike: enough of a test for bragging rights, not so tough as to scare people away.
Switchbacks and climbing begin almost as soon as you leave the trailhead. The trail ascends steadily, but gently, for its first mile and a half. Shortly thereafter, it flattens out as it winds through Snag Flat, a stand of old-growth trees that have survived both fire and logging.
Many hikers rush through this section, but it’s worth taking a second to appreciate the immense size and age of the trees. It’s remarkable that they’re still standing. Prior to being established as a state conservation area in 1977, Mount Si was home to mining and logging; the trail on which you walk was once a 4×4 track. Most hikers overlook a tribute at the start of the trail to the person most responsible for protecting Mount Si –- pioneering state legislator Frances North.
Beyond Snag Flat, the trail steepens, climbing more aggressively through younger forest. At three and a half miles, a brief break in the canopy provides your first real views to the south – look for it at a post that once held a more formal mile marker just before a hairpin turn. The trail resumes climbing and, a quarter of a mile or so later, pitches sharply upwards before reaching a talus slope that bisects the forest, providing expansive views to the southeast. On a clear day, Mount Rainier dominates the horizon.
The small rocky bluff known as Little Si is a moderately graded 3.7 mile trail located in the hike rich North Bend area. Although relatively steep inclines bookend this hike, this primarily north to south route is perfect for beginners who are looking to get back in shape.
As you continue through this temperate slice of woodlands, you will pass short tangential rock climbing paths, a prominent scree slope and a boulder field to the west before swooping around the slope at the 1.3 mile mark to make your final push toward the summit. Work your way up the last steep three quarters of a mile and you will reach your destination. While Little Si’s nub-like qualities suggest an underwhelming view awaits, you will be pleasantly surprised to find a peak that supplies phenomenal portraits of the valley and the surrounding peaks-Mount Si and Mount Washington can easily be viewed on a clear day-from your standing elevation of 1,550 feet.