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Mount Si

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Mount Si should be experienced at least once by every hiker. In fact, a significant number of Puget Sound residents do just one hike per year, and these annual hikers almost invariably turn to Mount Si every time. In the early spring, mountain-loving backpackers and climbers use the trail as a tune-up for the coming season. Others come because the trail is one of few that becomes snow-free early in the year. Land managers estimate that Si draws between thirty thousand and fifty thousand visitors a year, making it the most heavily used trail in the state. As a result, on any sunny summer weekend the trail will be crowded--almost to the point of having to take a number and get in line. Really, it's not that bad, and the steep trail soon separates the serious hiker from the casual mall walker. And Si's payoff is incredible: views of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley, the Puget Sound basin, and far beyond.

From the broad parking lot, the trail climbs moderately for 1 mile to the first views of the long hike. Here, at around 1600 feet, you'll find wonderful views from atop a rocky bluff on the side of the mountain. Hikers short on time and stamina could turn around here for a modest 2-mile outing.

As you near the 1.8-mile mark, you'll sweep alongside a small brook, with grassy banks on which to rest. This is Snag Flat--the site of an old burn, as evidenced by the blackened scars on the trunks of many of the old Douglas-firs in the area.

The trail then pushes on, never wavering from its steep ascent, until you finally crest the last slope and step out into the wildflower-filled meadow at the summit, or rather, the summit basin. The true summit of Si is atop the big rock "haystack" that towers over the edge of the meadow. The haystack does sport a scramble path to its summit, but the route is tricky, with incredible exposure (one slip and you'll plummet hundreds--thousands?--of feet). It's best not to attempt the Haystack, especially considering the added danger of other people kicking loose rock down, creating deadly missiles from above. Besides, the views atop the rock are no better than those you'll enjoy from the meadows at its base.
Driving Directions:

From Seattle drive east on I-90 to exit 32 (436th Avenue SE). Turn left (north) over the freeway and drive 0.5 mile to North Bend Way. Turn left (west), and in 0.25 mile turn right (north) on Mount Si Road. The large trailhead parking lot is on the left, 2.5 miles down the road.

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Recent Trip Reports

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There are 703 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Mount Si — Apr 13, 2014 — Hannah Misenar
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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This hike was gorgeous! I was a little skeptical because of how popular it is that it wouldn't be ve...
This hike was gorgeous! I was a little skeptical because of how popular it is that it wouldn't be very intense--but my friends and I were definitely sweating on the way up! The views were breathtaking--and very impressive(you could see all the way to Seattle) considering the length of the hike! The hike took us about 3.5 hours roundtrip, including us hanging out on the top for a while. I'd say it took about 1.5-2 hours up, and then we probably spent 30-45 minutes at the top and 45 minutes-1 hour on the way down (which we jogged the majority of). The trail is very well maintained so you can definitely get away with wearing any old tennis shoes--overall I was very impressed by this hike, it was a blast!
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Mount Si — Apr 13, 2014 — patrickvdh
Day hike
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Arrived at 10:30 AM. Parking lot and nearby parking all full. Parked .5 miles away on road. I ha...
Arrived at 10:30 AM. Parking lot and nearby parking all full. Parked .5 miles away on road.

I had never brought my kids (15 and 12 years old) on this trail due to its popularity but we decided late in the morning that a hike was in order for such a beautiful day. Mt. Si makes a great last minute hike so off we went.

Crowds as expected on this beautiful warm spring Sunday. Trail in great shape. No mud.

View at the top: Miles of blue sky, Mt. Rainier, the Sound, and great views of the nearby foothills.
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Mount Si — Apr 13, 2014 — Chase Pennington
Day hike
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Great day for a hike up Mount Si, and everybody else had the same idea. As expected it was full of p...
Great day for a hike up Mount Si, and everybody else had the same idea. As expected it was full of people, but the more the merrier! The trail was in excellent shape, no water or mud on the trail, nothing overgrown, no blow-downs. Could not ask for more perfect conditions. Made it up and down in 3 hours even (didn't ascend the Haystack, the summit was packed with people).
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Mount Si — Apr 12, 2014 — ilober
Day hike
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Arrived at parking lot at 2:30 PM and although there were a lot of cars the trail itself was not cro...
Arrived at parking lot at 2:30 PM and although there were a lot of cars the trail itself was not crowded. There were more people coming down at this time of day than going up. The trail was dry and clear, no mud or obstacles. It took me about 2.5 hours to get to the top this time and it was pretty cold at the top (a jacket/layers recommended), not on the hike up/down itself. Late in the day the sun is setting on the opposite side so up/down was mostly in shade. Surprisingly there were only a handful of people on the top. Views were slightly hazy and dark clouds rolled in overhead while I was there. Enjoyed some calories and the view before heading back down.

This trail is always my first hike of the year to get in shape for backpacking throughout the summer. It's a good grunt up (for me with a 12-15 lb backpack), continual upward trek with many switchbacks along the 4 miles to the top. Then a knee-pounding 4 miles back down. I definitely feel it in my thighs for a few days ... all in a good way.

Photos from last years' trek up.
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Mt Si by Bob Brooks.jpg
Mt. Si. Photo by Bob Brooks.
Location
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Department of Natural Resources, South Puget Sound Region
Statistics
Roundtrip 8.0 miles
Elevation Gain 3150 ft
Highest Point 3900 ft
Features
Mountain views
Summits
User info
Dogs allowed on leash
Discover Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes
Green Trails Mount Si No. 174 and Bandera No. 206

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerMount Si
47.4896 -121.723483333
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