Hikes and Climbs

Recommended Hikes and Climbs in the North Bend Area

Love the outdoors or want to answer to the call of nature? How fortunate that Washington has some of the most beautiful hiking places, many of which are near North Bend!  We compiled a list of our favorite hikes and entitled it “Best Hikes and Climbs in the North Bend Area”.

The best hikes near North Bend are organized by Interstate 90 Exit number which equates to  distance from downtown North Bend.  Some are inside the city limits, like Meadowbrook Farm.  Others are hovering just nearby like Mount Si, Rattlesnake Lake, Rattlesnake Mountain, and Snoqualmie Falls.  Others are deep into the nearby Cascades towards Snoqualmie Pass.   North Bend is the gateway to the Cascades so no list would be complete without a set of day hikes to the many amazing mountains, lakes, and waterfalls in the area between North Bend and Snoqualmie Pass.

These hikes range from short walks on flat terrain, to moderate 4-5 mile climbs of 1000-1500 feet to difficult ascents of 3000-4000 feet plus and/or more lengthy hikes of 10 miles plus.

Best Hikes and Climbs in the North Bend Area

We compiled a list our favorite hikes and climbs in the North Bend area.  These range from the upper Snoqualmie Valley all the way up to Snoqualmie Pass and the Pacific Crest.  Click on an items you are interested in to get more information.  There are peaks, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, forests.  Places to hike every season of the year.

Hikes and Climbs Summaries

If there is a green clickable button below the image, click on it to go to a page with added detail information.  If the button is yellow and not clickable, the necessary information is all here.

Mason Lake Ira Spring Trail

Relaxing at Mason Lake
Relaxing at Mason Lake

Access: I-90 Exit 45

Ira Spring Trail (rt 6.5 mi, 2420 elevation gain to 4320 ft).  ALPINE LAKE, RAINIER VIEW

Add Bandera Mountain Option (rt 7.7 mi, 3120 elevation gain to 5020 ft) PEAK, SWEEPING VIEWS

Add Mount Defiance Option (rt 9.5 mi, 3620 elevation gain to 5584 ft) PEAK, SWEEPING VIEWS

3.8 miles from I-90 up Forest Roads 9030 & 9031.  Northwest Forest Pass Required for Parking.

Snow Lake Trail

Access: I-90 Exit 52 (EB), 53 (WB)

Snow Lake Trail (rt 7.4 mi, 1600 elevation gain to 4400 ft).  ALPINE LAKE BASIN WITH PEAKS BEHIND

Add Gem Lake Option (rt 11.3 mi, 3100 elevation gain to 4850 ft) SAPPHIRE BLUE WATER WITH SHARP ROCK FORMATIONS TO THE WEST.

1.5 miles from I-90 up to Alpental Ski Area parking lot.  Northwest Forest Pass required for Parking.

Middle Fork Snoqualmie River

Access: I-90 Exit 34

 

Dingford Creek Trailhead

Forest Road 56 to Goldmyer (rt 8 mi, 600 elevation gain to 2000 ft).  DIRT ROAD THROUGH FOREST NEXT TO ROARING RIVER

Dingford Creek Trail to Myrtle/Hester Lake Trail Jct (rt 7.5 mi, 1600 ft elevation gain to 3000 ft.)  WATERFALLS, FOREST, WATER EVERYWHERE

Dingford Creek Trail to Hester Lake  (rt 12 mi, 2800 ft elevation gain to 3900 ft.  WATERFALLS, FOREST, WATER EVERYWHERE

Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead

Taylor River Trail to Otter and Big Creek Falls (rt 11 mi, 600 elevation gain to 4850 ft) OTTER FALLS IN TOP 100 PNW WATERFALLS.  FOREST, RIVERS, WATER EVERYWHERE, DOG HEAVEN 

Taylor River Trail to Snoqualmie Lake (rt 19 mi, 2250 ft elevation gain to 3147 ft.  WATERFALLS AND ALPINE LAKE

Granite Creek Connector Trailhead

Trailhead to Granite Lakes (rt 10.3 mi, 2500 ft elevation gain to 3070 ft).  FOREST, CREEKS, WATERFALL, VIEWS, ALPINE LAKE

Granite Creek Trailhead

Granite Lakes from Granite Creek Trailhead (rt 9 mi, 2270 ft elevation gain to 3070 ft).  FOREST, CREEKS, WATERFALL, VIEWS, ALPINE LAKE

Thompson Lake from Granite Creek Trailhead (rt 13.2 mi, 3400 ft elevation gain to 4200 ft).  FOREST, CREEKS, WATERFALL, VIEWS, ALPINE LAKE

12 miles up newly paved Forest Road 56 (Middle Fork Rd) to Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trailhead.  Another 0.5 miles to Taylor Creek/ Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead.  Another 5.5 miles on potholed dirt road to Dingford Creek Trailhead.  Northwest Forest Pass required for Parking.  

Granite Creek Trailhead.  It’s 5 miles up Forest Road 56 (Middle Fork Rd) on the right hand side just before the road crosses the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.  Discover Pass required for parking.

Franklin Falls

Snoqualmie Pass's Franklin Falls
Snoqualmie Pass's Franklin Falls

Access: I-90 Eastbound Exit 47, Westbound Exit 53

Franklin Falls Trail (rt 2 mi, 400 elevation gain to 2600 ft).  WATERFALL, FOREST TRAIL, FAMILY FRIENDLY

Take Forest Road 58 to Franklin Falls Trailhead 1/2 mile above the Denny Creek campground.  3 miles from Exits 47 and 53.  Northwest Forest Pass required for Parking.  

Denny Creek Trail

Access: I-90 Eastbound Exit 47, Westbound Exit 53

Denny Creek Trail to Natural Waterslide and Keekwulee Falls (rt 3.5 mi, 800 elevation gain to 3100 ft).  WATERFALLS, FOREST TRAIL, FAMILY FRIENDLY, NATURAL WATERSLIDE AREA

Denny Creek Trail to Melakwa Lakes (rt 8.5 mi, 2600 ft elevation gain to 4600). LAKE, WATERFALLS

Take Forest Road 58 to Franklin Falls Trailhead 1/2 mile above the Denny Creek campground.  3 miles from Exits 47 and 53.  Northwest Forest Pass required for Parking.  

Gold Creek Pond Trail

Access: I-90 Exit 54

Elevation: 3000 feet

Gold Creek Pond: 1.2 mile paved ADA accessible loop around pond.  55 ft elevation gain.  STUNNING VIEW TO NORTH, LAKE

Gold Creek Pond Snowshoe: 1.2 miles around lake.  Option to add a small trail into the forest off the east side of the lake.  Don’t go too far into the back of the tight valley unless you are skilled at avalanche risk evaluation.

At Exit 54, turn North.  Take FR 4832 parallel to freeway for 1 mile then left on Gold Creek Rd.  Parking Lot on left in 0.3 mile.  Summer Parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass.  Winter requires a Sno-Parks permit.

Kendall Katwalk (Part of Pacific Crest Trail)

Access: I-90 Exit 52 WB, Exit 53 EB

To Kendall Katwalk: rt 12 mi, 2600 ft elevation gain to 5400 ft.  STUNNING VIEWS MANY DIRECTIONS INCLUDING RAINIER, OLD GROWTH FOREST, WILDFLOWERS, THE KATWALK

To Ridge Lake and Gravel Lake: rt 14.5 mi, 3300 elevation gain to 5400 ft.  ALL OF ABOVE PLUS TWO HIGH ALTITUDE ALPINE LAKES

At Exit 52, turn North on to Alpental Rd. In 0.1 mile, turn right then parking in another 0.1 mi.  Main lot for 50 cars on right, left for horse trailers and overflow.  Parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass.

Goldmyer Hot Springs

Access: I-90 Exit 34

From Dingford Creek Trailhead: one way 4.5 mi, 600 ft elevation gain to 2000 ft.  OLD FOREST ROAD ALONG RIVER, NATURAL HOT SPRINGS (NEED RESERVATIONS TO ENTER GOLDMYER.  NO CASUAL DROP-INS)

From Snow Lake Trailhead: one way 13 mi, 2000 ft elevation gain (3000 going out). Rock Creek Trail is rocky, brushy trail in places between Snow Lake and Goldmyer.  ALPINE LAKE, GREAT VIEWS, FOREST.

At Exit 34, turn North on to 468th St to Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road.  Turn right and proceed 18 miles in.  The first 12 miles are paved.  The last 5.5 miles after crossing Taylor River are full of potholes, rocks, and dips for streams.  Parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass.

Asahel Curtis Nature Trail and Annette Lake Trail

 

Access: I-90 Exit 47

Annette Lake Trail: rt 7.5 mi, 2250 ft elevation gain to 3600 ft.  WATERFALLS, ALPINE LAKE, WILDFLOWERS, FOREST, VIEWS

Asahel Curtis Nature Trail:  loop 0.9 mi, 250 ft elevation gain.  FOREST, CREEK, FLORA INFORMATION POSTS

At Exit 47, turn South and continue for 0.25 mile to a T intersection.  Turn left on Forest Road 5590, parking lot on the right in 0.3 miles.  Restrooms at trailhead.  Parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass.

Granite Mountain and Pratt Lake Trails

Access: I-90 Exit 47

Pratt Lake Trail to Olallie Lake: rt and loop 7.0 mi, 2200 ft elevation gain to 4200 ft.  ALPINE LAKE, FOREST, STREAMS, WATERFALLS, MEADOWS, WILDFLOWERS, VIEWS

Pratt Lake Trail to Pratt Lake: rt 11.0 mi, 3100 ft elevation gain to 4100 ft (2300 in, 800 back).  1st 4 mi forest path, then rocky and slow going.  ALPINE LAKE, FOREST, STREAMS, WATERFALLS, MEADOWS, WILDFLOWERS, VIEWS

Granite Mountain Trail: rt 8.6 mi, 3800 ft elevation gain to 5629 ft.  Extreme avalanche danger in winter.   ASTOUNDING VIEWS, 1000 FT VERTICAL PER MILE, LOOKOUT TOWER ON TOP

At Exit 47, turn North and continue to a T intersection.  Turn left and park at the Pratt Lake Trailhead.  There is only room for 30 cars in the lot so it often overflows and cars park on both sides of the road. Parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass.

Talapus Lake Trail

Access: I-90 Exit 45

to Talapus Lake: rt 6.2 mi, 1220 ft elevation gain to 3780 ft.  Moderate grade all the way, nice introduction to hiking trail.  ALPINE LAKE, FOREST, STREAMS

to Olallie Lake: rt 9 mi, 1700 ft elevation gain to 4200 ft. ALPINE LAKES, FOREST, STREAMS

At Exit 45, turn North and continue on FR 9030.  In 1 mile, turn right (otherwise you end up at Ira Spring Trailhead).  Continue to the end of the road (large potholes in places) to the trailhead.   Parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass.

McClellan Butte Trail

Access: I-90 Exit 42

to McClellan Butte: rt 9.6 mi, 3850 ft elevation gain to 5162 ft.  Steady steep up most of the way with a few traverses.  OLD GROWTH FOREST, SMALL MEADOW, VERNAL POND, WILDFLOWERS, AMAZING VIEWS

At Exit 42, turn South and pass the Dept. of Transportation Facility.  Turn right into the parking lot shortly thereafter.   Parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass.

Olallie State Park

Access: I-90 Exit 38

Weeks Falls Trail to Weeks Falls: rt 0.8 mi, 36 ft elev gain. Flat easy walk in forest along the river.   WATERFALL, RIVER, TWIN PEAKS FILMING LOCATIONS

Palouse to Cascades Trail to Mine Creek: rt 10.8 mi, 750 ft elev gain. Gentle grade on former railroad bed.   WATERFALL, VIEWS, FOREST, ROCK CLIMBING CLIFFS

At Exit 38, turn South.  The Homestead Valley parking area for Palouse to Cascades Trail access is immediately on your right hand side.  The Weeks Falls parking area is next to the ranger station a little farther up the road.  Parking in either area requires a Discover Pass.

Mailbox Peak

Incredible View of Mt Rainier from Mailbox Peak
Incredible View of Mt Rainier from Mailbox Peak

Access: I-90 Exit 34

Old Trail: rt 5 mi, 4000 ft elev gain. Extremely steep terrain, primitive trail.  

New Trail: rt 10 mi, 4000 ft elev gain.  FOREST, GREAT VIEWS ABOVE TREE LINE, RAINIER VIEWS, BOULDER FIELD, WILDFLOWERS

Take exit 34 from I-90. Head north on 468th Ave SE until the intersection with the SE Middle Fork Road. Turn right onto the Middle Fork Road, go 2.5 miles.  Take the turnoff to the Mailbox Peak trailhead on the right.  Parking requires a Discover Pass.

Twin Falls

Access: I-90 Exit 34

Twin Falls is the tallest waterfall along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River.  If you enjoyed Snoqualmie Falls, here’s another waterfall to visit. 2.5 mile round trip hike along South Fork Snoqualmie River with Twin Falls viewpoints afar, below, next to, and above.  Amazing hike for a small amount of effort.

to “the benches” Falls distant overlook: rt 1.5 mi, 250 ft elev gain.  FOREST, RIVER, POOLS, FALLS VIEW

to lower and upper Falls close overlooks: rt 3 mi, 800 ft elev gain.  FOREST, RIVER, AMAZING WATERFALLS

to Palouse to Cascades Trail: rt 4.5 mi, 1200 ft elev gain. Mainly for the exercise – not much of interest after Upper Falls.  DISTANT LOOK AT FALLS ABOVE UPPER FALLS.

Take exit 34 from I-90. Head south on 468th Ave SE to the entrance to the Olallie State Park entrance road which is right before the road crosses the river.  The Twin Falls Trailhead is at the end of the road.  Parking requires a Discover Pass.

Mt Si

Access: I-90 Exit 32

If you like a little more hiking challenge and want to try the most popular hike in Washington State, it’s Mount Si.  The trailhead is only 7 miles from Snoqualmie Falls.  

For those looking for a lesser challenge, there’s Little Si or Teneriffe Falls next door.

to Mt Si summit: rt 8 mi, 3277 ft elev gain.  FOREST, PEAK, WILDLIFE, RAINIER AND SNOQUALMIE VALLEY VIEW

to Teneriffe Falls: rt 6 mi, 1250 ft elev gain.  IN/OUT OF FOREST, STREAM, WATERFALL

to Little Si summit: rt 3.7 mi, 1240 ft elev gain.   FOREST, ROCK CLIMBING ROUTES, PEAK

Take Exit 32 from I-90. Turn north onto 436th Ave SE. Follow 436th to its end at SE North Bend Way. Turn left. In three-tenths of a mile, turn right onto SE Mt. Si Road.  After 0.4 miles on the left is the Little Si parking lot and trailhead.  Continue 2 miles more to the Mt Si trailhead on the left.  Continue 0.5 miles farther to the 70 car parking Teneriffe Falls Trailhead.  Parking requires a Discover Pass.

Rattlesnake Lake

Access: I-90 Exit 32

to Cedar River Watershed Education Center: rt 1.4 mi, 40 ft elev gain.  LAKE, PICNIC, EDUCATION CENTER

to Rattlesnake Ledge: rt 3.8 mi, 1500 ft elev gain.  FOREST, CLIFF AND LEDGE, STUNNING VIEW OF LAKE AND CASCADES

to Rattlesnake Mountain: rt 8 mi, 2500 ft elev gain.   FOREST, CASCADE AND VALLEY VIEWS, PEAK

Take I-90 to Exit 32. Go south on 436th Ave. SE, turning into Cedar Falls Rd. SE.  Follow this main road 3.1 miles to the parking area for Rattlesnake Lake. The Rattlesnake Ledge and Mountain trailhead is well marked on the northwest side of the lake as you enter the parking area.  Parking is free but popular so get there early.

Riverfront Park from Moon River Suites

Access: I-90 Exit 31

to Snoqualmie Valley Trail: rt 1.6 mi, almost no elev gain.  RIVER, FOREST, SWIMMING/FISHING, RAILROAD BRIDGE

to Tollgate Farm: rt 2 mi to SVT entrance to Tollgate, almost no elev gain.  Add 1-2 mi to explore Tollgate.  RIVER, FARM, MEADOWS, WETLANDS, MT SI VIEWS, WILDLIFE (COWS, ELK)

to Meadowbrook Farm: rt 3.3 mi, almost no elev gain.  RIVER, FARM, MEADOWS, WETLANDS, GOLF COURSE, ELK HERD, SI VIEWS

Take I-90 to Exit 31. Go south on Bendigo Blvd towards downtown North Bend.  Turn right atthe first stoplight after crossing the river (Park St).  Go one block and turn right on to Main St at the Huxdotter Coffee.  Park along Main St or if you’re staying at Moon River Suites, you don’t have to drive at all.  Start by walking into Gardiner Weeks Memorial Park on your right.    Parking is free along Main St. 

Tollgate Farm

Access: I-90 Exit 31

Tollgate Farm: 0.5 mi loop, 0.8 mi loop trails and 0.5 mi connector to Snoqualmie Valley Trail, almost no elev gain.  RIVER, FARMHOUSE, MEADOWS, WETLANDS, MT SI VIEWS, WILDLIFE (COWS, ELK)

Find Tollgate Farm in North Bend in between Meadowbrook Farm and the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River.  It’s primarily located in between North Bend Way and SR 202, however there’s also a trail under 202 that connects to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.  Parking is just off of North Bend Way. 

Snoqualmie Valley Trail

Snoqualmie Valley Trail - Tollgate Farm Park Junction
Snoqualmie Valley Trail - Tollgate Farm Park Junction

The Snoqualmie Valley Trail is a biking, hiking, and horseback riding trail which runs all the way from Rattlesnake Lake through downtown North Bend all the way down the Snoqualmie Valley to Duvall.

Access: Multiple including downtown North Bend, Rattlesnake Lake, Snoqualmie, Fall City, Carnation, Duvall and several points in between.  CONNECT TO PALOUSE TO CASCADES TRAIL

Preston Snoqualmie Trail

Preston Snoqualmie Trail
Preston Snoqualmie Trail

The Preston Snoqualmie Trail is a biking and hiking trail which runs along a historical railway bed which ran from Issaquah to North Bend.  It’s not particularly crowded since it doesn’t connect to many other trails.  This railway bed is actually an extension of the one used by the trains which run out of the Northwest Railway Museum (now converted to a trail).  

The trail runs 5.3 miles from Preston to the Snoqualmie Falls viewpoint at the East end (dead end).  You can see the Falls from there in seasons when there are no leaves on the trees.  It’s downhill from Preston to the Falls.

West Access: Preston Park in the town of Preston off I-90 Exit 21.

East Access (Lake Alice Trailhead): A few parking spaces and a restroom where Lake Alice Rd crosses the Preston Snoqualmie Trail.