Mt Si Trail
Mt Si Trailhead to Snag Flat
Switchbacks and climbing begin almost as soon as you leave the Mt Si hike trailhead. For the first mile and a half, the trail is gentle and rising, accommodating to the novice. At elevation 1300 feet, the lower end of the 1.5 mile Talus loop trail begins. Shortly thereafter, it flattens out as it winds through Snag Flat (elevation 2120 feet). This is where the upper end of the Talus Loop trail begins. The trail itself used to be a 4×4 track for miners and loggers as a reminder of the mountain’s history.
Mount Si was only established as a conservation area rather recently (in 1977) and so it worth noting that it was previously a mining and logging base. The trees are enormous, luckily spared through the years of logging and through fires. Once arriving Snag Flat, the trail starts to steepen through a young forest. At the three and a half mile mark of the Mt Si hike, there is a breathtaking view of the south in the midst of the canopy.
Snag Flat to the Summit
The trail starts climbing more and after a quarter of a mile, it gets aggressively steeper before reaching a talus slope that bisects the forest, providing expansive views to the southeast. If the weather is clear, Mount Rainier dominates the view. This particular spot is a popular spot for lunch and turnaround for those not inclined to go all the way up.
However, for a glorious view, just hike a little further. On the right, there are stair steps. For the vertically inclined, a rough scramble leads to the top of the Haystack from the other branch of the formal trail. Once reaching the very end, you get a great reward as there’s an overlook of the Snoqualmie Valley, Seattle, and the Olympics. You can also gaze up at the Haystack, Mount Si’s true summit, as well as the lower western summit. You might even see a mountain goat (mostly in the summer).
From Seattle, drive I-90 to North Bend Exit 32. Turn left 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. Follow it 2.4 miles. The entrance to the trailhead will be on the left. A Discover Pass is required at trailhead. Don’t assume no one will check – the lot is patrolled regularly. In summer and on weekends, arrive before 10am or the lot may be full.
On weekends and holidays between mid April and the end of October, Trailhead Direct provides a shuttle service every half hour from North Bend Park and Ride to the Little Si, Mount Si, and Teneriffe Falls trailheads. Service runs every half hour from North Bend between 820 and 1118 and then every hour until 217. Returns to North Bend arrive every hour from 1147am until 147, then every half hour until 650.