19 Top Rated and Easy Hikes Near Seattle (From a Local)

Whether you’re looking for a short hike to break up the week’s monotony, you’re new to hiking, or you have some kiddos who can’t do long hikes, there are plenty of easy hikes near Seattle to wet your nature whistle!

Below, we’ll dive into 19 easy hikes near Seattle (well, sort of near Seattle) that you’ll absolutely love. So lace up the shoes, fill the backpack, and go hiking in the PNW!

A Guide to the Easy Hikes Near Seattle That You’ll Love

Let’s tackle a few basics before we jump to the good stuff!

Things to know before hiking near Seattle

Bring the appropriate gear for the easy hikes near Seattle

Follow these five hiking tips for easy hikes near Seattle

Just because you’re doing one of the easy hikes near Seattle, you should still be prepared!

  • Bring more water than you think you need
  • Tell a friend or loved one where you are going
  • Have a rain jacket in the car if the weather changes as you drive.
  • Bring snacks/lunch on every hike

Keep an eye on the weather

Seattle weather can be fickle. Even though you’re doing some easy hikes near Seattle, which keep you off summits, you can’t hide from the rain. Before heading out, double-check the weather and ensure you have the gear you need to stay safe!

Weekends are crowded, especially for easy hikes near Seattle

If you aren’t from here, Seattle is crowded. And most of them are here for the outdoors. This means all hikes and outdoor locations get pretty full by about 10 am. My advice, do these beginner-friendly hikes on the weekdays. If not, show up early to beat the crowds or sleep in and start your hike around 2-3 pm if you go on the weekends.

The Top Rated Easy Hikes Near Seattle

1. Gold Creek Pond

Experience tranquility and stunning mountain views at Gold Creek Pond. This family-friendly hike, located just off the I-90, offers an accessible 1.5-mile loop trail suitable for all ages and skill levels. Wander through lush greenery and wildflowers during spring and summer, or be mesmerized by vibrant fall foliage. The picturesque pond, nestled amidst the Cascades, mirrors the breathtaking scenery. A perfect spot for picnicking and photography!

One tip: This is very crowded on the weekends, so plan to come early in the morning or later once the main rush has died down.

2. Rattlesnake Lake Shoreline Trail

Enjoy a stroll along Rattlesnake Lake’s Shoreline Trail, an ideal destination for nature lovers and hikers seeking an easy, scenic escape. A short drive from Seattle, this 2.2-mile loop showcases the lake’s shimmering waters, bordered by evergreen forests. Absorb the serenity of the surrounding wilderness and keep an eye out for local wildlife. Don’t forget your camera to capture the panoramic beauty that awaits you!

One tip: Very peaceful and might be the easiest of the easy hikes near Seattle!

3. Franklin Falls

Franklin Falls is one of the best waterfalls near Seattle.

For a charming and refreshing experience, embark on the Franklin Falls hike. This easily accessible trail is perfect for beginners and families, offering a gentle 2-mile roundtrip trek. The trail leads you through lush forests, following the South Fork Snoqualmie River until it reveals the stunning 70-foot cascade of Franklin Falls. Listen to the soothing sound of rushing water as you savor the beauty of this magical spot.

One tip: Amazing for summer hikes, but much longer in winter when they close the road. Then it turned into an 8-mile trip. Definitely not one of the easy hikes near Seattle, haha!

My favorite hikes in Washington

4. Coal Creek Falls Loop

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with the Coal Creek Falls Loop hike. Located in Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, this 3.5-mile trail provides a delightful journey through nature’s wonders. As you stroll along, relish the diverse flora and fauna, and let the refreshing air rejuvenate your senses. The hike’s highlight is the 20-foot Coal Creek Falls, a serene spot to unwind and connect with nature.

One tip: This loop is gorgeous in the fall, but the waterfall might not be there. For the best water flow, go in the spring.

5. Discovery Park to Lighthouse

Discover the beauty of the Pacific Northwest at Discovery Park’s iconic Lighthouse. This 2.8-mile trail, perfect for all skill levels, treats you to awe-inspiring views of the Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and lush meadows. Stroll through charming forest paths before reaching the historic West Point Lighthouse, where you can bask in the coastal breeze and observe passing ships.

One tip: One of the easy hikes near Seattle that don’t require much driving. This is awesome for a midweek stroll.

6. Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River

Immerse yourself in the wonders of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River trail. With a relaxed 2.5-mile roundtrip hike, this lush forested pathway suits everyone. Follow the gentle river as it winds through the valley, offering picturesque spots to pause and appreciate the scenery. Watch for birdlife and be ready to capture the beauty of this easy yet rewarding adventure.

One tip: This trail goes for 10 miles but sadly doesn’t hug the river. It’s nice but not what we expected.

7. Twin Falls Trail

Embark on the Twin Falls Trail, a crowd-pleaser among easy hikes near Seattle. The 3-mile roundtrip trail treats hikers to breathtaking views of the majestic Twin Falls. The path meanders through lush woods, offering glimpses of wildlife and vibrant flora. Prepare to be enchanted by the gushing falls, a perfect backdrop for a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle.

One tip: Make sure to go all the way up for the best views, and don’t forget your state parks pass.

8. Lake Wenatchee State Park – North Shore

Lake Wenatchee State Park’s North Shore trail is a hidden gem. This 2.5-mile easy hike provides access to the pristine shores of Lake Wenatchee. Wander through fragrant pine forests and take in the picturesque mountain vistas. During warmer months, dip your toes in the refreshing lake waters, and embrace the tranquility of this nature lover’s paradise.

One tip: Both sides are stunning. I think the north side has a more established trail during the summer months. But the view from the south across the lake is magical.

9. Icicle Gorge Trail

Experience the enchanting beauty of Icicle Gorge Trail, nestled in the heart of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Measuring just under 4 miles roundtrip, this trail takes you along Icicle Creek through a dense forest of cedars and firs. Enjoy the soothing sounds of the creek and marvel at the towering rock formations that flank the trail. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the striking views!

One tip: This is an excellent alternative to the Enchantments and still provides awesome views!

10. Seward Park – Lost Lake Trail (or entire loop)

Seward Park’s Lost Lake Trail offers a delightful escape from the city’s buzz. This easy 2.5-mile loop showcases the park’s lush beauty, hugging the shoreline of Lake Washington. Listen to the symphony of birdsong as you navigate through old-growth forests and embrace the serene atmosphere. The optional entire loop lets you explore more of the park’s delights, ensuring a memorable outing for all.

One tip: You’ll have stunning Rainier views to your south.

Explore Seward Park as it is one of the  easy hikes near Seattle.

11. Bench Lake

Nestled in the breathtaking Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the Bench Lake trail is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts seeking an easy yet rewarding hike. The 2.5-mile roundtrip trail leads you through alpine meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers during summer. Admire the awe-inspiring views of Mount Rainier’s reflection in Bench Lake’s crystal-clear waters. This family-friendly trail promises an unforgettable experience for all ages.

One tip: This one is great for the entire family and should have Rainier views if not cloudy.

Bench Lake Mount Rainier National Park Washington

12. Tipsoo Lake Loop

Tipsoo Lake Loop is a picturesque gem near Mount Rainier, offering visitors an accessible and visually stunning hike. This 1.5-mile loop is perfect for families and casual hikers. Wander through vibrant alpine meadows, where the wildflowers bloom in vibrant hues. Capture postcard-worthy shots of Mount Rainier reflected in the pristine waters of Tipsoo Lake, leaving you with cherished memories.

One tip: Best photographed at sunrise.

Tipsoo Lake is one of my favorite  easy hikes near seattle.

13. Lighthouse Point and Lottie Point Loop

Head to the scenic Whidbey Island for an invigorating hike at Lighthouse Point and Lottie Point Loop. This 2.5-mile trail showcases panoramic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Meander through fragrant forests and along the bluff, where you might spot whales or other marine wildlife. Don’t miss the historic Admiralty Head Lighthouse, adding a touch of maritime history to your adventure.

One tip: A really nice hike along the water on a roller coaster-like trail.

14. Boulder River Trail

Explore the Boulder River Trail, an easy 3.6-mile hike near Seattle, for a serene escape to the wild. This family-friendly trail winds through lush forests, tracing the Boulder River’s path. The rushing river accompanies you as you venture deeper into the wilderness. Witness the grandeur of the 60-foot Boulder Falls, a magnificent reward at the end of your journey.

One tip: One of the less visited waterfalls trails in Seattle. You’ll love it, and it’s suitable for the entire family.

The boulder river trail is one of the easy hikes near seattle.

15. Baker Lake Trail

Baker Lake Trail is a delightful 3.8-mile out-and-back hike along scenic Baker Lake. Enjoy the soothing ambiance of the surrounding forest as you follow the shoreline, catching glimpses of the emerald waters. This hike is perfect for birdwatchers and photographers, with opportunities to spot various avian species and capture the stunning views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan.

One tip: The hike is flat and offers camping spots for those looking for an easy backpacking trip!

Explore Baker lake on the Baker Lake trail.

The best fall hikes in Washington

16. Marymere Falls

Located in Olympic National Park, Marymere Falls is an easily accessible 1.8-mile hike that rewards visitors with a spectacular waterfall. The trail winds through lush rainforests, crossing charming bridges and revealing glimpses of Lake Crescent. Reach the breathtaking 90-foot Marymere Falls, surrounded by moss-covered rocks, and take in the refreshing mist as you marvel at the power of nature.

One tip: A great waterfall hike that will dazzle you! This is also the trailhead for Mt Storm King.

17. Deception Falls

Deception Falls is a family-friendly hike with a short 0.3-mile loop trail near Stevens Pass. This accessible walk allows you to experience the beauty of Deception Creek and its stunning waterfalls. The course is well-maintained, with interpretive signs providing insights into the local ecology—a perfect spot for a quick nature escape or a picnic amidst the tranquil surroundings.

One tip: The turn-off isn’t marked well, so keep your maps open on your phone.

18. Barclay Lake Trail

Nestled in the stunning Skykomish River Valley, Barclay Lake Trail offers a peaceful 4.4-mile roundtrip hike suitable for hikers of all levels. Surrounded by old-growth forests, this picturesque trail follows Barclay Creek, leading you to the crystal-clear waters of Barclay Lake. The serene ambiance and breathtaking views make this hike an ideal destination for a day of outdoor relaxation.

One tip: A ridiculously stunning view and lake. Sadly a 2022 fire tore through here, and you’ll want to double-check if it’s open.

hiking to barclay lake photography washington

19. Washington Park Arboretum

Explore the lush beauty of Washington Park Arboretum, a nature lover’s paradise within Seattle city limits. Choose from various easy, paved trails winding through the expansive botanical gardens. Admire a diverse collection of plants, including rare species and colorful blooms. This peaceful urban oasis provides an enjoyable escape, inviting visitors to unwind and reconnect with nature.

One tip: One of my favorite places to take a walk through, especially during fall colors and spring blooms.

Walking around the Washington arboretum is one of the easy hikes near Seattle.

Note: Please be aware that trail conditions and accessibility may change over time, so it’s always best to check with local authorities or hiking websites for the most up-to-date information before heading out on any of these hikes.

FAQ: Easy Hikes Near Seattle

What are some hikes around Seattle I can do alone?

I would say you can do any of these hikes alone. Just tell people where you are going, bring the appropriate gear, and always be aware of what is happening around you. Statistically speaking, being in nature is the safest place to be!

What are the most challenging hikes, elevation gain, and steepness within a 1.5-hour drive from Seattle?

There are a lot of challenging hikes near Seattle that fit this style. Here are a few that are easy to reach and are going to work up a sweat quickly:

  • Snoqualmie Mountain
  • Mount Si
  • Pilchuck Mountain Lookout
  • Mailbox Peak

How far should a beginner go hiking?

From my viewpoint, a 5-6 mile hike should be the limit for easy hikes near Seattle. You don’t want to push yourself too hard at the beginning.

Easy Hikes Near Seattle – Wrapping Up

Living near Seattle, we’re lucky to have many unique places close to home. I hope you’re able to tackle these easy hikes near Seattle, and they help you connect with nature on a deeper level.

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

You can follow along the journey on TikTokFacebook, and Instagram.

Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on ExploreWithAlec.com. Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside