Best Winter Hikes Near Seattle – The Right Way To Go About It

Home » Best Winter Hikes Near Seattle – The Right Way To Go About It

There are many reasons why hikes in Seattle are cool. First, the scenery is incredible. The city is surrounded by mountains, forests, and bodies of water, so there are always amazing views to take in while hiking. Second, there are plenty of trails to choose from, so you can find one that is the perfect difficulty for you. Third, hiking is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, and it’s a great way to explore Seattle and its surroundings.

Where Best Winter Hikes Near Seattle?
There are a few great places to hike near Seattle during the winter months. Discovery Park, Seward Park, and Carkeek Park are all great options.

Our Best 13 Winter Hikes Near Seattle

1. Seward Park Loop – South Seattle

  • Length: 2.5 miles for the loop (up to 15 with all the side trails)
  • Elevation Gain: None on the loop (up to a couple of hundred feet if you do all the side trails)
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on leash

Seward Park is one of the best winter hikes near Seattle to enjoy year-round. In winter, it’s less crowded and you can still get views of Lake Washington, Mt Rainier, and downtown Seattle. The loop lake trail is flat, wide, and paved. If you want to explore more or do a longer walk, you can explore the many trails inside the park, including lots of old-growth trees on the north end of the park. In winter, it’s easier to find parking than in the busy summer months. To make the hike enjoyable, we advise you to take a backpack with the necessary things. We have a ready list of necessary things for winter hiking in a separate article. We also recommend to prepare for such a hike by wearing warm clothes, taking trekking poles or good snowshoes, food for a snack and tea or other drink in a thermos.

2. Coal Creek Falls – Bellevue

  • Length: 2.5 miles round trip to the falls (options to make this hike as long as you like within the Cougar Mountain trail system)
  • Elevation Gain: 400 feet
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on leash

Coal Creek Falls is a spectacular waterfall that dries up in mid-summer, making it the perfect destination for a winter hike! You’ll feel a world away from the city even though you’re nearly in the middle of Bellevue. Bellevue has lots of wonderful hikes and this is one of my favorites. The rest of the hike is a lovely forest walk with opportunities for longer hikes with more loops.

3. Rattlesnake Ledge – North Bend

  • Length: 4 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 1200 feet
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash (be careful at the ledge!)

Rattlesnake Ledge is a great place to hike all year round, but especially in winter when the crowds are thinner. The views are amazing, especially at sunrise, and the trail is snow-free more often than not. Just be sure to check the trip reports before you go to see if there has been any recent snowfall.

hiker on a snow-covered mountain

4. Cedar Butte – North Bend

  • Length: 4 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 900 feet
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash

Cedar Butte is a great alternative to Rattlesnake Ledge if you’re looking for a less crowded hike. It starts on the Iron Horse trail and then goes up a forested hillside to a view of North Bend. The views from the top are definitely worth the effort and the quieter surroundings make for a more relaxing experience.

5. Iron Horse Trail – North Bend

  • Length: 5 miles one way
  • Elevation Gain: minimal
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash

The Iron Horse Trail is a beautiful, flat trail that is perfect for biking or hiking. You’ll wind through stunning forest scenery and past a few waterfalls, including a side trail to Twin Falls. This trail is the best hike near Seattle in winter for anyone looking for a relaxing, easy hike with beautiful scenery.

Snow-covered forest

6. Twin Falls – North Bend

  • Length: 3 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 500 feet
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash

There are few places in the world that offer such varied and beautiful hiking opportunities as Twin Falls. From easy, short hikes to longer, more challenging treks, there is something here for everyone. The scenery is simply stunning, and the air is clean and fresh. The hiking trails are well-maintained and offer a variety of different routes to explore. Whether you are looking for a leisurely walk in the woods or a more strenuous hike up a mountain, you will find it here in Twin Falls.

Twin Falls is one of the best hikes near Seattle during winter because of the sense of peace and tranquility that comes with being in nature. The world seems to slow down a bit when you are surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and the forests. It is the perfect way to unwind and de-stress from the busyness of everyday life. And, of course, exercise is great for your health!

7. Cherry Creek Falls – Duvall

  • Length: 5 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 500 feet
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash

Cherry Creek Falls is a great winter hike when the falls are really rushing! Watch out for a creek crossing near the waterfall (rubber boots and poles are super helpful here). This forest hike takes you to a gorgeous waterfall that is definitely worth the effort.

winter forest on the hill

8. Wallace Falls State Park – Cascade Foothills

  • Length: 5 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 1300 feet
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash

Wallace Falls State Park is one of the most popular hikes near Seattle in winter. The park is located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, about an hour’s drive from Seattle. The park features a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult. There are also a number of waterfalls located within the park, the most famous of which is Wallace Falls.

The park is open year-round and is a popular destination in both the summer and winter. In the summer, the trails are popular with hikers and mountain bikers, and in the winter, the trails are popular with cross-country skiers and snowshoers.

No matter what time of year you visit, Wallace Falls State Park is sure to provide a memorable hiking experience.

9. Grand Forest – Bainbridge Island

  • Length: Up to 6.5 miles in several loops
  • Elevation Gain: Up to 350 feet
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash

Grand Forest in Seattle is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the city. The forest is home to a variety of trails, ranging from easy to difficult, that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The forest is also a great place to take your dog for a hike, as there are several trails that are designated for dogs. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, Grand Forest is the perfect place to explore the great outdoors.

10. Little Mashel Falls – Eatonville

  • Length: 4-5 miles depending on your starting point and how many waterfalls you go to
  • Elevation Gain: Up to 700 feet
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash

Little Mashel Falls is one of the most beautiful hiking places in the world. It is located in the Olympic National Park in Washington state, USA. The Little Mashel Falls is a two-tiered waterfall with a height of about 30 feet. The trail to the waterfall is an easy winter hike near Seattle and takes about 30 minutes to complete. The best time to visit Little Mashel Falls is during the summer months when the water flow is at its peak.

bubbling river

11. Oyster Dome – Bellingham

  • Length: 5 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 1000 feet
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash

Oyster Dome is located in the Olympic National Forest in the northwest corner of Washington state. It is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Seattle area. The Oyster Dome trailhead is located just outside of the city of Seattle.

The Oyster Dome hike is a challenging one, but the views from the top are well worth the effort. The trail climbs steeply for about a mile before leveling off somewhat. The last half-mile or so is a bit more level, but there are still a few uphill sections.

The trail is well-marked and there are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way. The views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains are simply breathtaking. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Rainier in the distance.

Once you reach the top of Oyster Dome, you can explore the old-growth forest that surrounds it. This is a great place to see some of the giant Douglas fir trees that are so characteristic of the Pacific Northwest.

After you’ve had your fill of the views, the hike back down is much easier on your legs. And, if you’re lucky, you might even spot a few oysters along the way!

12. Vashon Island

  • Length: Up to 9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: minimal
  • Passes Needed: None
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash

Vashon Island is one of the most beautiful and secluded winter hike places in the Seattle area. The island is only accessible by ferry, which makes it feel like a true getaway. Once you’re on the island, there are plenty of trails to explore, including beach walks, forest walks, and mountain hikes. The views from the island are stunning, and you can often see Mount Rainier, the Olympic Mountains, and the Cascade Range. Vashon Island is a great place to hike if you’re looking for a peaceful and scenic experience.

A hiker in an orange jacket in a snowy forest

13. Deception Pass State Park

  • Length: 30 miles of trails in the park!
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal to a couple of hundred feet, depending on the trail
  • Passes Needed: Washington State Discover Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: yes, on leash

Deception Pass State Park is a 4,134-acre marine and camping park with over 77,000 feet of shoreline and 33,000 acres of forest. The park is located on two islands, Fidalgo and Whidbey, in Puget Sound. Deception Pass is one of the most popular state parks in Washington and receives over two million visitors each year.

The park offers a variety of activities for visitors, including camping, hiking, swimming, kayaking, fishing, and picnicking. There are also several historical sites within the park, including the Deception Pass Bridge, Fort Casey, and the Canoe Pass Tree.

Deception Pass State Park is the best winter day hike near Seattle. There are over 38 miles of hiking trails within the park, ranging from easy hikes near Seattle during winter to difficult. Some of the most popular trails include the Lighthouse Trail, which offers stunning views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, and the Cascade Trail, which takes hikers through a variety of ecosystems, including old-growth forests and meadows.

Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature, Deception Pass State Park is a great choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you hike in winter in Seattle?

Yes, winter hiking is possible in Seattle. However, hikers should be aware of potential hazards, such as slippery conditions and avalanches.

Is it worth going to Seattle in the winter?

It is worth going to Seattle in the winter if you are prepared for the weather. Seattle can be rainy and cold in the winter, but it can also be sunny and mild. The key is to dress in layers and be prepared for the wet weather. Seattle is a great city to visit year-round.

What are the snowiest months in Seattle?

The snowiest months in Seattle are generally December through February. However, Seattle can see snow as early as October and as late as May.

Products that might be helpful

Does Seattle have harsh winters?

No, Seattle does not have harsh winters. The city experiences mild winters with average temperatures in the low to mid-40s. Snow is rare in Seattle, but when it does snow, it usually melts quickly.

What is the best month to go to Seattle?

The best month to go to Seattle is September.

Conclusion

One of the great things about Seattle is that there are so many options for winter hikes, no matter what your level of experience or fitness might be. Whether you’re looking for a short and easy jaunt or a more challenging trek, you’re sure to find a hike that’s perfect for you. And what’s more, you’ll get to enjoy some of the most stunning scenery in the Pacific Northwest while you’re at it. So get out there and explore all that Seattle has to offer this winter!

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