Mount Washington is a great Seattle-area hike if you are trying to avoid the crowds. Being relatively close to North Bend, this less-traveled hike is the one to take. You can begin this hike by following the signs for the John Wayne Trail and the Twin Falls Trail. A small rock cairn 0.3 miles from the trailhead marks the beginning of the Mount Washington Trail.
The trail starts out with a fairly steep grade as it climbs to the southwest before easing up to a moderate grade as it proceeds over rocks and through some creeks. In less than a mile you will notice a large opening to a cave; this has been turned into a climbing wall with some bolted gear you may see sparkling in the sun.
The trail continues through the forest and up switchbacks, and it eventually opens up to a few small views that reveal how much elevation you've gained. The junction with the Great Wall Trail is roughly 2 miles from the trailhead. You'll soon leave the covered forest and enter a small clearing and marsh area; the trail takes a sharp turn eastwardly toward another unmarked trail junction. Stay to the right and follow the main path west as it hits some switchbacks and brings you to logged meadow filled with beautiful wildflowers in the summer.
You'll soon encounter markers announcing the boundary of the Cedar River Watershed, and just beyond here you'll start on the push for the summit. From the top you can look out into the valley and enjoy views toward North Bend and all of the peaks that line the valley. When looking south you can't help but notice Chester Morse Lake and Masonry Pool, a principle water source for Seattle and its surrounding areas.