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Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
8.00 mi (12.87 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Mount Si is one of best and most popular hikes near Seattle. The mountain, originally referred to by Native Americans as 'Kelbts,' borrows its current name from a mid-1800s farmer, Josiah 'Uncle Si' Merrit. Due to the close proximity to the city, the trail is often busy with hikers, climbers, and miscellaneous adventurers. Incredibly, this trail sees approximately 80,000-100,000 users per year.

The trailhead's elevation sits at approximately 700 feet, and from here you zigzag through a tall Douglas fir forest with sunlight filtering through the limbs on the well-maintained trail. Don't let the quality of trail fool you, though; it gains over 900 feet of elevation in the first mile. This is a great test for those starting out on Mount Si!

After approximately 2 miles there is a short reprieve at Snag Flats, which is a brief, flat section of trail with a boardwalk and signage that describes the history of the mountain, the trail, and the surrounding area. Be sure to rest your legs here if you need to, as the trail is relentless from here.

Continue about 1,800 feet up the trail from Snag Flats to Haystack Basin, and by now you have reached an elevation of 3,900 feet. This is the end of the trail for most hikers, and it offers outstanding views of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley, the Puget Sound Basin, and the Olympics. There are plenty of areas to rest and eat the lunch you've packed with you, and you'll get great views of the 4,167-foot summit known as The Haystack that hovers about 300 feet above you.

Most will view the summit and return to the trailhead. For the adventurous few who wish to continue to the summit, use caution.  Falls on the Class III scramble to the summit are often exposed and can result in serious injury or death. The rock here has been climbed often enough that most of the loose rock has been dismantled. 

The there-and-back trip to Haystack Basin on the Mount Si Trail is 8 miles (8.5 for those who summit the Haystack), and it takes about 4.5 to 6.5 hours on average.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass

Pros

Close to Seattle. Beautiful views. Accessible year-round.

Cons

Usually crowded. Summit is not for everyone.

Trailhead Elevation

700.00 ft (213.36 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,467.00 ft (1,056.74 m)

Features

Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, Washington
Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, Washington

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

I went hiking for the first time on 4/21/2017.
I was going alone but happen to meet someone who had done it before, So i gladly tagged along. It was a beautiful spring day, I was planning on picking the perfect day so I could enjoy the view at the top. the hike up was beautiful with occasional
08/07/2016
We easily beat our goal to reach the base of the Haystack under two hours. Then, there came the real beast. The Haystack. I kept going. My friend anxiously watched out for me.
Unfortunately I think I went the wrong/different route, possibly even steeper. Anyway, climbing up on all fours for a good 150 feet wasn’t that bad. I ended up riding on a ridge with very little sitting space and cliffs on both sides. Yes, I did snap a shaky selfie. No, I absolutely didn’t dare to stand up. And this was not the happy ending. Going back down scared the hack out of me. At one point I was stuck for more than 5 minutes and could not figure out any secure foot placement. One single misstep will be FATAL. I wanted to cry.
Please don’t take the risk if you are not ready for it. If you have to go, bring a helmet, grippy shoes, and a strong heart.
01/31/2015
Very crowded trail. Great elevation gain if you want to really get a workout or train for longer hikes with a full pack. Very worth scrambling to the top of the "Haystack", but is a class 3 scramble; sketchy for beginners.
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