If you’re also hoping to hike during your visit to Seattle, but won’t have a car, here are 4 different things you can do to get out on the trails.
How to Hike in Seattle without a Car
1. Explore the easier trails accessible by public transport
2. Use the Trailhead Direct Shuttle
- Mount Si (multiple trailheads, pickup in Seattle)
- Issaquah Alps (multiple trailheads, pickup in Seattle)
- Mailbox Peak (no pickup in Seattle, but pickup point accessible by bus)
- Cougar Mountain (no pickup in Seattle, but pickup point accessible by bus)
Note that not every route has pickup in Seattle; for Mailbox Peak and Cougar Mountain, you’ll need to go outside of the city to catch the Trailhead Direct Shuttle. You can reach these pickup points by public transit, but it will add another 30-40mins to your trip.
3. Find a local hiking buddy (with a car) using Facebook groups
My hiking buddy was awesome, and we talked about all kinds of things easily, even though we’re totally different people at very different stages of life. I’m super glad I got to meet him and make a new friend, and am glad I took the chance of hiking with a stranger. We also saw the loveliest views on our Blanca Lake Hike, which is where all the photos are from! Thanks to Jeff for photos 1, 6 , and 8 🙂
4. Book an Airbnb Experience
Hiking Gear I Recommend
Seattle Hiking Tips
- Check to see if your hike requires a parking pass or entry fee. Most hikes charge by number of cars parked, so if you go by bus, you shouldn’t need one. If you drive with a local though, make sure they have the pass. You can see which pass you need, along with lots of other helpful info, on the Washington Trails Association website. Here’s the page from my Blanca Lake hike, for example, which describes the hike and offers a place for people to leave reviews/advice.
- Bring toilet paper. Some trailheads have bathrooms, but they often don’t.
- Take a bag for trash, as there aren’t usually trash cans along the way.
- If you bring a hydration pack, fill it with hot water. I didn’t bring my hydration vest because I thought the water would freeze up in the tube, but my hiking friend shared this hot water hack with me. It keeps you warm, and it prevents the water from freezing!