8 Amazing Spring Hikes Near Seattle

A guide to getting outside this weekend

By: Scott Kranz

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Skip the long lines for coffee or brunch this weekend and head out on a hike for some challenging uphill climbs, stunning lake views, cascading waterfalls, and an escape from the city. Because there are so many options immediately surrounding the city, just choosing your hike is a challenge. We've narrowed it down for you with our eight favorite spring hikes near Seattle - which one will you hit up this weekend?

1. Mailbox Peak

Photo: Scott Kranz

If you make the 4,200 foot ascent to the Mailbox, you can put your name down in history by signing the registry and more importantly catch UNREAL 360-degree views of numerous surrounding peaks, including Mt. Rainier, and the valley below. Learn More.

2. Wallace Falls

Photo: Gemina Garland-Lewis

The options to hike Upper, Middle, and Lower Wallace Falls make this a great destination for hikers of all skill levels. Make the hike through old-growth forest along the Wallace River to reach any of these beautiful falls. Learn More.

3. Rattlesnake Ledge

Photo: Scott Kranz

This gradual, 1.9 mile ascent through lush fir trees, ferns, and mossy boulders leads to one of the best lookout points in the Seattle area. You'll have a great view of Rattlesnake Lake, the Cascades, Mt. Si, and Snoqualmie Pass. To beat the crowds on this popular hike, try reaching the ledge for sunrise for an unforgettable way to start the day. Learn More.

4. Franklin Falls

Photo: Michael Matti

This is a great option for the whole family at only 2 miles round trip. The wide and well maintained trails lead along a creek to the beautiful falls where you can wade and chill before the return trip. Learn More.

5. Lake Serene & Bridal Veil Falls

Photo: Sarah Brogden-Thome

This hike is a smorgasbord of scenery - mountain views, wildflower meadows, forest, and a short detour to a massive waterfall. Nestled between two mountain peaks, Lake Serene is just as its name indicates. Learn More.

6. Lake 22

Photo: Gemina Garland-Lewis

This 5.4 mile roundtrip hike takes you into a forest of hemlock and cedar leading up to this picturesque alpine lake at 2400 feet. Upon reaching the lake, you’ll first notice the massive rock wall along the south side of the lake, a stunning sight. Take the trail completely around the lake, and then return to the trailhead the same way you came. Learn More.

7. Mount Pilchuck Lookout

Photo: Scott Kranz

Mount Pilchuck is considered by many as providing the “most bang for your buck” -- for the moderate mileage and elevation gain you’ll cover on the trail to the lookout, the views of the central Cascade range and Puget Sound cannot be beat. Hit the trail early to beat the crowds to this spot and enjoy the retired fire lookout to yourself. Learn More.

8. Summit Lake

Photo: Nick Lake

Catch 360 degree views of the Cascade Mountains, Seattle, and four volcanoes on this 5 mile hike to a picturesque mountain lake. From the lookout point above the lake, Mount Rainier dominates the sky to your southeast. Listen closely for the sounds of the Carbon Glacier shifting and calving! Learn More.

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