North Bend, Washington boasts some of the best hikes in the Pacific Northwest. On the outskirts of the Cascade Mountains, this area is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to find the best hikes. In fact, some of the most popular hikes in Washington State can be found in North Bend. If you’ve hiked off of I-90, chances are you’ve gone on hikes near North Bend and you didn’t even know it!
In this guide, I will share some of the top hikes in the area, what permits you will need for each, and what to wear for hiking in North Bend. Follow along to find some new hikes to add to your bucket list!
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Complete Guide to Top Hikes Near North Bend
Where is North Bend, WA?
I am excited to share some of my favorite trails in Washington State.
Here is what you’ll learn about in this post:
- Where is North Bend, WA
- What to Wear Hiking in North Bend
- Passes/Permits for Hikes
- Brief Description of Hikes Near North Bend
Let’s get into it!
North Bend, WA is conveniently located just east of the Seattle Area and west of Snoqualmie Pass.
The city of North Bend has been steadily growing for years but it has always been a great place for hiking, biking, and climbing.
Now let’s talk about what to wear when you’re on hikes near North Bend!
What to Wear Hiking in North Bend, WA?
If you’re new to hiking in the North Bend area, here is some insight as to what you should wear for the region’s ever-changing weather and trail conditions.
This is a basic guide for what to wear on hikes near North Bend!
Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin. Synthetic material and merino wool are great options for this. Cotton is something you should shy away from especially on longer hikes.
With the sometimes fast-changing Pacific Northwest weather, packing a variety of layers is essential. The layers I pack include a lightweight puffy jacket, mid-layer, and rain jacket.
Comfortable hiking boots or shoes will be your saving grace on the trail. Whether you’re hiking on a rugged trail and require boots like Oboz Bridgers or going for a leisurely run and prefer Lone Peak Altra’s, make sure you pair your footwear with wool socks. Wool socks will minimize the potential of getting a blister.
Gloves and Hat
On some of the higher-elevation hikes on this list, the wind can be extremely cold even in the summer. I would recommend packing a pair of gloves and a hat regardless of the season.
Pack all of your layers in a comfortable and adjustable backpack. Make sure it has enough capacity to carry the ten essentials and any other items that are necessary for your trek! I have been using the Osprey Tempest 20 and love it for day trips.
If you want my complete guide for hiking clothes, you can check out my list here.
As always, check the forecast before your hike and adjust your clothing and plans accordingly. Being prepared with the right gear will keep you safe.
Let’s talk permits!
Passes/Permits for North Bend Hikes
Several hikes in North Bend require passes to access the trails. Having the right pass not only allows you to park in the parking lot of the trails legally but also helps maintain the trails and support the parks. The hikes near North Bend are in State Parks, National Forests, and Public Land.
Here is a breakdown of the various passes and permits you need.
If you’re hiking one of the busy trails in a state park, you will need a Discover Pass. A Discover Pass provides access to park your vehicle in all state parks within Washington state and other recreation sites.
Discover Passes have an annual fee of $32.
If you would like to purchase one now, you can buy one here!
Northwest Forest Pass
Some of the popular trails in the North Bend area are located within the limits of the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, which requires a Northwest Forest Pass. Northwest Forest Passes work in all National Forests within Washington and Oregon.
They have an annual fee of $30.
If you would like to purchase a Northwest Forest Pass, you can purchase one here!
America the Beautiful Pass
The America the Beautiful Pass is a great choice for hikers planning on exploring not only North Bend but also National Parks and federal lands across the United States. If you’re a frequent hiker or plan on visiting three or more National Parks within a year, this pass is for you!
America the Beautiful Passes have an annual fee of $80 and you can purchase one here!
With these passes in hand, you’re prepared to hit the trail! Remember that some of these trails are extremely popular so it is important to get to the trailhead early for a parking spot in the lot.
TIP: Watch for signs that indicate if parking on the side of the road is allowed or not. If the trailhead is off of a forest service road, there are usually signs designating parking for one particular side of the road instead of both.
Let’s look at some of the best and most popular trails in and around North Bend, WA!
Hikes Near North Bend, WA
North Bend is brimming with hikes! Here are some of my favorites in the area. As I complete more, they will be added to the list!
For my AllTrails list of Hikes near North Bend, click here.
Distance: 5.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft
Rattlesnake Ledge is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike, known for its easy accessibility and beautiful views, this tends to be a busy trail, especially during the weekends. But don’t let that deter you from enjoying this classic North Bend hike. Beginning near Rattlesnake Lake, the trail has a gentle grade the entire way.
The ending vista has gorgeous views of the Snoqualmie Valley and Rattlesnake Lake. This will be a hike near North Bend you’ll end up doing multiple times!
Distance: 7.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,400 ft
Mount Si is known for having amazing views on a clear day. While you’re surrounded by a beautiful forest for the majority of the hike, when you reach the summit there are sweeping views of the I90 corridor. Mt. Si is a favorite because of the large rock that sits at the pinnacle. It is not a requirement to climb, but many people do. Mount Si National Resource Conservation Area also happens to be one of the first established conservation Areas in the Seattle area!
For a more detailed guide on Mount Si, Click Here!
Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,150 ft
Little Si is an easier trail compared to its sibling Mount Si. The trek to the summit is a healthy mix of challenges and forested sections. This route is popular amongst climbers too as there are some social trails with climbing routes along the way. If you’re looking to hit the trail without it taking all day, this a great trail!
Distance: 7.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,100 ft
Mailbox Peak, located in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area is a busy trail well-known for its spectacular views and challenging terrain. This crowded trail brings hikers from all over hoping to see the infamous mailbox at the top of the peak. This 7.7-mile hike is using the new trail. The old trail has the same amount of elevation gain in a shorter distance, making it extremely strenuous. The round trip distance can vary amongst hikers who might choose to go up the old trail and down the new trail or any combination of the two.
I recommend only hiking this trail on a clear day! As this is a crowded trail, be prepared to get to the parking lot early for an early start.
Iron Horse Trail
Distance: 5.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 800 ft
The Iron Horse trail is a level trail making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. Since the trail is paved it is accessible year-round which makes it great for winter and early spring hiking. Along the route be prepared to come across bikers and climbers that also frequent this trail in Olallie State Park. If you’re looking for the trail in AllTrails, this is the Iron Horse Trail via Homestead Valley Trail.
This is one of the easier hikes near North Bend. You can also walk as far as you’d like and turn around at any point!
Distance: 5.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,620 ft
Teneriffe Falls is a beautiful trail in which the hike is just as wonderful as the destination. The end of the trail has a towering waterfall and depending on the time of year, is overflowing or barely dribbling. The best time to see the falls is early spring when there is heavy snow melt but be cautious of hiking conditions as some of the rocks can be slippery.
Distance: 9.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 900 ft
Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Otter Falls is often an overlooked trail in North Bend but should make it onto your hiking bucket list for Early Fall. Located in Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, this trail is tucked away making it the perfect trek for those looking for a more secluded trail.
While the round trip distance is a little longer, the elevation gain is spread out making it easy to hike along this beautiful trail.
Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 330 ft
Snoqualmie Falls is a Pacific Northwest gem known for its beautiful views year-round. While the trail can get busy at times, the views from both the upper falls and lower falls are worth it. Special events at the Salish Lodge located right above Snoqualmie Falls give visitors a unique perspective of the falls. This is one of the most well-know hikes near North Bend.
Be mindful that the hike back the the parking lot is steep!
Distance: 13.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,420 ft
If you’re looking for a challenge with amazing views, look no further than Mount Teneriffe. This strenuous trail has a breathtaking summit that will make the strain worth it. A popular trail for trail runners because of the steady incline, Mount Teneriffe brings hikers through an old-growth forest as you slowly make your way up to the captivating vista. Take some time to relax at the peak as you gaze upon the beautiful scenery in the Snoqualmie Valley.
Goldmyer Hot Springs
Distance: 11.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,010 ft
Permit: Reservations Required
For a truly unique experience, consider adding Goldmyer Hot Springs to your list. With a 20-person limit per day, this is one of the most beautiful places in North Bend. The hot springs are managed by the Northwest Wilderness Program and are located in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest.
This can be completed as a day hike or as an overnight. You will need to make an advanced reservation which is a lottery system.
For reservation details, you can click on this link!
Rattlesnake Mountain Trail
Distance: 11.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,010 ft
If you’re looking for a more strenuous hike along the Rattlesnake Ridge than Rattlesnake Ledge, then the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail is great. The 11.4-mile trail leads you to breathtaking vistas with great views of the North Bend area. This trail does connect to the Rattlesnake Ledge if you’d like to continue for a longer trek!
Middle Fork Trail
Distance: 7.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 820 ft
Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Trail is a popular hiking trail in Mount Baker Snoqualmie Valley. This is arguably one of the most beautiful places in Snoqualmie Valley. Hikers will cross the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River via the bridge and then hike along the river for the majority of the trail. I highly recommend hiking this trail in the fall for extra beautiful views.
Check the trail report on Washington Trails Association for trail conditions as it tends to get pretty muddy during shoulder season.
Distance: 8.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,700 ft
Mount Washington is a trail I highly recommend doing on a clear day to see panoramic views of Mount Rainier. As an 8.0-mile trail with nearly 4,000 feet of elevation gain, it is a challenging trail, but people of varying skill levels can complete this hike with determination!
This was one of the first trails I completed when I moved to Washington.
Twin Falls Trail
Distance: 2.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 620 ft
Twin Falls Trailhead is located in Olallie State Park, Olallie Lake is another great hike btw! While many people think this is going to be an easy hike, the elevation gain is not evenly spread out throughout the mileage. The first hill of this trail is rather steep. There are vantage points of the falls from the bottom of the falls, the middle of the falls, and the top.
The Lower Falls viewpoint is my favorite! If you’re looking for a short trail with beautiful views, this is it!
Snow Lake Trail
Distance: 6.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,700 ft
Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Just past North Bend in Snoqualmie Pass is the Snow Lake Hike. This is a busy trail with great views of Snow Lake. If you’re open to driving a little further east and okay with a crowded trail, this is a fantastic option. Beginning in a beautiful forest, you begin to quickly gain elevation towards a pass that overlooks Snow Lake.
You then have an option to hike down to the lake or turn around. On warm days I highly recommend going for a swim!
Pack It Up
North Bend, Washington is a great place for adventure, offering a range of different hikes. From expansive views from Rattlesnake Ledge to a relaxing experience in Goldmyer Hot Springs, this is truly an area for nature lovers.
As a year-round hiking destination, North Bend needs to be on your list of places to visit!
I created an AllTrails List of the best hikes near North Bend, you can check the list out here: Best Hikes Near North Bend
Which hike in North Bend is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
If you’re looking for another great hiking destination in Washington state, check out Columbia River Gorge!
Check out my guide on the Best Columbia River Gorge Washington Hikes!
I hope you enjoyed this guide of the top hikes near North Bend, Washington! Don’t forget to save for later and Happy Hiking!