Mount Si in Snoqualmie Pass is a 100 Classic Hike of Washington. Located in the Mount Si Recreation Area surrounded by other hikes, this hike is extremely popular. This hike also makes for fabulous exercise. Read my thoughts on the hike below!
Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Distance: 8.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 3150 feet
When to go: June-October (See trail conditions for more details)
Pass/Permit?: Discovery Pass
Dogs Allowed?: Yes – on leash
Bathroom?: At Trailhead
When to hike Mount Si:
This trail, in the heat of Washington summer, provides significant shade to cool hikers from the heat. That being said, the trail remains packed with snow late into spring. With the number of frequent hikers on this trail, the snow on the trail quickly becomes packed down in winter creating icy conditions. Hikers are encouraged to hike with traction devices during winter on this steep and sometimes narrow trail. The scramble at the end also becomes packed with ice as the snow constantly freezes and thaws on the rock.
Mount Si Trail Description:
Mount Si is a collection of 3.5 miles of long switchbacks and an optional scramble near the top of the hike. The rating of this trail is difficult but manageable as the grade of the hike is relatively consistent throughout the trail. This means that the 3150 feet of gain is evenly dispersed throughout the 8.0 miles rather than having long stretches of flat ground making the incline parts steeper.
Almost entirely covered in lush forest, this hike offers few views throughout the hike. However, about halfway through the hike you come across a small grove of trees, some of which are over 300 years old. The Bureau of Land Management created a small board walk with plaques that inform hikers of the history of this forest. This section also has a collection of benches for hikers to take a breather.
This trailhead of this hike can get extremely busy on a warm, sunny day. When I first completed this hike two years ago, the trailhead was almost full by 8am on a weekday. In my most recent hike in early January, by 9am the trailhead was half full on a weekend. There are plenty of parking spots and overflow parking at different trailheads that connect to Mount Si.
Another Classic Hike of Washington: Ebey’s Landing
Mount Si Trailhead is part of a collection of trails in the Mount Si Natural Resource Area. Hikers can connect to the Mount Teneriffe Trail, Teneriffe Falls, or Little Si. The area is also popular for climbers. There are a number of rock formations in Boulder Garden Loop Trail which can be found at the Little Si Trailhead between the Mount Si Trail and Little Si Trail.
Should Mount Si be a 100 Classic Hike of Washington?
No, Mount Si should not be a classic hike of Washington. Mount Si, while a busy hike, offers very little in terms of a unique view. Mailbox Peak and Granite Mountain, two trails in the Snoqualmie Pass area, offer a similar trail length and elevation gain while providing a unique view/experience. The hike on the way up to Mount Si is a collection of switchbacks that do not offer a view of the surrounding area on the way up.
Hiking in the Winter? Check Out this Winter Hiking Gear Guide: Winter Gear Guide
I believe a good hike alternative in the Snoqualmie Region is Rattlesnake Ridge. Rattlesnake Ridge is similarly busy but provides hikers with a view of the lake below.
What to do in the area?
While slightly out of the way from this hike, my favorite post-hike brew spot is Dru Bru on Snoqualmie Pass. The atmosphere is always warm and pleasant even in the depths of winter! I went there after my Snow Lake hike, also a 100 Classic Hike of Washington, and frequent the Brewery as much as reasonably possible! Cheers and Drink Responsibly!