TEVA has teamed up with Matador’s global community of outdoors fanatics to show you how to escape to adventure in 12 cities across America. In addition to the article series, we’ll be running an ongoing photo contest. Send us a photo of yourself adventuring abroad or in your back yard and you might win a free pair of new TEVAs.
YOU NEED NOT GO FAR to find adventure in the Pacific Northwest and Seattle is certainly no exception. Even within the city limits there are opportunities to bike, climb and explore everywhere.
Escape time*: 15 — 45 minutes
Payoff: Evergreen forests, old growth trees, rivers and mountains
- Mount Si — ( Moderate – Difficult, 8 miles round trip, 30 minutes from Seattle ) Challenging, easily assessable and available to hike year round. While you will not likely find solitude on Si ( the parking lot has room for 150 vehicles ) you will find a legit round-trip hike with huge views of the Cascades and the Snoqualmie watershed. Although Si is relatively small as far as mountains go, the 4-mile trail ascends 3,500 feet so come prepared with plenty of water and trail snacks.
- Middle Fork Trail, Snoqualmie River — ( Moderate, 6 -10 mile round trip, 45 minute drive from Seattle ) This low elevation trail allows hikers access to dense river side forests and mountain wilderness. Shaded and beautiful, the trailhead is only about 45 minutes from Seattle but be warned: the access road can be in a state of utter destruction in the spring wet weather. The Middle Fork trail is perfect for an out of the way walk in the woods. It’s also open to mountain bikers on odd calender days. There is great camping all along the way to the trailhead and awesome options for overnight camping can be found on the trail.
- Seward Park — ( Easy, 2 hour round trip, 15 minutes from most points in Seattle ) One of the last vestiges of old growth forest within the city itself, Seward Park is quite literally an oasis. Jutting into Lake Washington as a thickly wooded appendix, the park has 4.6 miles of shoreline trails and interior paths. It’s a great vantage point from which to see a Seattle sky line is in miniature. Seward can be pretty popular but the interior trails are less trafficked than the 2.4 miles of paved shoreline trails.
Adventure: Mountain Biking
Escape time*: 10 — 40 minutes
Payoff: Mellow mountain roads, sick single track, and opportunities to get some big air.
The Colonade — Two acres of volunteer built mountain bike trails, jumps, pump tracks, log rides, flow lines, drops and chutes – The Colonade is full on riding smack in the middle of the city. Under the shade of the massive freeway overpass the park gets its name from the dozens of cement columns holding up the thousands of vehicles rumbling overhead.
Adventure: Mountain Climbing
Camp Muir is often used as a bivvy site for climbers making an early morning summit push. From Paradise lodge (tons of parking) follow the paved trail towards the glacial face of Rainier. The path goes from paved, to dirt, to rock scramble until the glacial foot, where it is a good idea to put on crampons and break out that ice axe. Make no mistake, people die on Rainier every year and any hiking above the snowline should be done with careful preparation, do not attempt to climb to Camp Muir in adverse weather or fog. The way to Muir crosses massive glaciers that may also open up into crevasses. Well above the cloud line, Muir is a glorious spot for a sun burn so slather on the spf people!
Adams is a classic talus slope scramble mixed with glacial fields. It is the 3rd tallest of Washington’s volcanoes and while the trail from Cold Springs is only 5.7 miles, it climbs 6,676 feet to the summit making this popular route challenging but not technical.
I cordially invite any and all Seattle visitors to ask me for adventure advice, no matter your outdoor proclivity, be it water, forest, mountain or trail, I am sure I can point you in the right direction.