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.
- Tiger Mountain — ( 30 min from Seattle ) Extremely popular for good reason, Tiger is close to the city, has decent parking available and the trails vary in difficulty, accommodating all skill levels. With a total of 12 miles of trail, 60% single track, Tiger makes an awesome day ride with friends or solo. Just remember to bring a towel to sit on for the ride home, after rainfall the trails can be really soupy.
- Duthie Hill — ( 35 min from Seattle ) Duthie is situated in 120 acres of forest and is one of the best options for flowy cross country trails and big jump lines. Riders can take it easy or push their limits, it is all up to them. I like to grab a seat among the sword ferns and watch people get huge air, soaring amid the evergreen trunks. Like the Colonade, Duthie has tons of practice and skill-honing features for riders of all levels.
Adventure: Mountain Climbing
Escape time*: 2 hour – 2 days
Payoff: Climb volcanoes, traverse glaciers, get above the clouds and gain bragging rights
- Camp Muir, Mount Rainier — ( Moderate / Difficult, 4-7 hours round trip, 2.5 hours from Seattle ) While a day hike to Camp Muir isn’t exactly climbing Mt. Rainier, at 10,000 feet it is as close as many will come and still affords an incredible panorama of the surrounding mountains, a great workout, and moments of high alpine bliss.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!
- Mt. Adams — ( Moderate, 1-2 days round trip, 5 hours from Seattle ) The drive to Gifford Pinchot Nat. Park usually necessitates hikers camping at the foot of the mountain at Cold Springs campground and then set off in the morning. Most choose a route for the summit over two days, camping mid way up Adams on a level scree shelf called the “Lunch Counter” (sunsets on the Lunch Counter are incredible). My party made for the summit in one day but we were making the last several miles back in the dark.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.