Mount Washington Trail resides in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Olallie State Park and is a short drive from the city of Seattle making it a perfect day hike option. With less crowds compared to other North Bend hikes, Mount Washington provides the chance to hike past popular climbing walls and summit a local peak.
The trail starts in Olallie State Park right off the I-90 Highway Exit 38. The out and back trail leaves from the parking lot from the middle south end and climbs up a steep rocky trail before reaching a road crossing. Walk along the gravel road and continue uphill where the gravel road joins the John Wayne Pioneer Trail/Iron Horse Trail, also gravel. Find the trail off to the right and into the trees a few hundred feet up the road. The trail switchbacks through old growth forests making the hike feel slightly more gradual. Continue past rock climbing walls, where in the dry summer months you can find climbers ascending the wall.
This trail goes by Semi Wall, Amazonia, Club Paradiso, Actual Cave, Chainsaw Wall, Peannacle Wall, Slumbersome Ridge, Lost Resort, and Owl Hike Spot. Owl hike spot can be found 1.6 miles in, giving you a viewpoint of Rattlesnake Ledge. At 2 miles in, you come to a junction, left going to the Great Wall, and right going to Mount Washington.
Continue on the trail. Follow non-traditional signs, like hand-carved lettering on a wood sign, as you continue to gain elevation, one having the letters MT WA carved on a wood square with an arrow. While most of the trail stays under the canopy of the trees, wrap along a contour line through an easy boulder field before switching back into the trees. By the marsh at 2.8 miles, you are on both the Olallie Trail and the Mount Washington trail. The trail continues to your left and then at the junction stay right to continue upwards, otherwise you will be just on the Olallie Trail (there should be a printed out sign that says "Mount Washington Peak").
You will come to a very sharp switchback with good valley views and if you look carefully, there's a trail that descends down into the valley off to the right -- this trail is very easy to miss but is more obvious on the way back down. Stay on the main path to continue upwards. This switchback is on the edge of the Cedar River Watershed, which is a water source for the city of Seattle. Practice Leave No Trace principles in the area and stay on the trail. A little further on, you will once again come to a junction very close to the peak, but it will be obvious that going up to the right will take you there. Going left will take you down to route 5010-310, a hiking/biking trail.
The summit rewards hikers with surrounding views of the Central Cascades. Beware of the Canada Jays, who don't show any bashfulness around humans.
This is a steep hike with lots of loose rocks. Not recommended for smaller/younger children because of the steepness and length.
Rate this Hike