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. 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.
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.
Enter 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.
The summit rewards hikers with surrounding views of the Central Cascades.
Hike is good for scoping out climbing areas and for a close-to-Seattle hike where you don't want to take all day. The view is decent from the top. Turns for the trail are mainly marked but don't forget to take a description of the turns or a map with the trail to follow with you. ★ ★ ★ ★
Great EOY trip up Mt WA. The trail was a little icy down low so we used spikes. The upper third had fresh snow so we put on snowshoes when we had to break trail.