Mount Si via Old Mt Si Trail

3 reviews #9 hike out of 46 in
5.7 mi
Distance
2 hrs 4 min
Time
terrain
3,406 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

The “old” trail that ascends Mount Si’s western flank offers a shorter, steeper, slightly more scenic, and if one dare say it—less crowded—route to the summit, where you can rejoin the crowds that flock to one of Snoqualmie Pass’s most popular hiking destinations.

This route to reach Mount Si’s haystack shares a trailhead with the Little Si route and passes through a boulder-strewn saddle between Si and its much shorter subsidiary peak. Be aware that weekend parking could pose a challenge at the Little Si trailhead, but there will be nothing little about your hiking experience.

Start your ascent on the Little Si trail. After 0.3 miles you will come to a junction with the Boulder Garden Loop. If you prefer a counterclockwise loop, make a right turn and briefly descend, then ascend a moderately steep grade past building-sized, moss-adorned rock behemoths and reach the junction with the Old Mount Si trail 1.2 miles later. If you are eager to summit sooner, continue 0.2 miles from the first junction to the second junction with the Boulder Garden Loop and make a right turn, reaching the Old Mount Si junction at in 0.6 more miles. Either way, as you hike, enjoy the recovering Douglas fir and western hemlock forest that dominates in the loop area and at lower elevations on Si.

The Old Mount Si trail takes off up and to the right at a signpost that does not indicate the destination of the ascending trail; it's signed for the directions of the Boulder Garden Loop trail. However, as you leave the loop, the elevation gain leaves no uncertainty that you are headed in the correct direction--up.

Hike carefully in snow, because the trail is steep and tends to be icy. Traction devices like crampons are highly recommended. Ascend 2.4 steep miles at a grade of 1000 feet per mile, switchbacking up the mountain through mountain hemlock and ultimately fir forest. You will come close to the new trail on a hairpin near the end of this segment, but keep left to avoid the crowds.

You will reach the junction with the new trail along a turnpike segment. Take careful note of this unmarked junction-—it's important for your return trip. If you miss it, you'll to return to the wrong parking lot! Join the new trail here, and head up some more. Soon the haystack will hove into view. The basin and the haystack at the top of Si, along with panoramic views of West Defiance Ridge, the Snoqualmie Valley, and Puget Sound are only 0.2 miles away.

On your descent consider taking the segment of the Boulder Garden Loop that you missed on your ascent to complete a round trip of 7.4 miles.

Getting Started

Park at the Little Si trail head, just off SE Mt. Si road. If the lot is full, there is an overflow parking lot for Little Si approximately 0.2 miles down the road; a trail connects the two parking areas. Don't forget to display your discover pass! You will be ticketed otherwise

Taking Children

The old Mt. Si trail is a climbers trail, so it is very steep in several sections; you will be hiking up a steep slope on a narrow trail that heads more directly upwards rather than switchbacking across the slope. Children are better off trying the Little Si summit, then the New Mt. Si trail, before attempting Old Si.


Sights to See


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Continuous cold rain changing to sleet near the top. Typical spring hike. Trail maintenance happening in the first half mile.
    ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Great way to get away from the crowds on the main trail.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 months ago
    Mt. Si is always a great option during the winter months, as it is low enough in elevation to not be under a lot of snow. This was my second time up Mt. Si this winter, and the trail was snow-free until the last quarter mile or less. If you want to skip the crowds of the new trail to get a conditioning hike in, the old trail is a great choice. It can be steep in places, so if it's wet you'll need to be extra careful not to slip on your hike down. For an optional loop, complete the Boulder Garden loop on your way down.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Public Tracks

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robert.arora 6 years, 4 months ago
Mt. Si via Old Trail from Boulder Trail
This was our 2nd trip up Big Si, but our 1st up the Old Trail. 5 times harder than the main trail. Started out at Little Si Trailhead, and took the immediate fork onto Boulder Trail. We've done this loop before (twice) and love the peace & quiet of no other hikers. Amazing rock formations make for some great exploring here ! Near the top of Boulder, take the unmarked stone stairs up... this is the start of the Old Trail. It's a lot steeper than the new trail, and you'll feel it right away. It soon turns into a boot trail, and gets even steeper. If you've done Big Si before... this entire trail feels like the LAST 1/2 mile of the new trail. Get ready for an ass-kicking :0)
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Yaz Obara 1 year, 3 months ago
Track (4/9/18, 9:35:49AM)
My wife and I hiked to Mount Si with our hiking group. We went up Old Mt. Si Trail and came down the new trail and traversed via Douglas Fir Trail. By taking the new trail down we made it easy for our knees. The weather was mostly sunny. The temperature was 51 F when we started at the trailhead and 43 F at our lunch spot and 66 F when we got back to the trailhead. There was some snow near the summit. The view at our lunch spot on the rocks was pretty good, but Mount Rainier was hidden in clouds.
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Nicholas Heilweil 5 years, 4 months ago
Rob: Mount Si - Old Trail via Little Si / Boulder trail
Took Old Si trail again for some burn. Did this one a little backwards - took the SECOND turn up Boulder trail, which is much steeper. Legs were burning before we even hit the Old Si trail. Awesome steep hike - much harder than the main trail, and almost NOBODY on it. Definitely needed the microSpikes... almost zero traction without them. We passed so many ill-prepared casual hikers once we hit the top. The mountain jays were especially friendly at the peak. Great run down in the snow.
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KatieMaeFellows 4 months ago
Mt Si Old Trail
Old Mt. Si trail up Mt. Si, to the bottom of the haystack. Completed Boulder Garden loop on the way back down.
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manny4fingers 3 years, 4 months ago
old mount si trail 2
old mt si trail version 2
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nathan.strupp 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Mt. Si
Old trail to haystack
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