Mount Si via Old Mt Si Trail

7 reviews #11 hike out of 40 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
    1 year, 6 months ago
    Continuous cold rain changing to sleet near the top. Typical spring hike. Trail maintenance happening in the first half mile.
    ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 6 months ago
    Great way to get away from the crowds on the main trail.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 7 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.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 months, 1 week ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    7 months, 2 weeks ago
    ★ ★

    user_profile
    9 months ago

    user_profile
    9 months, 4 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Public Tracks

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Nicholas Heilweil 6 years, 7 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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Katie 1 year, 7 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 4 years, 7 months ago
old mount si trail 2
old mt si trail version 2
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