HIKE DESCRIPTION: Standing on top of North Bend’s Little Si, a scant 1,576 feet above sea level, it might feel as if you haven’t accomplished much. The snow-covered upper slopes of Mount Si, it’s 4,167-foot neighbor, don’t look much closer than they did from town.
But turn the other direction and Little Si still offers a grand view of the Snoqualmie Valley. For those who don’t feel comfortable traveling over ice and snow, Little Si is often a good alternative to the bigger mountain. It is a go-to trail for those looking for an uphill winter workout.
Easy access, low elevation and views make Little Si one of the most popular hiking trails in the state. The trail is well maintained by volunteers, including the Washington Trails Association.
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The trail climbs consistently from the parking lot as it passes between Little Si and the bigger mountain before climbing the north side of the peak and ascending about 500 feet in the final half mile.
After enjoying the view at the top, return the way you came. Your hike can be extended using other trails in the area, or you can do what many trail runners do: take another trip or two back up Little Si.
DIRECTIONS: From Interstate 90, take Exit 32 and follow 436th Avenue Southwest north to North Bend Way. Turn left on North Bend Way, then right on Southeast Mount Si Road. There are two well-marked parking lots on the left shortly after crossing the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.
DIFFICULTY RATING: 3 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest).
MILES ROUND TRIP: 4.7.
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,300 feet.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year-round.
MAP: Green Trails 174: Mount Si.
PASS: Discover Pass for each vehicle ($10 per day or $30 per year).
ALSO: Rock walls along the trail often give hikers views of rock climbers. While there was no snow on the trail during a recent hike, there was enough ice on the rocky summit to create slippery conditions. Some might find micro spikes helpful. There are two parking lots for Little Si. A trail links the lots so hikers don’t need to walk along the road. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be on a leash. Owners are required to clean up after their pets. Several geocaches are hidden along the trail. For more information, visit geocaching.com.