To be a hiker or trail runner in Seattle is to know Interstate 90 intimately. I love spending time walking and running our region’s forests and mountains. Cliché though it is, it’s easy to temporarily forget about the stresses of real life when you’re huffing up and down hills which is good for the soul. Time spent driving on I-90 is not.
Luckily, for those who hate driving, and more importantly, those without a car who still want to access the region’s amazing natural areas, it’s possible to go hiking by transit both within the city and nearby. King County Metro’s Trailhead Direct shuttle service from Seattle to trailheads in Issaquah and North Bend is making this exceptionally easy during the late spring and summer when it runs, but there are year-round options for transit hiking as well.
Here are 11 great options in Seattle and along I-90. Google Maps, of course, is a good tool to plot your bus or light rail route to the trailhead. TOTAGO (short for turn off the app and go outside) and Transit and Trails are two more trip planning tools targeted at car-free adventurers.
Finally, remember, when heading into the woods, it’s important to be prepared and self-sufficient. Wear good, sturdy footwear and layers of clothes appropriate for the weather and bring food and water, a map, and all that good stuff. The Washington Trails Association (WTA) has lots of great advice for being a safe and respectful hiker.
Looking for a more overnight experience? Here are nine Seattle-area camping trips that are transit-accessible.
Need more hiking guidance? We have a wide selection of hiking maps for beginners, people with dogs, and more.Read More