Little Si Trail

Beat the crowds and try this less strenuous alternative to nearby Mt. Si.
Total Distance: 4.0 miles
Total Ascent: 1100ft
Highest Point: 1576ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Our Hiking Time: 1h 40m
Required Permit: Discover Pass
To get there take I-90 to Exit 31, taking a left into town. Navigate the roundabout and outlet mall traffic until you get to North Bend Way, and take a right and head north to Mount Si Road (aka 432nd NE) on the left. Keep an eye out for this one, it comes up fast. Once you’re on the road, follow it about a mile, going over the bridge and attempt to find a spot in the lot you’ll see on the left. View Google Directions >>
From the parking area, the short hike begins with a moderate grade and continues up into thick stands of second generation forest. The trail winds beneath this canopy until it is broken by the rocky overhangs frequented by climbers. A number of spurs split off from the main trail to the base of these cliffs, allowing you a few more places to explore on the way back down. Switchbacks become more common as you near the top, while the trees open up to reveal views of Si and the haystack. The rocky summit will likely be occupied, but as you jockey for a view, you’ll see North Bend spread out below, Rattlesnake Mountain dominating the skyline to the south, and Mt. Washington marking the beginnings of the Cascades to the southeast.

Little Si is close, easily accessible, and just hard enough to feel like a hike, yet still gentle enough for the whole family. While not exactly high adventure, it was good to go back and see how things have progressed; most notably the old truss bridge that long spanned the Middle Fork Snoqualmie has vanished, replaced by the new bridge that had been in progress for years. Over the years, perhaps because of these improvements, Little Si has become increasingly popular, and you can expect to meet plenty of company on the trail.

History

Little Si crouches in the shadow of Mount Si’s western slopes, both edifices named in honor of Josiah "Uncle Si" Merritt, who set up a cabin at the base of Si in 1862. Until 1985, when Will Thompson and friends blazed new trail and revamped the existing scramble to the summit, Little Si was the province of scramblers and adventuring types. In 1989, the 28.2 acre Little Si Natural Area was acquired by King County and infrastructure improvements have continued since that time, including dedicated parking areas and the shift of the trailhead further away from private property.
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