Living in the Snoqualmie Valley, it’s easy to take some of nature’s wonders for granted; often forgetting that every year, thousands to millions of people visit the small Valley that I call home.
Most come for the Falls – nearly 2 million visitors a year. Others fish or float the River. But if they hike, they often come for Mt. Si and the views it supplies once you make it to the top. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Seattle.
Mt. Si was named for Josiah ‘Uncle Si’ Merritt, an early pioneer of the Pacific Northwest who died in 1882. Early 1990’s cult show, Twin Peaks, only further enhanced the popularity of the mountain that is my daily backdrop to life.
Each day I see Mt. Si from multiple vantage points. From Snoqualmie Ridge, it greets me as I drive down the hill each morning. The sun rise behind it never gets old. As I reach North Bend each day, it becomes almost a wall – feels so close you could touch it. It’s jagged, tree-lined slopes become clear in North Bend.
There’s not a view in my daily Snoqualmie Valley life that doesn’t somehow incorporate the mountain that I often forget is kind of famous with visitors.
According to Washington Trails Association, land managers estimate that between 30,000 – 50,000 hikers visit Mt. Si annually, making it the most heavily used trail in the state. Hit the trailhead parking lot on a sunny summer day, and some say it feels like you should grab a ticket.
The trail is about 4 miles (8 miles roundtrip) and climbs over 3,000 feet in elevation to the viewing meadow at nearly 4,000 feet. It’s a workout I am told. Most of the steep trail travels through the woods until you reach the summit basin, where views in every direction await.
Although I have never hiked Mt. Si, after sharing a photo of its views from the top on Facebook today, I received some breathtaking photos from others who have hiked Mt. Si on sunny, clear days. One word: WOW!
And yes, you can see Seattle some 30 miles away, and Lake Washington, and the Puget Sound, and the Cascades, and Mt. Rainier, and the Snoqualmie River… the list goes on and on.
I need to hike more.
Thank you to all who shared their views from the top of Mt. Si. The beautiful mountain that is the backdrop of my daily life holds treasures – no matter if you’re looking at it from afar, below, or enjoying the views from its peak.