Mt. Si, Old Trail: The Standard in Washington Hikes

Here is a blast from the past! Good ol' Mount Si.  I went on this hike about this time last year, and it's the one that really got me addicted to the outdoors. I took my girlfriend when I went again but most of the pictures are from my first trip. We took the Old Trail when we went; there is a newer one that is slightly less steep, but where is the fun in that? Excuse the photos for this one, all I had was my phone.

The Basics

  • Round trip with breaks: 5 hours
  • Car to summit: 2 hours, 8 minutes
  • Summit to car: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Elevation gain: ~3000 feet over 3.7 miles

Believe the hype, this hike is rad. Starts out and you’re like “Hey this isn’t so bad”, but after 2 miles this beast takes on a whole new personality. But let’s start at the beginning. There are a few lookouts initially, but after those you are in the woods for quite some time.

This trail is probably the best-signed-as-you-go trail I've hiked. There were several markers to inform you how far in you were, and if there was a split-off, it showed you where you needed to go. At least I didn't get lost like I did on Green Mountain last year... That was embarrassing. But also badass. Mainly it was badass.

Specifically, and probably the best one, is at roughly 3.5 miles into the hike. It has a bunch of autographs and motivating messages reminding you that you're close! Feel free to add to it :)

The last photo was taken by my girlfriend, Dorothy; you can see it was much nicer weather when I went with her, haha.

In the woods there are places where you've got complete nature silence - all quiet except the noises of the animals in the trees. No cars, no roads... It is so unbelievably peaceful.

Here is another brief lookout point:

Once you get to about the 2 mile mark, there is an area with information about the Mt. Si fire some years back. There are a few stations with different information, some about the fire and some about the types of trees in the area.

I took a sec to leave my mark here as well... 

As you start getting higher past the 3 mile mark, you'll start to see the fog on a more overcast day or if it is still early in the morning. You're getting close.

...but by close of course I mean you still have another mile's worth of hiking and about 1000 feet left of elevation gain. And then, you're out of the woods and you've reached the end. Of the trees, that is.

It's easy to say you are done at this point, and the view is great. You'll get something like this but hopefully the weather is more like it was when I went with Dorothy. No one would judge you if you decided to make this your camp for the time it takes to eat your food. However, when you turn around from here, you've got a whole lot more awesomeness to conquer. I know you're up for it!

This is the first of two haystacks that you can scramble up, and here is the view from the top of it. 

Not bad, right? Weather could be better but oh well. :P There's a second haystack like I said, even more fun to scramble up. You can't see it, though, until you have ascended the first. 

That's where I went to eat my lunch. There's a few other viewpoints as well from here!

Sat up at the ledge as close as I could get. Legs dangling off, wind blowing, the whole deal. My mom would have been terrified, and I am pretty sure she was when I FaceTimed her on my phone. Yeah, AT&T gets a little signal up here! If only I could have talked to her on top of Mount Pilchuck.

Excuse the hair, it was windy up there!

The decent was pretty quick, about 25% less time than the climb. My legs were certainly tired, though! Mt. Si is great for a first big hike; if you have done Rattlesnake and Little Si and are looking for your next level, this is it!

As always, please refer to the Washington Trails Association website for additional information about this hike.

Thanks for reading, and happy hiking! Follow me on twitter for more hiking adventures!

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