Explore the great Washington outdoors one hiking trail at a time
Thinking about taking a hike through the Pacific Northwest with Archer Hotel Redmond as your base camp? We’ve asked our outdoor-enthusiast team members for some of their favorite trails that cover a spectrum of hiker profiles. If you’re most excited about the views, family-friendly hiking trails, not-for-the-faint-of-heart excursions, dog-friendly outings or Mt. Rainier area options, this short but targeted list of hiking trails near Redmond is for you.
Best views: Skyline Trail Loop
For amazing views of Mt. Rainier year-round, lovely flora and fauna along your path during the spring and summer months and cascading waterfalls during peak season (July and August), go experience the Skyline Trail Loop. Along with picturesque landscapes on the south side of Mt. Rainier, you may spot several species of wildlife that live on along the hiking trail, including mischievous hoary marmots.
It’ll take just over 2.5 hours to get from the hotel to your starting point near the Paradise Visitor Center, plus a National Park Pass — and the adventure is totally worth it. The 5.5-mile loop has an elevation gain of 1,450 feet, with the highest point at 6,800 feet.
Best hiking trail for the novice adventurer: Twin Falls
A great trail choice for families and beginners is Twin Falls, less than an hour southeast of Archer Hotel Redmond. Wear comfy trail runners or hiking boots that you don’t mind getting dirty — the hiking trail is sometimes muddy (a great reminder that you’re able to be outside enjoying nature). Along the way are some good viewpoints, with the falls near the top.
This fun round-trip excursion is approximately 3 miles of hiking trail with a 500-foot elevation gain. When you’re not admiring the falls, there’s plenty of time to check out the ferns, flowers and trees while keeping an eye out for signs that elk were just here. Go early on weekends to beat the rush (or better yet, on a weekday) and don’t forget your Discover Pass.
4. Best hiking trail for the experienced adventurer: Mount Si
Experienced hikers who love lots of elevation gain will enjoy this rugged trail. Serious hikers in the area use this popular but hard hiking trail to train for Mt. Rainier, but less-serious adventurers can enjoy the trail, as well. A little over 30 minutes by car from Archer Hotel Redmond, Mount Si offers stunning views of Mt. Rainier on clear days and mountain goats on summer days.
Visitors need a $10/car Discover Pass Day Pass to check out this local-favorite hike. The trail is 8 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 3,150 feet. More-adventurous hikers can summit Mount Si by scrambling to the top of the Haystack via a steep and rocky off-the-beaten-path trail. The payoff? One heck of a 360-degree view.
5. Best family outing: Snoqualmie Falls
Just a half-hour by car in the Snoqualmie Region — North Bend area, Snoqualmie Falls offers broad, gravel trail hikes and pretty views. Starting near the top of the falls, you’ll descend about 250 feet where the views focus on the lower falls. Interpretive plaques along the trail guide you through the native wildlife and explain the history and cultural significance of Snoqualmie Falls. It’s a great learning experience for families with kiddos, as well as those new to hiking.
In total, the hiking trail is 1.4 miles roundtrip, with the primary focus on the 268-foot waterfall drop that was made famous on “Twin Peaks” in the early 1990s. After your hike, check out the vibrant arts community of Snoqualmie (a SafeWise repeat No. 1 Safest City in Washington).
6. Best dog-friendly hiking trail: Lake Serene
One hour and 15 minutes northeast of Archer Hotel Redmond is Lake Serene — the name alone warrants a visit. Stunning views, beautiful waterfalls and an alpine lake at the top of the hike make this a destination trail for hikers and their leashed best friends. Especially great in summer, the main trail crosses a creek before its final climb via stairs, roots and rocks to Lake Serene.
With an elevation gain of 2,000 feet and such beautiful scenery, this 8.2-mile trail is quite popular, so arrive early to beat the crowds and their pups. An added bonus of choosing to hike at Lake Serene: Bridal Veil Falls flows from the lake and is just 1 mile off the Lake Serene trail, near the top of the climb.