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Popular Family Hikes and Less-Crowded Alternatives Nearby

Classic hikes plus beat-the-crowd alternatives for Seattle-area families

Maegen Blue

Published on: September 09, 2021

View of Rattlesnake Lake from Rattlesnake Ledge popular family hike in North Bend, Washington, near Seattle
The view from Rattlesnake Ledge, a popular hike near Seattle. Credit: Kahunapule Michael Johnson/Flickr CC

Classic local hikes — and off-the-beaten-path alternatives nearby

Ah, the great outdoors — there is just nothing better than a hike for sharing with your kids towering trees, wildlife and lots and lots of other people. Yes, many of the Seattle area’s best family hikes are so popular that the trail can seem like a busy highway. (And the pandemic only deepened our Northwest love of hiking.)

Of course, beloved hikes are popular for a reason, and many local families would say it’s worth getting up early to score a parking space at the trailhead to trek these trails. Pro tip: Go on a weekday.

Here, we’ve highlighted four of these classic hikes that are well worth doing, plus four lesser-known options to consider if you like your wilderness with a little more elbow room. Most of these hikes are suitable for even young children.

Note: We always recommend carrying the 10 Essentials. It’s a good habit to get into, especially with kids and as we head into fall.

Use the arrows above the image to check out the popular hikes and their less-crowded counterparts.

Image credit: Kahunapule Michael Johnson/Flickr CC

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