The Hiking Bus! Beat the Crowds and Shuttle to Popular Trailheads
A pilot project tests an alternative way to reach busy trails around North Bend
It was a beautiful Saturday morning in early June: perfect for hiking. I was ready to get the kids outside, away from a screen. But I was discouraged by the thought of driving out to a busy trailhead and not finding a parking spot. We rode bikes instead. The following week, I heard about a new hiking shuttle that leaves from the North Bend Park & Ride and makes a loop out to Little Si, Mt. Si, and Teneriffe Falls. I went online and reserved some spots for the 10 a.m. shuttle for the next Saturday and hoped for good weather.
We woke up on Saturday to a sunny, but not too hot, day. We piled in the car and drove out to North Bend and found the Park & Ride next to Twede’s Café. The shuttle pulled up, we got in, and were at the Little Si trailhead in less than 10 minutes, where we pulled past all the cars circling the lot, looking for parking. No finding the Discover Pass, either. We hopped out and started hiking. At the end, we waited for the shuttle to make its loop and were in the van ten minutes later. Easy!
As reported by the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, the SnoValley Adventure Shuttle is a pilot summer program that launched June 6, designed to ease congestion in the popular Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area in North Bend. The shuttle, run by Compass Outdoor Adventures, is a collaborative effort between the City of North Bend, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and Washington Trails Association.
How the shuttle works
The shuttle runs every 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer, leaving from the downtown North Bend Park & Ride and stopping at hiking destinations along the Mount Si Road, including trailheads for Little Si, Mount Si and Teneriffe.
An additional incentive to ride the shuttle: You'll receive receive SnoValley Adventure Bucks, which grant discounts at a variety of North Bend and Snoqualmie merchants. The shuttle’s schedule also aligns with people arriving by bus on King County Metro so hikers from Seattle and Issaquah can reach trailheads without ever getting in their car.
Wondering about the car seats and boosters? You can strap them in and then leave with the shuttle untiil your return. How cool is that?
The shuttle is a pilot project, but if it's popular, it might be extended to destinations such as the Middle Fork Valley, Rattlesnake Lake, and a number of loop hike, bike, or kayak routes.
If you go ...
Where: Address of the North Bend Park & Ride is W. North Bend Way and Sydney Ave. N.
Cost: Round-trip tickets cost $5 per person; $5.50 with a credit-card fee. (Note that you will not have to pay for a Discover Pass or other fee at the trailhead.)
How to book: Shuttle users can and should preregister online (it's getting busy!), but drop-ins are welcome.
Schedule: Shuttle runs every 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer. For more information and to preregister visit: compassoutdooradventures.com/shuttleGoogle+