Mount Washington (Snoqualmie)

A strenuous, eight mile hike with 3,200 ft in elevation gain. Starting in second growth forest, hike up to a road turned trail through an open area to a ridge summit with views of Chester Morse reservoir, Mount Rainier and the peaks on the north side of Snoqualmie Valley.

driving directions

From eastbound I-90, take exit 38, turn right, cross the river, turn right again and park at the Twin Falls/Olallie state park parking lot. There are bathrooms at trailhead.

on the trail

Hike south then west up the short connector trail to the Iron Horse Trail, then merge onto a wide gravel road (stay right here). The road intersects another road (the John Wayne Pioneer Trail/Iron Horse Trail).  Continue west (right) here and then take the next unmarked trail left (south) about 0.3 miles from the trailhead, marked by a small rock cairn if it's not buried in the snow (skip the light sensor access trail, it's just past that).  This is the start of the Mount Washington Trail.

The trail climbs steeply to the southwest, then eases to a moderate grade with crossings of  several small creeks. It switchbacks through old growth forest with occasional views to the north. Less than a mile from the trailhead, the trail passes under a small cave now used as a climbing wall, with several anchors on the overhang and sometimes people hanging from them!

The trail then veers right at a hand-carved wooden sign that reads “MT WA.” At roughly 1.6 miles from the trailhead, a small clearing noted on small maps as “Owl Hike Spot” provides views of Rattlesnake Ledge to the west. Continue climbing and stay right at the junction with the Great Wall Trail at 2.0 miles, where you will first see the summit. Here the grade moderates, leaving the forest and turning sharply east toward another unmarked trail junction. Again, stay right on the main path west, climbing in long switchbacks.

The route finally breaks out into alpine meadow  at about the three mile mark (flowers here in the early summer). When you reach a sharp switchback, you've reached the boundary between public land and the Cedar River Watershed, the water supply for the city of Seattle.   Curve around a southwest-facing slope and climb north on a gentle ridgeline to the summit of Mount Washington.


  • The route crosses a road near the top which can be tricky to find if it's snow covered. Look across the road for snowshoe tracks going up a steep slope, and follow them to the trail. 

FOr leaders

Permit information

As of 2017, the Snoqualmie Ranger District considers Mountaineers trips and courses to be "nominal use". Leaders should print and copy this designation letter to show rangers they may see on trail.

  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,200 ft
  • 4,405 ft
  • Green Trails Bandera No. 206
  • USGS Chester Morse Lake
  • Green Trails Mount Si NRCA No. 206S
  • Red Marker
    47.441700, -121.672466
    47.4416995986 -121.672466467
  • Red Marker
    47.426051, -121.700241
    47.4260509621 -121.700241161

Upcoming Activities

Day Hike - Mount Washington (Snoqualmie)

Day Hiking Trip
Difficulty: Strenuous
Mon, Feb 26, 2018
No Prerequisites
7 participants 1 leader
Registration closes Feb 26
Seattle Branch

Day Hike - Mount Washington (Snoqualmie)

Day Hiking Trip
Conditioning hike with priority to Olympia Scrambling and Climbing students.
Difficulty: Strenuous
Sat, Mar 3, 2018
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
6 participants 1 leader
Registration closes Mar 1
Olympia Branch
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