WHY IT’S GREAT: If you’re looking for a taste of Mount Si’s views but don’t have the stomach for the challenging climb or crowds of the oft-visited mountain, Little Si makes for a great appetizer. Located just to the west of its more famous namesake, the fairly gentle trail up Little Si loops through thick forest before climbing up to some rocky outcroppings with picturesque views of North Bend, across the valley to Rattlesnake Ledge, and even the hulking Mount Si, right next door.
ROUTE: From the parking lot that’s often packed with climbers’ cars (Little Si’s crags are one of the state’s busiest rock-climbing areas), begin on a fairly steep incline that switchbacks for about ¾ mile before leveling out in some deep woods. For the next mile the trail remains fairly straight and level as it passes through deep forest. At about 1½ miles, you pass several sheer rock faces—the destination for climbers—before turning almost 180 degrees and quickly gaining elevation through another series of switchbacks to the summit. Some scrambling is required, but the multiple viewpoints are well worth the effort.
GETTING THERE: From Seattle, take Interstate 90 east to Exit 31 to North Bend. Head north on Bendigo Boulevard South, then turn right on East North Bend Way. After about 1 mile, turn left on Mount Si Road. Follow the road over the bridge, and look for the parking lot on the left. —Sean Leslie