While summer feels like it came early for the Pacific Northwest, spring’s a notoriously fickle season in any year. But the warming temperatures, longer days, and months without hiking probably have you itching to get back to the trails.
Luckily there are plenty of great hikes that are perfect this time of year, rain or shine. In fact, going on a rainy day likely means you’ll have the trail to yourself. The best rainy day hikes near Seattle don’t rely on great views as the main draw, and are often even more appealing in the drizzle.
5 Rainy Day Hikes near Seattle
Boulder River Trail
The gorgeous Boulder River Trail threads through a narrow gorge and parallels Boulder River. One of the easier rainy day hikes near Seattle, it rewards hikers with a damp, verdant forest and two sets of waterfalls streaming down the canyon walls. Note that the road to the trailhead can be rough and filled with deep potholes, so it’s best to go with a high-clearance vehicle.
Near Stevens Pass, the Wallace Falls hike is easy to get to and makes for one of the quicker and more rewarding rainy day hikes near Seattle. At just 5.5 miles round trip, the trail climbs steadily through the forest to a series of waterfalls classified as Lower, Middle, and Upper. The cataracts are even more impressive in the spring, when they’re swollen with snowmelt. The trail sits within Wallace Falls State Park, so be sure to bring your Discover Pass.
Bridal Veil Falls
Even if you can’t see towering Mount Index on a rainy day, Bridal Veil Falls is stunning—even more so when the rain contributes a higher volume of water to the cataract. You can reach the waterfall on the way to Lake Serene, taking the fork to the left at 1.5 miles. Staying right takes you on several long stair climbs to the lake, which can be cloaked in fog, making this ramble one of the eerier rainy day hikes near Seattle.
Coal Creek Falls
Perfect for an easy early season foray, especially if you have kids, Coal Creek Falls is accessible via a 2.5-mile round trip trail in the Issaquah Alps. A thick canopy will shield you from the rain, and recent trail improvements help keep the mud at bay. Plus, the falls are at their best when spring rain and snowmelt contribute to their flow. The trails on Cougar Mountain can be a little confusing, so bring along a map or trail directions from the Washington Trails Association.
Old Sauk River Trail
The mossy forest along the Old Sauk River Trail is one draw; the chance to spot wildlife is another. The flat, easy walk near Darrington rambles along the roaring Sauk River, where eagles and osprey hang out waiting to dive-bomb fish in the river. The trail is six miles roundtrip, though you can always cut it short by turning around along the way.