It’s started raining in Seattle. Not a surprise really, it’s October, and those of us who live here know that the grey we see outside our windows is probably with us from now until next April – and that’s the optimistic assessment.
A sunny day at this time of year is a special event that needs special treatment. Which is why, when the sun was shining last weekend, the WanderDad and I chose to ignore the usual weekend piles of laundry, a garden badly in need of weeding, and the myriad other household tasks. We piled the kids into the car, and headed for the mountains east of the city to hike.
Reality check moment: we didn’t actually ignore those things, I did. I don’t think anyone else in my household even notices they’re there
Mount Si is one of the most well-known hiking spots in this area. It’s a challenging hike for an adult, with a 3700 feet elevation gain and stunning views at the top. My kids are not quite ready for Mount Si, so we chose the smaller, and more family-friendly, Little Si. At 1,567 feet, with a 1200 feet elevation gain and a five mile round trip, this no walk in the park, but it’s a great hike for kids six-ish and over.
We’ve used Joan Burton’s book to help choose hikes with our children for many years. Our copies of the books are dog-eared and worn from use. All hikes in the book are rated by ‘kid difficulty’ which is extremely useful. Burton explains her rating system in the preface and uses a handy icon to represent difficulty in the description of each hike. I have found that this one feature has meant that I refer to this book more often than any other hiking and Northwest guidebook when I plan a day trip in this area with my kids.
So, a tip from a local: if you’re visiting Seattle and you’re done with the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and your kids are a little too old for the Children’s Museum or the Pacific Science Center, think about taking a hike. Drive east on the I-90 into the foothills of the Cascades and enjoy the clean, fresh air of the old-growth forest around you. Trust me, you’ll soon see why we locals rave about living here.