Mount Washington is a moderate trail a short distance from Seattle just past North Bend. I made a day trip early Saturday morning to check it out. The trail was easy to find, take exit 38 off I90 and make the first right. You’ll quickly see a sign for Ollalie State Park, the John Wayne Trail and Twin Falls Trail. Parking is plentiful and since Mount Washington is not nearly as popular as it’s neighbor Mount Si or Rattlesnake Ridge, it shouldn’t be a problem to find space.
Follow the sign for the John Wayne / Twin Falls trail. It’s a little easy to miss the start of the Mount Washington trail, but it’s marked by a small rock cairne and probably some other small marking. The trail starts ascending quickly through a few steep switchbacks, but most of the trail is shaded and I was greeted by a very cool breeze. Eventually the trail becomes a moderate climb, crossing across a few stream that were still running. There’s a rock face / cave that seems to be popular for climbers around 1.25 miles in.
Most of the trail is graded dirt with sections where loose rock is aplenty. Overall the trail is in great condition, but the rocky sections might warrant a careful pass. You’ll occasionally be greeted by an opening in the trees, giving you a northbound view of neighboring mountains and the valley below. 3 miles into the trail, the surrounding trees begin to clear up and you’ll be able to catch glimpses of the surrounding area. The forest quickly turns into more of an alpine meadow. There were plenty of wildflowers to be found and lots of exposed rock and scree. From the top / end of the trail, you’ll be get a great view of Mount Ranier, as well as the nearby Chester Morse Lake.
Overall the trail wasn’t too difficult and relatively moderate. The views are decent, although nothing spectacular. You’ll avoid the crowds at nearby Mount Si though, so that’s always a plus.