Little Si by Mount Si in Middle Fork Snoqualmie via North Bend / 小賽山

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Little Si by Mount Si is a mild hill in Middle Fork Snoqualmie at the heart of North Bend. Hikers on the hunt for a short trip would likely find their way here. But the quick access comes at a price–the next-to-impossible parking due to its popularity.

Mount Si from Little Si Trail
Mount Si from Little Si Trail

See more trip photos here.

Little Si at a Glance

Access: Little Si Trailhead
Round Trip: 4.2 miles
Elevation Range: 520′-1560′
Gear: none
Route Info: Max Schrempp
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

Twelve years after my only visit to Mount Si, I returned to the one area I’d least expected. Back then, the sight of its overflowing lot had created a permanent scar for this newbie. But glad that a thousand other places had awaited my cameo.

The inclement weather has kept me close to home. The black pup still had his cone on, so I didn’t want to leave him alone for too long. But the yellow dog was more than happy to stick around and keep him company.

Little Si Trailhead
Little Si Trailhead

See more trip photos here.

Little Si Parking Lot

More snow was on the way, so I looked for a nearby new place, and then Little Si popped up. So I decided to bite the bullet and hoped that the rain would turn most people away. And I was glad it did, how odd!

Before 8 AM, I drove into the tiny lot with three other parked cars. It was quieter than I expected, but I knew it wouldn’t last long. Soon, I walked up the defined path into the old-growth forest with a few side trails en route.

An opening above the parking lot
An opening above the parking lot

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The Lower Forest

I thought the place looked eerily familiar when I walked by the Boulder Garden sign. Then it dawned on me I had made my Rescue Methods field trip with the Mountaineers intermediate group there! Dang, eight years sure flew by fast!

I walked under Little Si’s east cliffs with more spur trails leading to the climbing areas. Then the path went through the mossy forest over the joining saddle with Mount Si. There was some snow over the scree below the east face.

Little Si east face
Little Si east face

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The Final Stretch

Shortly, the trail went over to the north ridge, where it briefly shifted to the west of the crest. Then it offset some altitude via several long switchbacks. There were lots of exposed tree roots throughout as the slope steepened.

The path made three short turns and then stayed on the crest. The final 100′ had a few openings to the east showing Mount Si’s rocky north ridgeline. Then right below the top, the trail briefly went under dense foliage before going out onto the platform.

Snow line below the top
Snow line below the top

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Little Si Summit Views

Today’s weather resembled our Mount Si trip, minus the snow. Back then, low clouds had also obscured the area, with much of the scenery left to my imagination. I met a family who was the first to arrive but left shortly after.

It soon flurried on top of the few inches of snow. So I put on microspikes to walk around the slick rocks. After 20 minutes or so, the mists dissipated to reveal the vast Snoqualmie River Valley below. Mount Si to the east was then visible.

Snoqualmie River Vallley
Snoqualmie River Vallley

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Outro

A man came up as I was leaving. Then back in the trees, I met two excited folks who invited me up for champaign to celebrate the holiday. But I left shortly in the hope of fleeing the area before more people showed up.

It was a quiet outing, at least in this weather. I counted 20 people coming up the Little Si Trail on the way back, including myself. It started raining again right before entering the forest down to the parking lot.

Finding my way home
Finding my way home

See more trip photos here.

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