If you don’t have a car in Seattle, it doesn’t mean you can’t trek out and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
While large parks like Mt. Rainier may not be the most accessible by public transportation, there are still plenty of routes you can take to enjoy Mother Nature’s gifts.
Every year, King County Metro starts up this service that goes from the Capitol Hill Light rail station, through Bellevue, to three trailheads in eastern King County — Mount Si, Little Si, and Mt. Teneriffe. The buses run on weekends and holidays through Labor Day and tickets are only $2.75 one way. Not a bad deal.
The Route 554 bus will take anyone itching to get some dirt on their boots from downtown Seattle to the Issaquah Transit Center. The Issaquah station is conveniently within walking distance to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.
The long-distance train can help you chugga-chugga-choo-choo on up to Deception Pass. Just get off at the Mt. Vernon/Skagit Station for a transfer to Skagit Transit route 40X — then connect to Island Transit 411W. Local author Kim Huntress Inskeep lays it all out in her blog post. Pro tip: she’s got a whole book on hiking by transit coming out soon.
In addition to gear rental services, this membership-based company in Capitol Hill provides carpool services to several of its outdoor events. You may find some hiking buddies here.
Seattle Meet-Up groups
There is no shortage of hiking-focused groups on the interest-based social networking site. It’s not uncommon to see folks asking for carpool rides to organized events. Or, try out Seattle Transit Hikers and get to know the system with some new friends.