Climbing Up, Up, Up Mt. Si

Last Monday we finally got out and went for a hike. Because of family obligations, and planning for my wedding, it had been a long time since we got out in the woods.

Mt. Si is about 45 minutes from Seattle in the Cascade Mountains. Views from the tip include Puget Sound, Cascade Mountains, Seattle and the Snoqualmie River Valley.

Wikipedia says about 80,000 to 100,000 people visit the Mt. Si annually. Last time we hiked Mt. Si it was on a weekend and it was PACKED. You could hardly find a spot in the parking lot and people were starting to park on the road.

This time we went on a Monday afternoon and there were only a couple of dozen groups on the trail.

This is a tough but rewarding hike. It’s pretty much a steep trail with a few less steep parts. Both dogs did great. In this video you can see Gretel had absolutely no problems navigating the rocky, scramble sections.

OK, there ARE a few short, almost flat sections but they aren’t even long enough to let you catch your breath. If you need a break there is an open area with some benches about one quarter of the way up and a boardwalk with a bench at Snag Flats, a bit before the two mile mark.

We didn’t take many breaks this time up – just some quick ones for water, energy snacks and to wipe the sweat from our eyes. It took us 2.5 hours to hike to the top.

After the last scramble at the top, we settled into the rock outcrop  for a much-needed break. It was a bit breezy but it felt good after the hike. up.

There were birds and chipmunks. Gretel and Chester loved watching them (but we didn’t let them chase them of course). We drank plenty of water and devoured our lunch.

I am always surprised at the energy that Chester and Gretel have. The hike took us about 6 hours and they pulled the whole way up and all the way back down. When we got back to the car they acted like we had never left the parking lot.

They did pass out as soon as we got home and slept through the night. Tired Doggies are good :)

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Trail Notes:

There are a lot of dogs on trail. Most are leashed (they are supposed to be by law) or their owner’s put them on a leash as soon as they see you coming. Today though we came across a hiking party with a dog of leash and the owners did nothing. The dog came up and stuck his nose right in Gretel’s face. Even though Gretel is fearful there was no incident this time. Just be aware.

Be sure to drink plenty of water yourself and give plenty to your dog. We suggest stopping at least every half hour to drink. If you are like us, even if it feels cool you will be sweating buckets and losing lots of water.

The hike back down is the hard part. It’s a knee crusher. I suggest bringing a hiking pole.

A Discover Pass is required to park at the trailhead.

Hike Stats:

Distance: 8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:  3,500 – 3,700 feet (depending on which source you use)
Summit Elevation: 4, 167
Human Calories Burned: 1,389
Chester Calories Burned (12 lbs): 95*
Gretel Calories Burned (9 lbs): 71*

Curious how many calories you and your dog burn hiking? You can also enter your dogs weight to get an estimate* of how many calories they burned.

*The calculator is for humans. Dog’s burn calories at a slightly different rate so this is only an estimate.


  1. says

    I have total envy here! I miss hiking a lot, and I have a feeling it will be several months before we’re able to do any again. That trail reminds me of one we did in Alton, IL. I ended up close to passing out and I’ve since learned to do a better job of pacing myself. lol
    houndstooth recently posted…A Break In The HeatMy Profile

    • AdventureJess says

      Pacing is key. I always say I can do anything, it’s just a matter of how fast or how slow :)

    • AdventureJess says

      It is a great place. it is SO crowded on the weekends though I am not sure I would do that with the dogs again.

    • AdventureJess says

      It’s totally doable…you just have to be sure to take lots of breaks. Chester and Gretel tend to go, go, go so I have to stop them (they get annoyed by the way) to force them to pace themselves and drink enough water.

  2. Pam and Hadley Anne says

    Loved the pictures! We just ordered a harness so it will be easier for Hadley to hike with us! Of course we are waiting for the heat to go before we actually start hiking! Still miserable here in Northern Alabama. =P

    • AdventureJess says

      That’s great Pam. Hiking in a harness is the way to got for sure. We are now getting temps in the 70s here (finally). The temps in the mountains usually stay cooler but we are still going to have to avoid hikes that are in the direct sun the whole time.

  3. Kate says

    Impressive video of Gretel charging up the slope while the humans pant along behind! Weiner power!

  4. says

    That sounds like a challenging hike. I have issues with heights so you would never find me peering over the edge of a cliff…lol. Makes me nervous just looking at the picture, (but it is an excellent picture :)). Good for Chester and Gretel for being such great hikers. I am amazed how fast Gretel is in the video.
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  5. says

    Wow! They pulled all the way up and all the way back down! That is great! My boys would of been huffing and puffing after about 20 steps! (I’m not proud of that by the way either:)

    The calories that were burned between you is awesome!
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  6. Elizabeth says

    I am tired just reading your post! Great job, I’m too out of shape to do any hiking like that! Congrats :)

  7. says

    That looks like a great hike. All except for the standing on the edge pic…that one makes me feel queasy inside. I guess I’m not much for heights.

    That was a great video of Gretel. She was really on the move. I think I would have tripped on something following her on that path. By the way, what did you use to keep the camera steady?

    Have a great week!
    Colby recently posted…The Benefits Of Owning A Pet…My Life As A Pet ParentMy Profile

    • AdventureJess says

      Ha, ha…funny you should ask. I just bend my knees a little more to act as “shock absorbers” and try and keep the camera movements smoother. I have gotten practiced at hiking while looking through a camera lens. Ha, ha.

      I will say though that this time when I uploaded the video to YouTube it asked me if I wanted them to “make the video less shaky for me”. I clicked yes but when I looked at the video I didn’t think it looked any different though. Maybe it DID actually do something if you thought tat video looked smooth :)

  8. Melissa Meadows (Leeloo the chihuahua's mom) says

    Hi Jess! Did we tell you we recently moved to Germany for my postdoc? Leeloo (you sent us the awesome backpack for her a while back), our chihuahua, loves it here! However, doggie leash etiquette is different here, and I wondered if you had thoughts on what you would do. There’s no leash law, and also no dog parks (except in a few big cities, but no where close to Tübingen). We have no yard (pretty much no one does). So the place that dogs can run off-leash and get their exercise is in the parks, like the beautiful Shönbuch Naturpark just across the street from us. We always kept Leeloo leashed in the US of course, but we took her often to dog parks and friend’s yards to run. We are navigating the whole off-leash thing here and it’s a bit of a conundrum. Leeloo is SUPER friendly, but of course not all the other dogs are. We hate for her to bother other dogs and people, so she’s pretty well-trained at recall and we try to leash her when other dogs are coming. They don’t always do the same though, and we had a much larger aggressive dog rush up to her once, which scared the bajeezus out of us. Anyway…it’s annoying both ways. How would you handle living here with your doxies?

    • AdventureJess says

      Of course I remember you guys! Living Germany? How fun. Rules are etiquette ARE very different in Europe.

      For me personally, I would have to leave Chester and Gretel leashed. They would run off and don’t reliably recall. There would be the issue of dogs running up to them and if the other dogs were unleashed and/or large they could be perceived as a threat and cause issues. I would, and do when we encounter that here, try to step between the oncoming dog and Chester and Gretel so they strange dog greets me first. That sounds like what you are doing but that the courtesy is not being reciprocated….probably because it doesn’t occur to them to do so. I am sorry but I don’t have a real answer here but if I were in your situation I would have to handle it different because of Gretel’s reactivity and the lack of recall for both. Like I said, I would have to leave them leashed so “running free” in the park would not be an option for exercise. Since they would have to be on a leash anyway I would just walk them on leash to get their exercise – which could be done as well in or out of the park. I would spend a lot of time walking out of the park and start increasing our time in the park so they would get more used to dogs running up to them. Keep in touch and let me know how it goes.

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