Hiking up Mt Si to see the northern lights

Chasing the Northern Lights at Mount Si

By Bryan Carroll CFMP, NTP, FAFS

November 24, 2021




Our Rating

North Bend

7.6 miles, roundtrip

(This is from what we recorded on a Garmin Fenix 6x

Gain: 3180 ft.

Highest Point: 3836 ft.

Mount Si, arguably one of my least favorite hikes, is a very common hiking destination in the Western Washington area. Even though I personally am not a fan of the hike, it is a great way to train for other hikes.

Over the course of 3.5 miles you'll gain over 3000' in elevation, which is great for training purposes. The views from the top are nice, but the rest of the hike is in deep woods without much visual appeal.

The only reason we decided to climb Mount Si is because the northern lights were forecasted to be in full strength, and we hoped to see them from the top.

Getting Started

The trailhead is not too far from North Bend's Ranger Station. Right now the parking lot has some of the largest potholes we've seen, so be careful with your vehicle driving through it.

The hike starts off by crossing a little creek. Then from here you will start to climb upwards, with about a million switchbacks before you get to the top.

There are a few different trails that split off if you want to follow any side adventures.

The Top of Mount Si

When you get above treeline, you will be facing the haystack. You can get great views of the area without climbing the haystack, but the top does have better unobstructed views.

The haystack is a scramble, so having scrambling experience is highly recommended. Also be very careful of water or ice on the haystack which will make the climb even more dangerous.

Unfortunately the aurora never came out for us to view, but the stars were still amazing to see!

Click on images below to see a bigger picture

We hiked Mount Si to try and see the northern lights.

Practicing LNT Principles, and Giving Back

We really want to encourage everyone to practice LNT principles when they explore these beautiful places. We spent years trying to minimize social impact on these locations, but the cat is out of the bag and these places are easy to find online. So it is our mission to share more about ways to keep these places as pristine as possible.

We also donate 3% of all our profits to organizations supporting the outdoors and working hard to keep these areas protected and safe.

About the author

Bryan Carroll CFMP, NTP, FAFS

Bryan Carroll is a certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and Movement Therapist who helps the outdoors community to reduce injuries and improve their health so they can get back to exploring nature. His big health crisis from mold exposure taught him the importance of finding the root causes to illnesses so you can take back control of your life. He is also the host of the Summit For Wellness Podcast.

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