Popular transit service to the Issaquah Alps returns with locations in Seattle and more trailhead options

trailhead directA popular public-private partnership that provides direct transit service to hiking destinations Issaquah Alps will return April 21 with expanded service from Seattle to more trailheads. On May 19, a second transit service to Mount Si and Mount Teneriffe near North Bend will start at Sound Transit’s Capitol Hill Link light rail station.

Trailhead Direct – a successful pilot project that provides transit service to trailheads along the Interstate 90 corridor – returns April 21 with expanded service in Seattle to more hiking destinations.

The public-private partnership between King County Metro Transit, King County Parks, the Seattle Department of Transportation, REI Co-op, and Clif Bar and Company will provide weekend and holiday service every 30 minutes starting at the Mount Baker Transit Station in South Seattle to trailheads in the Issaquah Alps. A second route to Mount Si and Mount Teneriffe will start May 19 at Sound Transit’s Capitol Hill Link light rail station.

“We are making it easier than ever to explore the Issaquah Alps without having to own or drive a car,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Our creative public-private partnership will connect more people and families to the spectacular mountain forests our region is famous for.”

“We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and Trailhead Direct makes it easier for all our residents and visitors to access our incredible outdoors using transit. Trailhead Direct builds on our investments in the Seattle transit network, where we’ve improved the frequency and reliability on 64 other routes,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “We are excited about this innovative public-private partnership that is creating new opportunities for all who call Seattle home to get outside and explore our mountains.”

Trailhead Direct was first launched in August 2017 as a pilot project sponsored by King County Metro’s Community Connections program and King County Parks to expand access to hiking trails and reduce trailhead congestion in the Issaquah Alps, where illegally parked vehicles created traffic hazards and safety concerns.issaquah alps

The new service will operate 19- and 27-seat vans with capacity for two bicycles for each trip. Passengers pay Metro’s standard off-peak adult fare of $2.50 until July, when Metro implements a $2.75 flat fare. Passengers can pay with an ORCA card, Transit Go Mobile ticket, or cash.

In early summer, the popular Mailbox Peak trailhead will get Trailhead Direct service from a free satellite parking lot in North Bend.

The other partners that helped develop Trailhead Direct include the cities of Issaquah, North Bend, and Seattle, the Issaquah Alps Trail Club, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Outdoors For All Foundation, Si View Metropolitan Park District, The Mountaineers, The Wilderness Society, TOTAGO, U.S. Forest Service, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and Washington Trails Association.


Trailhead Direct – Issaquah Alps

Service begins: Saturday, April 21

Start and end point: Mount Baker Transit Center: Rainier Avenue South and South Forest Street, Seattle, WA 98144

Stops: Eastgate Freeway Station, Issaquah Transit Center

Trailheads: Margaret’s Way, Chirico Trail-Poo Poo Point, the High School Trail, and East Sunset Way


Trailhead Direct – Mount Si/Mount Teneriffe

Service begins: Saturday, May 19

Start and end point: Sound Transit’s Capitol Hill Link Light Rail Station: 140 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102

Stops: Broadway and John Street in Seattle, Pine Street and Ninth Avenue in Seattle, Eastgate Freeway Station, North Bend Park & Ride

Trailheads: Mount Si and Mount Teneriffe in North Bend

Read more in the official press release.