King Co. Metro’s Trailhead Direct available Memorial Day weekend
May 26, 2023, 12:38 PM | Updated: May 27, 2023, 9:03 am
(Photo courtesy of Trailhead Direct)
In an effort to keep trailhead parking lots from becoming overcrowded King County, the City of Seattle, and Amazon have partnered to bring back Trailhead Direct — a seasonal shuttle service that connects outdoor enthusiasts from the Seattle area to trails in the vicinity of North Bend. Trailhead Direct includes trips to Mount Si, Little Si, and Mount Teneriffe, and is available over Memorial Day weekend.
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This option allows people to leave their cars at home and enjoy a stress-free ride to the trailhead. It only operates on weekends and specific holidays, including Memorial Day. King County Metro spokesperson Ryan Miller said you don’t need a reservation, just show up outside the Broadway Station light rail in Capitol Hill.
“With Trailhead Direct, we want it to be as simple and similar to any other bus route as possible,” Miller told KIRO Newsradio. “So you can use your ORCA card, you can use a mobile ticket, you can pay in cash, all of the options that are available to you on, you know, a regular bus is available to you on Trailhead Direct.”
Trailhead Direct was launched in 2017 in response to overcrowding at trailhead parking lots. Since then, nearly 70,000 hikers have used this service, with nearly 12,000 last year.
If you decide to take your vehicle on your hike, it is important to remember that you can only park in designated spots. Parking outside of these spots creates overcrowding, which can hinder emergency vehicles when responding to a call. Miller said you can bring your bike and even your dog (as long as they are well-behaved). If you want information on the trailheads, there’s a posted schedule. Rides start as early as 7:30 a.m. through approximately 1 p.m.
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“The reason why we stop taking people out past 1:30 p.m. is we want to make sure that people have enough time to safely do their hike there and back,” Miller said. “And then we’ll start returning people back at about 11 or so. So if you had caught the first bus, you’d have about two hours to do your hike before the first bus back takes you there. The last bus leaves at 6:30 p.m.”
You can access Trailhead Direct through Metro’s Trip Planner. People 18 and younger can ride the metro for free.