Trailhead Direct is a seasonal metro bus service that operates on weekends and designated holidays, which are Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day (1st Monday in September). Tips: Always bring the essentials! The Day Hiker’s Ten Essentials from The Seattle Mountaineers, check the weather before you go, and tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
2023 Trailhead Direct
- Service dates: May 29 (Monday), July 4 (Tuesday), September 4 (Monday).
- Stops: Capitol Hill, downtown Seattle, Bellevue/Eastgate, and North Bend.
- Trailheads: Little Si, Mount Si, Mount Teneriffe.
Use Metro’s online Trip Planner (info and link below) to plan trips from your location in King, Pierce, or Snohomish counties. For more info: Trailhead Direct – Park. Ride. Hike.
Metro’s online Puget Sound Trip Planner
Metro’s Puget Sound Trip Planner helps you plan trips on scheduled service in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Trip Planner provides details about transit stops, routes and schedules. Note: itineraries do not include unplanned service disruptions and reroutes caused by weather, emergencies, traffic, events or construction. More info: King County Metro – Trip planning
Listed below are more tools to help you plan outdoor fun in the Puget Sound region.
TOTAGO (Turn Off The App – Go Outside)
Plan your trip on Trailhead Direct with integrated hiking and transit information, plus offline trail maps with TOTAGO—a free transportation-focused web and mobile application for the outdoors.
TOTAGO (which stands for “Turn Off The App – Go Outside”) is a free mobile and web app that can help anyone have a fantastic experience outside. The app includes detailed recommendations for hiking, nature walks, bicycling, paddling adventures, and more. Content is sourced from partnerships with local land stewards and professional content creators to ensure you always have the most up-to-date and highest quality information.
King County Metro ORCA card
We recommend that hikers get a King County Metro ORCA Card, to use Metro services without bringing cash or exact change for the bus ride. The myORCA mobile app and website makes paying for transit rides in the Puget Sound region fast and easy. Of course, if you use public transportation daily, then you already know about it. But if you don’t, it’s a handy thing to know.
An ORCA card or myORCA mobile app can be filled with a small amount of cash and never expires. (I keep one on hand for trips to the airport, link Light Rail use, snow days, or any other public transportation need that might crop up. It has saved me more than once!)
About Trailhead Direct Program
The project was developed beginning in the summer of 2017, in response to growing vehicle congestion at several popular trailheads, where illegally parked vehicles along busy roads created significant traffic hazards and safety concerns. Trailhead Direct is a pilot project co-led by King County Metro and King County Parks.
Trailhead Direct provides an incredible opportunity for people to access and connect with their public lands. It reduces the number of cars on the roads and at our trailheads, while increasing the number of people who are able to experience some of the greatest trails in the country. Each person who steps off the bus and onto the trails has the opportunity to fall in love with the outdoors and become a champion of our public lands, helping ensure we preserve these lands for generations to come. — Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands
King County agencies had help from a number of partners in developing the pilot program, including Mountains to Sound Greenway, Washington Trails Association, The Mountaineers, Issaquah Alps Trails Club, Outdoors For All Foundation, TOTAGO (Turn Off The App – Go Outside!), REI, The Wilderness Society, Washington Department of Natural Resources, City of Issaquah, Si View Metropolitan Park District and the U.S. Forest Service.
Washington Trails Association is a proud partner of Trailhead Direct. Transit-to-trails services are key to making our region’s wonderful trails accessible to more people. It also helps trailheads meet the growing number of hikers, without adding more cars to already crowded parking lots. We’re excited Trailhead Direct is back for the 2019 hiking season and are working to ensure it’s an ongoing option for King County hikers. — Jill Simmons, Executive Director, WTA
More info: FAQs – Trailhead Direct and Washington Trails Association (wta.org)