Issaquah, Washington is a vibrant city located in King County, just a short drive east of Seattle. Nestled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Issaquah offers a mix of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Issaquah:
1. Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery
Image Source: https://www.issaquahfish.org/
Each year, FISH organizes public salmon releases, allowing community members to witness the release of young salmon into the Issaquah Creek. This event serves as an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of salmon conservation and the challenges they face in their journey from the hatchery to the ocean. FISH actively participates in the annual Salmon Days Festival, which celebrates the return of the salmon to the Issaquah Creek. They set up educational booths and provide interactive displays to engage festival attendees and share information about salmon conservation.
2. Tiger Mountain
Tiger Mountain is a prominent mountain located in the Cascade Range of Washington state, near the city of Issaquah. It is a popular outdoor destination known for its scenic beauty, extensive trail network, and recreational opportunities. Tiger Mountain is situated within the Tiger Mountain State Forest, which covers an area of over 13,000 acres (5,300 hectares). It is part of the larger Issaquah Alps mountain range, which also includes Cougar Mountain and Squak Mountain. The mountain is located about 32 miles (51 kilometers) east of Seattle.
3. Lake Sammamish State Park
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Sammamish_State_Park
Located just outside of Issaquah, Lake Sammamish State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers a sandy beach, picnic areas, walking trails, and water activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing. It’s a perfect spot for a relaxing day by the lake.
4. Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
This expansive park offers over 3,100 acres of trails and wilderness to explore. Hiking enthusiasts will love the variety of trails, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. The park is also home to diverse wildlife and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
5. Cougar Mountain Zoo
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar_Mountain_Zoo
Animal lovers should pay a visit to the Cougar Mountain Zoo, which specializes in endangered species. The zoo is home to a variety of animals, including cougars, lemurs, reindeer, and wallabies. Visitors can take guided tours, feed the animals, and learn about wildlife conservation efforts.
6. Poo Poo Point – Chirico Trail
Upon reaching Poo Poo Point, hikers are rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. On clear days, you can see the downtown Seattle skyline, Mount Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains in the distance. It’s a picturesque spot to relax, have a picnic, and take in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The Chirico Trail is easily accessible, and there is a designated parking area at the High Point Trailhead. However, parking can fill up quickly, especially on weekends, so it’s advisable to arrive early or consider carpooling.
7. Duthie Hill Park
The park is a haven for mountain biking enthusiasts, offering a wide range of trails catering to all skill levels. The trails at Duthie Hill Park are meticulously designed, featuring a mix of flowy singletracks, technical sections, jumps, berms, and wooden features like bridges and skinnies. Riders can choose from beginner-friendly trails to more advanced options, providing a thrilling and enjoyable experience for riders of all abilities.
8. Issaquah Depot Museum
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issaquah_Depot
History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Issaquah Depot Museum, which is located in the restored Issaquah Train Depot. The museum showcases exhibits that highlight the rich history of the area, including the logging industry, railroad development, and the lives of early settlers. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past and offers a better understanding of the city’s heritage.
9. Squak Mountain State Park
Image Source: https://www.parks.wa.gov/588/Squak-Mountain
Squak Mountain State Park covers an area of approximately 1,545 acres and is situated in the Issaquah Alps, alongside Cougar Mountain and Tiger Mountain. The park is conveniently located just a short drive east of Seattle, making it easily accessible for day trips or outdoor adventures. Squak Mountain is known for its lush forests, tranquil streams, and diverse wildlife. The park features a network of well-maintained hiking trails that wind through the mountain, providing opportunities for exploration and discovery. The trails vary in length and difficulty, accommodating both casual walkers and more experienced hikers.
10. Gilman Town Hall Museum
Image Source: https://historylink.tours/stop/gilman-town-hall/
For a deeper dive into Issaquah’s history, make sure to stop by the Gilman Town Hall Museum. Housed in a former town hall building, this small museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and displays that highlight the town’s development over time. It’s a great place to learn about the local heritage and gain a greater appreciation for Issaquah’s past.
11. Lake Sammamish Issaquah Creek Trail
The Lake Sammamish Issaquah Creek Trail is part of a larger trail network in the region. It connects with other trails such as the East Lake Sammamish Trail, which extends further north along the lake, and the Issaquah-Preston Trail, which connects to the city of Preston. There are ongoing plans to expand and improve the trail system to enhance connectivity and provide an even better recreational experience for users.
These are just a few of the many attractions and activities that await you in Issaquah, Washington. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a place to unwind, Issaquah has something to offer everyone.
Places and Things To Do