Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots, and chart a course for Squak Mountain State Park.
Just a few minutes east of Seattle, Squak Mountain has miles of walking and horse trails for people of all abilities.
Meander through the forest past bubbling creeks, mossy rocks and trees dripping with lichen. Ramble down the Bullitt Fireplace Trail to see the impressive remains of the 1952 Bullitt House’s stone fireplace.
Training for bigger treks? Tag the summit of Squak Mountain at 2,024 feet, and treat yourself to a peek-a-boo view of Seattle. If not for that view, you might forget you are close to a city.
The Seattle cardio craze is evident at this park; on late spring evenings and Friday afternoons Squak Mountain plays host to the eastside running and power-walk crowd. Why not join them? Fitness fans, nature lovers and visitors to the Emerald City will find plenty to do here, and neighboring Issaquah provides scores of eateries for a post-workout meal.
Squak Mountain State Park is a 1,591-acre day-use park just outside of Issaquah and a 15-minute drive from Seattle. Fires are not permitted at any time.
The park offers six unsheltered picnic tables at the trailhead and one at the Bullitt fireplace site. All are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a vault toilet at the trailhead and a horse-loading ramp that is accessible to people with disabilities. There is no water available at Squak Mountain.
13 miles of hiking trails
6 miles of horse trails
The park features a self-guided interpretive walk along the 0.3-mile Pretzel Tree Trail adjacent to the main trailhead. The trail illustrates the adventures of Field Mouse as he meets local forest creatures and discovers their importance in the ecosystem on his search for the Pretzel Tree.
Squak Mountain State Park was created in 1972 when the Bullitt family donated 590 acres near the top of the mountain to the state. The donation included a stipulation that the land must remain in its natural state. Several other parcels of land were acquired over the years. Traces of early land users are readily found throughout the park, from remnants of old coal mining rail trails to overgrown logging roads. Massive old-growth stumps dot the forest alongside the trails. And the Bullitt fireplace, a popular park destination, is all that remains at the site of the Bullitt's summer home.
The name Squak comes from an early Anglicization of the Native American word "Asquowk," and was also given to the nearby valley, creek and town.