Outside Guide: How to plan a car-free adventure

With a bit of advanced planning, patience and creativity, you can get away from it all and experience an adventure that starts at your front door.

Summertime is made for exploring, but plotting a weekend escape can be a challenge for Seattleites without regular access to a vehicle. If you fall into that category, don’t despair! With a bit of advanced planning, patience and creativity, you can get away from it all and experience an adventure that starts at your front door.

Riding the bus to a handful of popular King County trails just got a lot easier, thanks to a new shuttle service that provides frequent weekend service between the Issaquah Transit Center and trails like Tiger Mountain’s Poo Poo Point. For more bus hikes, check out the comprehensive, but slightly outdated, Seattle Metro Bus Hiking website.

Planning a bigger adventure? It doesn’t get much more romantic than packing up all your camping gear and jumping on the train. From a backpacking trip in Glacier National Park to a giant bike loop through Vancouver, Victoria and Port Angeles, Amtrak is a great way to piece together an extended escape.

Speaking of cycling, a bike can be an invaluable tool for connecting bus or ferry trips to campgrounds. Some popular destinations: Fay Bainbridge Park, Camano Island State Park and Iron Horse State Park.

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Short on time? There’s plenty of nature to be found within city limits. Discovery, Carkeek and Seward parks all have miles of forested trails that can be reached via bike or bus. The guidebook “Discovering Seattle Parks” outlines trail options at every city park and also offers transit directions, where applicable. For the quintessential how-am-I-still-in-the-city experience, rent a cabin at West Seattle’s Camp Long and travel a few miles to a world away.

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