King County Parks and King County Metro are happy to announce that the Trailhead Direct service will be returning for 2021! We can’t wait to welcome you aboard.

The service will be composed of 2 routes this year — Issaquah Alps and Mt. Si. The season will launch on Saturday June 5 and run through Sunday September 26th. The Issaquah Alps route will start at the Mount Baker Transit Center with service every 30 minutes to Squak Mountain State Park and Tiger Mountain. The Mount Si route will start at the Sound Transit Capitol Hill Link light rail station with service every 20 minutes to Mount Si, Mount Teneriffe, and Little Si.

Public health and responsible recreation guidelines were taken into close account when designing this season’s service. To keep you safe while we keep you moving, King County Metro has made some big changes aboard all buses, including Trailhead Direct vehicles:

  • Masks are required onboard and while waiting for your Trailhead Direct vehicle at transit centers.
  • Please ensure you wear your mask over your nose and mouth and keep it on for the duration of your trip. Help us protect the vehicle operators and one another while en route to the trailheads.
  • Respect the passenger limits onboard Trailhead Direct vehicles, and please observe the signage onboard to block seats to support physical distancing.
  • King County Metro is disinfecting vehicles daily, and has installed safety partitions.

Our day-to-day looks very different than it did in 2019, so too does the Trailhead Direct service. To protect each other, the land, and delicate ecosystems, King County Parks encourages you to #RecreateResponsibly by taking these things into account when planning your Trailhead Direct adventure this summer:

  • Know before you go. Check the status of the place you want to visit to make sure it’s open. Have a back-up plan in case of crowding.
  • Plan ahead. Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch, and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a mask. Give yourself extra time to catch your return trip and in case of changes to the plan.
  • Practice physical distancing. Be prepared to mask up to give others space. Keep your group size small. If you’re feeling sick, stay home.
  • Play it safe. Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce risk of injury. Stay within your limits to prevent burdening search and rescue teams and health care providers.
  • Explore responsibly. Be mindful of where you’re choosing to take a trip and your impact on the communities you visit. Always keep pets on leash.
  • Leave no trace. Stay on the trail. Respect the land and water, as well as Native and local communities. Pack out everything you bring with you, including trash and pet waste.
  • Build an inclusive outdoors. Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for people of all races, backgrounds, and abilities.

Learn more about King County Parks’ COVID-19 response and King County Metro’s COVID-19 response.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this unprecedented time. Subscribe to our Trailhead Direct newsletter, and follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay in the loop on any updates.

4 Comments on “Trailhead Direct 2021 update

  1. I’m super excited to get out and hit the trail this year!! Really missed not getting out last year.

  2. Will all the buses have racks that will take 29″ wheel mountain bikes? This has been an issue int he past. Fortunately I have an old school 26″ bike. Look forward to this!

    • Hi there! Thanks for your question. Our bike racks are able to fit bikes with 29” diameter wheels generally, but specific compatibility will vary. The bike rack can hold the following bike sizes safely:

      Wheel sizes 16-29” in diameter
      Wheel base up to 46”
      Tire widths up to 3”
      Weight limit of 55 pounds per rack position (including any bike accessories). Many electric-assist bikes exceed this weight limit. A removable battery may be brought inside the bus.

      If you want more detailed info about which bikes are compatible, check out:

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