Pacific Northwest Charm in “Trail Town” Mukilteo, WA

Welcome to another installment of our “Trail Town” series highlighting the charming Pacific Northwest town of Mukilteo, Washington. Contributions and photos by Tammy Dunn and Dan Olson of the Snohomish County Sports Commission.

Mukilteo is a waterfront community situated on Puget Sound in Snohomish County, about 25 miles north of Seattle. This scenic town of roughly 20,000 residents features spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east. Mukilteo has been able to retain its beach town charm while in the midst of the Seattle metropolitan area.

Photo: Snohomish County Sports Commission.


Mukilteo features numerous, diverse trails all within a 15-minute drive. The City of Mukilteo Parks Department has done an excellent job preserving and expanding the trail system in recent years, and the community has taken advantage of the added recreational opportunities. Big Gulch and Japanese Gulch are local favorites, twisting and turning through old-growth forests and streams.

Parking and Transit

Accessibility is paramount in Mukilteo. Did you know you can get to Mukiltio without a car? Sound Transit runs trains from Seattle on their N Line right into the town center. Trains run twice in the evening and take only 45 minutes and cost a mere $3.25. You can also take a ferry from Windbey Island right into Mukilteo across the scenic Puget Sound. All City trails have free and ample parking at the trailhead. Due to Mukilteo’s relatively small size, local public transportation options are limited. However, many trailheads are within walking distance from Mukilteo hotels.

Photo: Snohomish County Sports Commission.


Trail running is ingrained within the community. Any given day there will be runners hitting the trails in Mukilteo – rain or shine. You can expect a friendly “hello” on the trail, and even an invitation to join the Mukilteo trail running community page on Facebook. The tight-knit trail running community organizes multiple fun runs, offering a space for friendships and bonding over a shared love of trail running.


Mukilteo is a quintessential Pacific Northwest community. Mukilteo retains its friendly, old-fashioned hospitality and spectacular setting. Visitors will enjoy exploring the delightful shops and restaurants of this quaint seaside town, as well as the waterfront with its parks and the beautifully restored 1906 Mukilteo lighthouse that overlooks the Puget Sound. The Mukilteo-Clinton Ferry provides the opportunity for a great walk-on boat ride (approximately 60 minutes round trip) or take your car for a full-day excursion to Whidbey Island, Deception Pass or the Olympic Peninsula.

Photo: Snohomish County Sports Commission.


Coffee is a Pacific Northwest staple, and there is no shortage of great coffee in Mukilteo. A local favorite is Red Cup Café right downtown and a block away from Rosehill Community Center.


Mukilteo’s Diamond Knot Brewery is the go-to brewery in Mukilteo, just blocks away from Rosehill Community Center and situated right along the waterfront. Featuring a rotating roster of award winning brews, there is something for everyone at Diamond Knot.

Photo: Snohomish County Sports Commission.


For an authentic Pacific Northwest meal, look no further than Ivar’s Landing. Gorgeous views of Puget Sound combine with fresh seafood to create a truly memorable experience. Other local favorites include Arnie’s and Cabernets and IPAs.

Local Knowledge

Mukilteo Parks has maps of all trails in the area, and additional information can be found on AllTrails and the Washington Trails Association.

Trail Sharing and Competition

The Japanese Gulch Runners are a local trail running club in Mukilteo, and the Parks Department has been instrumental in expanding trail systems in recent years.


The Japanese Gulch Runners and Northwest Trail Runs are two organizations that host numerous competitions in the area. With Mukilteo being within an hour of Seattle to the south and Bellingham to the north, trail race opportunities abound.

The US Trail Running Conference will be held in Mukilteo October 19-22, 2022. Celebrate our sport at the Conference and enjoy the great Pacific Northwest this fall.

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