The trailheads at Mt. Si, Little Si and Teneriffe are notorious for being very crowded, packed with hundreds of vehicles on summer weekends. It feels like it takes hours of circling the parking lot before finding an open space.
A number of agencies, organizations and the City of North Bend hope they have come up with a solution to ease some of the congestion.
The SnoValley Adventure Shuttle, a pilot summer program, will launch Saturday, and serve the the popular Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area. The shuttle will be run by Compass Outdoor Adventures.
Helping with the program are the state Department of Natural Resources, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and Washington Trails Association.
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The shuttle will operate on weekends only, leaving from a park-and-ride at 331 W. North Bend Way. It will stop at the busiest recreation destinations along the Mount Si Road, including the Little Si, Mount Si and Teneriffe trailheads.
The shuttle will run every 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 12, beginning at 10 a.m. The last shuttle will leave the park-and-ride at 5:15 p.m. and return at 5:42 p.m.
As an incentive to boost ridership, people who use the shuttle will receive SnoValley Adventure Bucks, which gets them discounts at a variety of North Bend and Snoqualmie merchants.
The shuttle schedule also has been timed to coincide with bus arrivals from King County Metro, on Saturdays only, so recreationists from Seattle and Issaquah can reach the trailheads without using their vehicle.
Organizers said they hope to expand the shuttle if it proves to be popular. Future destinations could include the Middle Fork Valley, Rattlesnake Lake and a number of loop hike, bike, or kayak routes, according to a news release.
Round-trip tickets will cost $5 per person, though transaction fees might apply. Because the shuttle can carry only 11 passengers, people are asked to pre-register online, although drop-ins are welcome.
For more information, a schedule and to pre-register, go to compassoutdooradventures.com/shuttle