Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods 

by Jake & Cathy Jaramillo

* The only guidebook to stairway walks in Seattle
* Explore Seattle neighborhoods in a new way with these interesting walks in Seattle
* Written for people of all ages who want to get outside, exercise, and explore
*Learn more --> 


Links & Media

* KPLU 88.1 "Tourist in Your Own Town" - Mount Baker Stairway Walk (2013)

* KING 5 Evening Magazine - Discover the Secret Stairways of Seattle (2013)

* KUOW News - The Hidden Legacy of Seattle Stairways (2013)

* AAA Journey - Last Stop: Stair Attraction (2012)

* Seattle Times - Guidebook Authors Show Ups and Downs. . . (2012)

Feet First - Seattle Walkability Advocates

* Sound Steps - Great Walking Groups for Over-50s!

* WalkOn inBellWa! - Walking Routes in Bellevue's Parks and Neighborhoods

Inventory of Seattle Stairs of 100 Steps or More website by Doug Beyerlein

* All Stairs Seattle Guide website by Susan Ott & Dave Ralph

* Year of Walking Seattle's Parks blog by Linnea Westerlind

*KOMO News - Year of Mapping Seattle's Stairs (2011)

*Seattle Times -  Queen Anne Stairways Map (2009)

* Washington Trails Association Magazine -  Urban Hiking (2007)

* Seattle Times - Seattle Stairways: Taking Time to Learn More About the City (2003)

* Seattle Weekly - Stairway Weekend (1999)

The Mountaineers as well as our publisher, Mountaineers Books


In A Golden Gardens State of Mind

The other day we headed north from our home in West Seattle to Golden Gardens (Chapter 3), to check out the summer scene. Golden Gardens Beach is a Seattle hotspot this time of year, but for stairway walkers like us, the best scene is found on the bluff high above. Up here the trees transform the stairways into a series of deep green tunnels all the way down to the beach. Encapsulated in this thick leafy canopy, we can feel a drug-free combination of wonder and euphoria.

After people-watching at the beach for awhile, we decided to extend the walk that's described in the book. After strolling south for a bit along the beach boardwalk, we headed across the parking lot and street to find the very beginning of the Burke-Gilman Trail. After walking south along the Trail for a mile, we reached a point just opposite the Shilshole Bay Beach Club at around NW 64th Street (the Club isn't visible, hidden to the west behind a set of unused train tracks, shrubs and Seaview Ave NW).

There we turned left, crossing a gravel driveway to take the a path leading up to and beneath the main BNSF tracks. On the other side of the tracks is a newly-refurbished stairway that provides a connection back up to the residential streets. Once we were back in the neighborhood, we followed 34th Ave NW north for 1 1/2 miles. This took us back to our starting point at the top of the Upper Bluff stairs, with a pause midway to look out over the Sound from the excellent vantage point of Sunset Hills Park.



Stairway Walking's Four Surprising Health Benefits?

Yesterday we gave a book talk at Shine!, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance's special retail space in South Lake Union.

Shine! focuses on helping patients get the products and advice they need to successfully navigate cancer treatment and recovery. SCCA's Retail Managers Carrie and Eileen warmly welcomed us to their stylish space, got us set up for our talk, and then showed us around. We saw that Shine!'s large book collection features a number of Mountaineers Books, including ours - books that emphasize outdoor activity.

Eileen said that SCAA's medical staff counsels patients that exercise is a reliable, evidence-based path to recovering strength, stamina and flexibility after surgery or chemotherapy. 

In researching our talk beforehand, we learned about some additional, rather surprising benefits of exercise:

- Healthy people who walked had a 30% lower risk of cardiac "events," and of death from all causes, compared to people who didn't walk. (Br J Sports Med 2008; 42:238-243)

- In another large study, the "most active" postmenopausal women had a 25% lower breast cancer risk than the "least active" women. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev October 2013 22; 1906)

- Exercise protects breast cancer patients from both cancer-related mortality, as well as mortality from all causes. And the more exercise, the better! (J Natl Cancer Inst 2012;104: 1 – 26)

- Similar exercise benefits are seen with colorectal cancer patients. (J Natl Cancer Inst2012;104: 1 – 26)

There's no direct evidence that stairway walking alone confers the health benefits found in these various exercise studies. We can say with certainty, though, that stairway walking is a supercharged (and fun) way to get such exercise. For example, a 145lb person walking on a level surface at 2mph will burn 55 calories after 20 minutes. Using stairs, that same person will burn 175 calories - more than three times the calories of level walking!  

Thanks to Eileen and Carrie for inviting us, and for the great work they're doing. 

Taking on the 188 steps of the Richmond Beach Saltwater Park stairs