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

* Seattle Channel's City Stream: Seattle Stairways (2016) 

* 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


Cedar Park and the Burke-Gilman Trail

NOTE: A major stairway on this route was replaced in early 2013. This posting shows the old stairway; for pictures of the new stairway plus several additional pictures along this route, click here.

This is another tour of Seattle stairs that is hugely influenced by the relationship of Lake Washington and the bluffs above it. Here, up in the northwest corner of the lake, the neighborhood of Cedar Park spills over the bluff down to the water. While Lake City Way is an important auto route up and over Lake Washington, there's not a lot of reason for your average car-driving Seattleite to venture here, between Lake City Way and Lake Washington. The streets aren't as dense or numerous as elsewhere, and further progress is blocked by the lake. But, for us adventurous urban hikers, this provides  the perfect opportunity to explore a completely charming spot we probably wouldn't see otherwise.
The walk starts out with vistas of northern Lake Washington from a long, steep stairway. Then there's a set of half-hidden stairs meandering toward the lake, interrupted in the middle by a pathway running down a quiet, shallow ravine. You'll spend some time lakeside, walking along the incomparable Burke-Gilman Trail - one of the finest rail-trails in the nation. You'll leave the trail to head back up the bluff and check out the rest of the scenic neighborhood. If time is a limiting factor, the book details an optional route that keeps the stairs, but shortens the neighborhood exploration.

The "www" icon marks additional pictoral content referenced in the book.

A view of Lake Washington as you descend the first stairway's 196 steps

A hanging moss garden flourishes on a salvaged concrete retaining wall


The top of the NE 130th Street stairs is not easy to spot on its way toward the lake; watch for an opening in the traffic barrier

The final flight of the NE 130th Street stairs ends at the Burke-Gilman Trail

Along some parts of the Burke-Gilman trail you can see signs of slope movement (note leaning trees); wildlife abounds right next to lakeside houses

Residents use landscaping in a variety of ways to capture views and reflect their surroundings

The walk begins and ends at Cedar Park - the park, that is

Cedar Park has a nice play area and portable restrooms

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Reader Comments (5)

I'd like to visit this Walk. A detail map direction would be helpful.

October 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The NE 135th stairs were undoubtedly build to allow school kids could access to the now closed Cedar Park Elementary School one block from the top.

October 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for the insight into the NE 135th stairs! As for detailed directions for Cedar Park, those will be coming out in book form in August 2012. The book will also include detailed directions, descriptions (historical, architectural, cultural) and pictures for this and twenty-four other walks around Seattle...stay tuned!

October 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJake and Cathy

looks like a great book and I'm going to buy one ... but Cedar Park is really on the northwest edge of the lake ... not the northeast. Nice treatment of the trail and its surroundings.

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy Salter

The "northeast" has been duly corrected. Thanks!

December 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterJake Jaramillo

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