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


Making a Seattle Neighborhood More Walkable

If your neighborhood is highly walkable, that means you can do most of your daily errands on foot, maybe while catching up with the neighbors and getting a nice dose of outside exercise. In this kind of setting, the neighborhood itself is your route to transit, parks, libraries, grocery stores and school.

Some of us live in walkable neighborhoods like this; unfortunately, our neighbors in South Park aren't so lucky. Their neighborhood is ranked 58th in the Seattle Walk Score database, out of 86 listed neighborhoods. Recently, though, there's been a small but significant improvement around 12th Street S and Trenton Street, and it has to do with stairs.

And, more is coming. But before getting to the "more" part, let the Feet First website bring the story up-to-date as of this September:

"On Friday, September 18, Feet First partnered with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the über-talented muralist, Angelina Villalobos, and an incredible volunteer team from Microsoft, to create stunning stairway murals on the 10th and 12th Street stairs, which intersect  S. Trenton and S. Donovan Streets. These stairways are known thoroughfares to Concord Elementary School, SeaMar Community Health Center, the community center, and library...

"With a lot of community support and even more elbow grease this group literally transformed the stairways – shifting from dark, dubious and overgrown trails to bright and welcoming pedestrian passages."

We finally got the chance to see the transformation for ourselves. We also found an announcement, at the bottom of the 12th Street stairs, that the Seattle Department of Transportation has earmarked this important stairway for a complete renovation! That's going to magnify the improvements in accessibility and safety already made to these stairs. We hope, however, that the art will return!

Here's a brief but colorful visual tour of the stairways, just before the planned renovation on the 12th Street S stairs, which is set to begin this January:




Seattle Stairways in Jeopardy!

Do you live in Seattle and love our stairways? Then please help! The current Comprehensive Plan document is set to be revised, and one of the changes will be to delete an important policy that says keeping our Seattle stairways in good shape will remain a City priority well into the future.

We’d appreciate if you'd set aside what you're doing and take a moment to email each of our City Councilmembers asking for the policy to be reinstated in the Comprehensive Plan. Here's suggested text, and below that, a listing of the City Councilmembers' official email addresses:

"As someone who loves Seattle stairways, I'm writing to express my concern about the following proposed change to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which would delete this existing policy:

"'T32 - Recognize that stairways located within Seattle’s public rights-of-way serve as a unique and valuable pedestrian resource in some areas of the City.  Discourage the vacation of public rights-of-way occupied by stairways, and protect publicly-owned stairways from private encroachment.'

"Deleting this strong policy statement about how the city views stairways is a big concern to myself and many others. It suggests that there will be a lessening of stairway maintenance, rebuilding and even abandonment of stairway right-of-ways. 

"Our stairways provide a unique aspect of livability to the City. It would be a huge loss to abandon them. We ask that you raise this issue, and join us in fighting this change to the Comprehensive Plan."

Here are the Councilmembers' emails:


Many thanks to all Seattle stairway lovers!