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


A One-Day Marathon: Traversing the Biggest Stairways in Seattle!

For the second year in a row, a determined group of stairway runners will attempt to traverse most of Seattle's major stairways in one day. The "Seattle Stairway Foot Tour - 2015 Celestial Edition" begins at 5:25AM Saturday, June 20th, a day before June Solstice. We asked the organizer, Michael Yadrick, to tell us more (see below the picture).

What is the Seattle Stairway Foot Tour? The Foot Tour is a 100 kilometer running route covering most of the major stairways except 2 sets each in the farthest reaches of Southeast, Northeast and Northwest Seattle, plus a few that I excluded for safety. Participants will navigate their own way to different stairways in order to traverse the suggested route at their own pace, and with minimal to zero support.

What Do You Mean by 'Major Stairways?' The Foot Tour adopts Doug Beyerlein's method for counting 'major' public stairways, which are considered the ones with 100 or more steps. (Doug's map of all of Seattle's major stairways can be found along the right banner of this page.)

What Are The Specifics of the Route? The route for 2015 is mapped here. I hope to update the map with turn-by-turn instructions soon. It's about 65 miles, with at most 11,500 feet of up-and-down elevation change. We'll start at the farthest Southwest stairway of the route, at SW 98th Street and 51st Avenue SW. We will gather at the street end and beach access. 

So This is Year Two? That's right. The Foot Tour has a very short history - our first one was summer solstice last year. A small group of us set out complete a 100 kilometer route that promised 11,000 feet of elevation change over 15,000 stairs. It was epic, but everyone fell short of completing the planned route.

The running group (me and Jean-Michel Fouard) stuck to a daylight schedule with a total time on our feet of 15 hours 38 minutes, at a pace of about 17-minute miles. We completed 55 miles with 8,167 feet of elevation gained over 66 stairways.

A two-day trekking group, with Andrew Lichtman and Vivian Doorn, completed 50+ miles over two days. They ended their journey in Magnolia’s Discovery Park.

Why a Foot Tour? We want to mark the first days of summer in the northern hemisphere together, by traversing the biggest stairways in The Emerald City. We look forward to moving through the neighborhoods on our own two feet, exploring the City and its history. It's a big place, and we're going to see a ton of great stuff in one big day that will take most people a lifetime to explore.

How Can Folks Get More Info? People can email me at, and I can provide more information about how to join or coordinate.


An Easy Thing You Can Do For Our Stairways

In our last post we asked all Seattle stairway lovers to weigh in on the City's citizen survey regarding the proposed Transportation Levy to Move Seattle. The new levy will replace the old Bridging the Gap levy (BTG), which supplied just over 40% of the funds used to rehabilitate and maintain our large, historic and useful stairway network over the last nine years.

Since then, we've received more information from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) about funding for stairway rehabilitation and maintenance. The new levy proposal will maintain the old level of investment in stairway rehabilitation and maintenance, enabling the rehabilitation of about 45 stairways over the new levy's 9-year lifetime.

It's been our observation that the network of 490 SDOT-owned stairways is undergoing a slow process of deterioration. Even stairways that are structurally safe and sound still need periodic and systematic cleanup to keep them attractive and secure for everyday users. Just maintaining the same level of investment as before won't be enough to ensure that our stairways continue to play their vital role in providing a "safe, interconnected, vibrant" Seattle - the Mayor's stated goal for the new levy.

Here's where you can help! The City is still taking citizen feedback on the proposed levy through the end of the month. Take a quick moment to answer the brief SDOT online survey here. As you go through the survey, you'll see this question: "Are there other transportation investments you feel should be a top priority for funding through this levy?” Just add a quick note here, such as “The levy should at least double its current level of funding for the rehabilitation, maintenance and upkeep of our deteriorating public stairways. This is essential to make pedestrian connections and recreation in Seattle easier and safer." 

Your action in answering the survey will go a long way, if we all join together!

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