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


Your Stairways Need Support. Here's What You Can Do Today!

This year, the "Bridging the Gap" levy expires. The mayor’s proposed Transportation Levy would replace Bridging the Gap, but it surprisingly fails to mention one of Seattle’s most important transportation modes - our city’s extensive stairway network! Funds needed to keep our stairs functioning safely might well disappear unless we act quickly. 

As you probably already know, Seattle possesses a historic built legacy of more than 650 publicly accessible stairways. Many of them are more than one hundred years old, yet even today they still connect our citizens to transit, parks, and everyday neighborhood businesses. 

Stairways provide scenic byways in the city for exploration and outdoor exercise. They’re a “third place” for neighbors to meet casually. In short, our stairway network remains incredibly relevant to our city’s function and quality of life.

Back in 2011 the city’s budget for stairway maintenance was only about $1.1 million. This inadequate funding shows (see picture below) - despite the dedicated efforts of SDOT stairway rehab and replacement crews. When the current Bridging the Gap levy expires, even this paltry budget looks like it will disappear! 

We’re appealing for you to take action in two, fairly easy ways: 

1) Please take a moment to give your feedback to Mayor Murray and the city, using 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 must add specific funding for our deteriorating public stairways, to make walking easier and safer." Your action in doing this could go a long way, if we all pitch in together. 

2) Amplify your voice! Please send a link to this post to your own networks.  

That’s it! Thanks so much for your efforts to protect our precious stairways from this fate:



Park Stairways With Winter Views

An unusually warm, dry Winter is turning quickly into Spring, and the stairway walking has been great lately. This is especially true in the parks! Over the next few weeks, you'll still be able to get views and perspectives unlike anything you'll see in summertime, after the trees have all leafed out. The picture below gives a sense of the open feeling you'll still find if you go walking now.

Our book has a special "PARK" icon next to some of the chapters listed in the Table of Contents. The icon shows where parks and park stairways feature prominently along a route. A few of these routes provide especially scenic overlooks of Lake Washington or Puget Sound in Winter, and it's on these stairway walks that you'll enjoy those special, exhilarating glimpses of water and mountain as you move among the bare trees in Winter. On the Lake Washington side, we especially recommend Madrona and Leschi (Chapter 8) and Mount Baker (Chapter 20). For a stairway walk overlooking Puget Sound, Fauntleroy and Morgan Junction (Chapter 16) is a good bet.

With such gorgeous sunny weather going on, we decided to check out Frink Park and the surrounding area, which is peppered with public stairways. We suggest you visit Frink Park too, and soon! The Indian Plums were putting out little fountains of leaf by the thousands, soaking up the sunlight that beamed unimpeded past the leafless alders and bigleaf maples towering above. We got our first glimpse of Skunk cabbage on this walk - a traditional token of Spring for us!

We covered almost the entire park trail system in a couple of loops, traversing about 770 steps total. This included a couple of SDOT stairways outside the park: the new stairway at S Jackson Street and Lakeside Avenue S; one we hadn't walked before, at E Alder Street and Randolph Avenue; and another one climbing up to 31st Avenue and S Washington Street. The steps inside the park were mostly built of timber, and in a few stretches they were fashioned from hewn stone.

Here are some of the visual impressions from our recent walk in Frink Park and environs.

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