Escape from Amazonia to Queenly Views

The Hike: South Lake Union to Queen Anne

  • Distance: About 3.5 miles
  • Transit: South Lake Union Trolley, buses 40 and the C Line

Queen Anne Hill is one of Seattle’s most dramatic landmarks. Why not climb it?

Once on top, you’ll walk through some lovely neighborhoods and get the best views in the city.

This journey even comes with a sketchy woodland adventure — if you’re up for it.

Start: Amazonia

maplakeuniontoqueenanne2As you begin your journey at Terry Avenue and Mercer Street, notice the thousands of odd tribal members shuffling along wearing blue badges. You’re in Amazonia now. Don’t worry, they’re too busy staring at their phones to notice you.

Cross Mercer and head north toward the lake.

Once here, hop on the Lake Union Loop pedestrian trail on along Westlake. It’s a pleasant walk with great views of the lake, and it’s flat as a pancake for about a mile. Then things get real.

park
Entering Lake Union Park at the start of the hike.
stairs
Here’s where it gets real. Climb these steps to Dexter Avenue.

Start Climbing

At Crockett, cross Westlake Avenue and take a set of stairs, heading west and ever upward. You’ll hit Dexter, then keep going up on a diagonal road to your right. That’s Dexter Way.

Here’s where it gets tricky: Crossing under Aurora Avenue, you’ll see a rough-looking lot to the south. There’s a footpath here that climbs steeply up the hill through the woods. It’s kind of spooky, but once on top, you’ll pop out of the woods into one of Queen Anne’s nicer neighborhoods at Taylor Avenue and Crockett.

underpass
Cross under Aurora Avenue on Dexter Way.
scarytrail
A sometimes-sketchy trail takes you up the east side of Queen Anne.

You’re on the Hill Now

Up you came, up you must keep going.

As you climb west along Crockett, notice that the residents in these nice neighborhoods are no better at picking up after their dogs than anywhere else in Seattle.

targys
Targy’s: Drink up.

Step carefully and you’ll eventually top out (elevation 400 feet) and hit the Queen Anne Avenue commercial district.

Need a snack or a drink? You have a wealth of choices on the avenue.

Consider a stop at one of Seattle’s quintessential dive bars a little farther on. At Crockett and Sixth Avenue West, Targy’s Tavern is the place to get lost for a couple of hours.

boulevard
Queen Anne Boulevard offers majestic views of Elliott Bay.

It’s View Time

You’re in the homestretch now. One block away, take a left on Seventh Avenue West and head south.

You’re on what’s known as Queen Anne Boulevard now, where you’ll find the best views in Seattle. Wonderful, historic mansions line the route as it coutours around to Queen Anne’s south side, where more views await.

Highlights: Betty Bowen Viewpoint, with exceptional views of Elliott Bay, the Olympics and West Seattle, and on Highland Street, you’ll come to Kerry Park, arguably the best skyline view of the Emerald City.

Done walking? You can catch a bus (Routes 2, 13, and 29) two blocks to the east at Highland Street and Queen Anne Avenue.

bowen
Betty Bowen Viewpoint looks out on Elliott Bay.
kerrypeople
Kerry Park offers one of the best views in the city.

 

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