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Discovery Park

The Discovery Park Loop Trail offers an enjoyable outing to hikers without having to leave the Seattle city limits. While the park contains a trail network of over 11 miles, the 2.8 mile Loop hike is a great way to take in a wide range of diverse scenery in a relatively short distance. Roughly following the perimeter of the park, the loop winds through second-growth forest groves, open meadows and sandy bluffs overlooking the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. From toddlers to trail runners, this urban hike has something for everyone.

The Loop Trail is accessible from all three of the parking areas and directional signs are provided at most trail intersections. Many worthwhile side trips are also available for those interested in exploring the meadows, walking the beach or visiting the historic lighthouse.
Driving Directions:

From downtown Seattle, go west on Denny Way. Bear Right on to Elliott Ave. Elliott becomes 15th Avenue W. Follow 15th to the Dravus Street exit. At stoplight take a left onto Dravus. Take a right onto 20th Avenue W. 20th will become Gilman Ave W at 4 way stop. Gilman Ave W then becomes W Government Way. Follow W Government Way until you come to the East entrance of the Park.(about 1/2 mile). W Government Way becomes Discovery Park Blvd inside the Park.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 15 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Discovery Park — Mar 09, 2014 — pelinka
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Mudholes
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Discovery Park is a nice city hike for any time of year. We went late on Sunday while the sun was ou...
Discovery Park is a nice city hike for any time of year. We went late on Sunday while the sun was out and this 8-loop hike didn’t disappoint. Starting from the North Parking Lot, we first headed towards the Indian Cultural Center and then took the North Beach trail to find the Lighthouse. For the most part, the trail is flat or sloping down, but you will find some very well kept stairs.
At the beach, the water was very clear and city seagulls were flying everywhere. Interestingly, at the Lighthouse you could feel a different, much colder breeze. We walked by the sandy beach and then headed back to the parking lot through the Hidden Valley trail. This was a good hike up the hill, with many muddy stairs. Overall, it took us about 3 hrs at a good leisurely pace.
Tip: Stop at the visitor’s center and get a map if possible. Also, if you want to park by the Lighthouse, ask (pay?) for a pass at the center as well.
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Discovery Park — Nov 08, 2013 — Big Barefoot B
Day hike
Issues: Mudholes | Water on trail
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Discovery Park Outer Loop Video at sunset http://youtu.be/7pkjgRvRMn8 GPS Trail Stats: http://w...
Discovery Park Outer Loop Video at sunset
http://youtu.be/7pkjgRvRMn8

GPS Trail Stats:
http://www.movescount.com/moves/move21057882

Ask a Seattleite what the biggest most spectacular park in the city is

chances are they will reply "Discovery" without missing a beat.

 

With dramatic open vistas from the south bluffs

Descending the winding trails

through the woods to the rocky beach.

The Discovery Park lighthouse at the point makes way

to sandy beaches

and more sweeping views to the north.

 

Meander up well maintained stairs and a short muddy climb

to connect to the upper second growth woodsy paths.

Wind your way around the 4.5 mile outer loop

back to the south bluffs parking lot.

Being accessible year round Discovery Park has something for everyone.

With so much to offer, it might be hard to leave...
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Discovery Park — Jul 28, 2013 — MmeMazama
Day hike
Issues: Mudholes
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Did a sunset hike today. Trails all in good shape, though the north bluff trail was quite muddy in ...
Did a sunset hike today. Trails all in good shape, though the north bluff trail was quite muddy in spots.
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Discovery Park — Feb 09, 2013 — wafflesnfalafel
Day hike
Issues: Washouts
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Combined the Hiram Chittenden locks and Discovery Park in a longer walk Sunday morning. We parked a...
Combined the Hiram Chittenden locks and Discovery Park in a longer walk Sunday morning. We parked at the locks lot and crossed over to the south side then walked up Commodore Way to the north entrance to the park.

Followed the Loop Trail around the east and south side of the park then dropped down the South Beach trail to the West Point Light house. The trail around the very tip of the point is closed due to erosion. The North Beach trail back up to the parade grounds is marked as closed due to erosion/flooding as well - but is passable - just be very careful over one of the pedestrian bridges towards the bottom of the hill. Looped back around through the north parking lot and back down to the locks.

Starting at the locks adds less than 2 miles to the very nice Discovery Park loop and a bunch of extra views and interesting things to look at. A beautiful morning!
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Discovery Park — Jan 28, 2013 — Muledeer
Day hike
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The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, but it was Sacred Hiking Monday, so we went anyway. W...
The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, but it was Sacred Hiking Monday, so we went anyway. We headed to Seattle, it was cloudy and dark, a perfect day to hike downtown, in a park. The trail was wide and sometimes even paved, and we could stand on the bluffs and watch ships, hawks and small waves. The bluffs are steep, don't cross over the rails, to get to the lighthouse and beach just follow the trails. We ate lunch on the beach, then climbed back up the hill, a little elevation to gain, what a thrill! The main loop around is about 3 miles, there's more little trails, you could spend quite a while. When we reached the car, we were both wet and cold, and we still had to sit in traffic, which gets real old. So,if you can't go to the mtn.s and do what you like? Go into the city, and try this short hike!
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discovery park.jpg
Photo by wafflesnfalafel.
Location
Puget Sound and Islands
Statistics
Roundtrip 2.8 miles
Elevation Gain 200 ft
Highest Point 325 ft
Features
Coast
Fall foliage
User info
Good for kids
Dogs allowed on leash
No pass or permit required
Guidebooks & Maps
http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/cgi-bin/itin_page.pl?resptype=U&destloc=DISCOVERY%20PARK

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Red MarkerDiscovery Park
47.653925 -122.409236
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