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Fauntleroy Park

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area
View map below

Length

1.5 miles of trails

Elevation

Gain: 350 ft.
Highest Point: 360 ft.

Rating

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Fauntleroy Park, in West Seattle, is a few blocks southeast of the Vashon Island Ferry dock. The park offers some impressively tall trees, both conifers and deciduous trees. There is a good system of short trails, with boardwalks, rustic stairs and viewing platforms. Wildflowers are common in spring, and many wild birds make the park their home. The park encompasses the drainage of Fauntleroy Creek that once was a salmon stream, and there currently are efforts to restore the coho run here.

The park and surrounding community are named for nearby Fauntleroy Cove; while the cove, in turn, was named for Ellinor Fauntleroy by her fiance, Lieutenant George Davidson, who took soundings in the cove during an 1857 survey. He also named an Olympic peak (Mount Ellinor) in her honor.

There is no entry fee, and official park hours are daily, 6 a.m. to sunset. There are no trail signs in the park, so you might find it useful to download a park map, with numbered commentary, from the "Self-Guided Nature Walk". The commentaries offer information about landscape features, and the plants and animals you might see here.

You can, if you like, explore the park on your own with map in hand. Or, if you prefer a more structured hike, a suggested route follows.

Head into the park on the obvious trail. Unless you are hiking in winter, the trees and shrubs all will be leafed out and the setting very green. In spring and early summer, be alert for wildflowers such as trillium, fringe cup, youth-on-age, avens, skunk cabbage, miner's lettuce, buttercup, salmonberry, and thimbleberry.

In about 750 feet, come to a trail fork. It's worth checking out the left fork that leads to a boardwalk and platform with views of the surrounding terrain. A social trail may continue on from there, but it's best to return to the main trail, where you turn left and cross a rustic bridge.

At the next trail fork, head left and continue uphill. Admire the tall trees along the way. Farther along, another trail fork to the left leads out to SW Cambridge Street. You can check out this side trail if you like. Then return to the ongoing trail and continue uphill to reach the southern park entrance along SW 97th Street.

When you are ready, head back downhill, rejoin the main trail, and turn left. Continue on, cross a small stream and climb some stairs to reach an overlook.

Farther along, you can explore a short loop trail to the left that goes out to an entrance on Forest Court SW.

Continue on the trail next to the fence and return to the main trail. It leads to a bridge, and out to a parking lot shared by a church and a YMCA. (This large parking lot is posted prominently for their use only - others risk being towed.)

To return to the Barton Street entrance, just follow the sidewalk next to the street uphill for a couple of blocks.

 

Fauntleroy Park

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.5215, -122.3851 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area

City of Seattle

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Getting There

Unless you already are in West Seattle, take the Spokane Street exit from either I-5 or Highway 99, head west and cross the West Seattle Bridge. At the west end of the bridge, follow the signs to Fauntleroy Way SW, a main arterial. In about 3 miles, pass Lincoln Park on your right, and then pass the lanes for the Vashon Island Ferry. Stay on the main route - it's fairly obvious - as it curves around and changes names three times in the next few blocks. First, it bends slightly left and becomes SW Wildwood Pl, then bends left again to become California Ave SW. Finally, it curves around to the right and becomes SW Barton St. In a block or two, be alert for the Fauntleroy Park sign and entrance on the right. There is no official parking lot here, but free parking is available along both sides of SW Barton St.

An alternate parking option is at the southern park entrance along SW 97th St, between 39th Ave SW and 41st Ave SW. There is room here for perhaps six cars to park at right angles to the street, or fewer if they are parked parallel.

The map indicates other park "Entrances," but they offer very minimal parking options, and are best considered for foot traffic only.

Note there are no restrooms in the park, and bicycles are not allowed on park trails.

take transit

This trailhead is accessible by bus! Plan your visit by bus using TOTAGO, or consult the schedules for King County Metro RapidRide Line C or route number 21.

RapidRide Line C has stops for both directions on California Ave SW & SW Barton St, in front of the church. It's a short uphill walk around to the trailhead on SW Barton St, and you will finish your hike back here next to the bus stop.

Route 21 has stops for both directions on 25th Ave SW & SW Cambridge St. Walk west on SW Cambridge St towards the park.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Fauntleroy Park

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