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Washington Park Arboretum

Puget Sound and Islands > Seattle-Tacoma Area
47.6416, -122.2905 Map & Directions
Length
5.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
50 feet
Highest Point
150 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy/Moderate
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Old growth
  • Good for kids
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

The 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum offers miles of trails that wind through forests of maples, magnolias, oaks, salmonberry, and the famous Azalea Way. Visit the Pacific Connections Gardens to see a variety of plant life from various countries that border the Pacific Ocean, or lose yourself in the many groves of trees that line the paths in the park. Continue reading

Rating
3.40 out of 5

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Hiking Washington Park Arboretum

The 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum offers miles of trails that wind through forests of maples, magnolias, oaks, salmonberry, and the famous Azalea Way. Visit the Pacific Connections Gardens to see a variety of plant life from various countries that border the Pacific Ocean, or lose yourself in the many groves of trees that line the paths in the park.


Before being established as a park and arboretum, the land was the property of the Puget Mill Company. After a final timber harvest in 1896, the land exchanged ownership a number of times before the creation of Washington Park. The overstory that shades and protects the various collections of flora in the park has sprung from saplings and seeds that remained from the mill activity.

The public park offers many quiet locations for picnicking or relaxing, as well as a playfield and the Japanese Garden in the southwest corner. Aptly named Arboretum Creek winds through the length of the park, and there are many places to sit and listen to the creek burbling along.

The park is accessible year-round, but Azalea Way, the main road through the park, is particularly inviting in the springtime. Originally a road for the mill, Azalea Way is now an ADA-accessible path, lined by enormous flowering bushes that explode in a riot of color as warm weather comes to Seattle.

At 3-miles round trip, the walk along Azalea Way is an excellent way to get your springtime exercise. In spite of being just across the street from the houses of Montlake Terrace, anyone visiting the Washington Park Arboretum will feel tucked into a pocket of wilderness in the heart of Seattle.

Hike Description Written by
Anna Roth, WTA Staff

Washington Park Arboretum

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.6416, -122.2905 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

driving directions

From downtown Seattle: Drive east on Madison Street and follow it through Capitol Hill to the Madison Valley. Turn left onto Lake Washington Boulevard, then follow Lake Washington Boulevard through the Arboretum and stay straight to continue on E. Foster Island Road. Turn right onto Arboretum Drive E until you see the Graham Visitors Center.

From I-5: Take exit 168 for SR-520 East/Bellevue-Kirkland. Once on SR-520, take the first exit for Montlake Boulevard. Continue straight through the signal. Take a slight right at E. Lake Washington Boulevard, then a slight left at Lake Washington Blvd. E. Turn left onto E. Foster Island Road at the stop sign, then turn right onto Arboretum Drive East to reach the Graham Visitors Center.

From SR-520 West: After crossing Lake Washington, take the first exit for Seattle onto Lake Washington Boulevard South. Turn left off the ramp, and take the next left onto E. Foster Island Road. Turn right onto Arboretum Drive East and shortly find the Graham Visitors Center.

Parking is free for the public in several areas along the perimeter of the Arboretum. The large lots are at the Graham Visitors Center and the Japanese Garden.

take transit

This trailhead is accessible by bus! Plan your visit by bus using TOTAGO, or consult the schedule for King County Metro route number 11 or route number 48.

Route 11 has a bus stop on E Madison St & Lake Washington Blvd. Route 48 has a bus stop on 24th Ave E & E Prospect St.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands > Seattle-Tacoma Area

University of Washington, City of Seattle

Guidebooks & Maps

http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/docs/ArboretumMap.pdf

http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/docs/ArboretumMap.jpg

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Washington Park Arboretum

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