Outdoor Adventures in Seattle, WA
As a city encased by mountains and sea, Seattle is rife with temptations for its residents who love outdoor recreation. And there sure are a lot of them: while Seattle certainly has its fair share of grey days, when the sun comes out so do its people, and in droves.
Whether you like to spend your time hiking, paddling, climbing—or doing pretty much any other outdoor activity—Seattle has the landscapes and communities that will empower you to get out, play hard, and, most importantly, have fun.
Here’s how some of Seattle’s best outdoor experiences break down:
Trails:Seattle’s park system provides a great network of trails right within the city. Discovery Park is a locals’ favorite for trail runs, featuring forests, beaches, and mountain views. Cyclists will love the Burke-Gilman, an 18.8-mile paved trail that runs along the Ship Canal and Lake Washington. And, just outside the city, there are enough hiking trails within the I-90 corridor to keep you busy for a lifetime.Union, Washington, and Greenlake, this city is practically filled to the brim with water. Many Seattleites know there is no better way to spend a sunny summer’s day than exploring the city by boat, and serious paddlers will continue to take out their vessels year round. For those looking for a bit more of a thrill, there are fun white water rivers—like the Wenatchee or Skykomish—within easy access from the city, too.
Seattle has long been a great city for climbers because it has so many ways to get in good mountain time close by. Aspiring alpinists may want to start with an ascent of the Tooth, which was first climbed nearly 100 years ago. Experienced traditional climbers could spend season after season at Index, which was largely developed in the 1970s and 1980s, and still never get bored. And then there’s the burgeoning bouldering scene at Leavenworth. Play around on the problems that have already been established here, or get in on the action by scouting out new ones—and contribute a piece to Washington’s climbing history yourself.
Weaving through Washington's Pasayten Wilderness, the Boundary Trail is an 80-mile section of the larger Pacific Northwest Trail, and it's highly worth the weeklong trip.
National Parks crowded? Here's a broad-stroked roundup of glorious (and much less-crowded) national forests bordering 10 of America's most-visited national parks.
From being pummeled and humbled along to Oregon Coast, to encountering great white sharks, here's a glimpse into a six-day surf road trip from Seattle to San Francisco.
Just north of Olympic National Park, the Adventure Route of the Olympic Discovery Trail is one of the best mountain bike trails in the Olympic Peninsula, offering riders 25-miles of pristine Pacific Northwest singletrack.
Who needs a ferry? We paddled from Anacortes to James Island on 17-foot sea kayaks, camping overnight at its secluded Cascadia Marine Trail tent site.
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