Discovery Park Loop

Seattle, Washington 98139

Discovery Park Loop

Discovery Park Loop Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The bike ride starts at the entrance to the east parking lot at the visitor center, about 0.1 mile inside the park. There are a few displays inside the building and an information desk. Detailed maps are for sale here, and free ones are available at a kiosk outside.

The route snakes through a meadow, making a U-shaped turn to the right. Many native grasses and flowering plants adorn
this area on the bluff , which affords some of the best views of the Olympic Peninsula. Keep an eye open for coveys of quail scampering across the old road here. Between this meadow, the seashore, and the forests, birdwatchers have identified some 270 species of birds, making the park a prime destination for birders. Bald eagles and other raptors are commonly seen here, and owls silently patrol the skies in the evening."

More Discovery Park Loop Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Seattle - Including Bellevue, Everett, and Tacoma (Menasha Ridge Press)
Andrew Weber and Bryce Stevens
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"Occupying a prominent point between Shilshole and Elliott bays, this former military installation is the largest park in the city of Seattle. Blessed with 534 acres of forests, fields, bluffs, and beaches, and even a picturesque lighthouse with excellent views of northern Puget Sound, Discovery Park is a great destination for the entire family." Read more
Best Trail Runs Seattle (Falcon Guides)
Adam Chase & Nancy Hobbs
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"This route starts on the Loop Trail, includes the South Beach and North Beach Trails, and is described in a clockwise direction. It consists primarily of singletrack and wider pathways within the forest, with gentle, rolling terrain. The descent to the beach includes a variety of steps, some switchbacks, and great views. The flat section along the beach is about 1 mile in length and provides wonderful views of the shoreline as well as of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. After enjoying the flat respite, gear up for the climb, with grades between 10 and 30 percent. Although steep in spots, the total climb is less than 1 mile, then the route rejoins the Loop Trail for a rolling finish back to the start." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Seattle (Falcon Guides)
Allen Cox
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"Occupying 534 acres atop Seattle’s Magnolia Bluff, Discovery Park is Seattle’s largest. The first European ship to explore Puget Sound, Capt. George Vancouver’s sloop Discovery, was the park’s namesake. Hikers will discover nearly 12 miles of trails meandering through forests, open meadows, sand dunes, and sea cliffs. The longest, at 2.8 miles, is the Loop Trail, offering sweeping views of Puget Sound, Alki Point, Vashon, Blakely, and Bainbridge Islands, and the Olympic Mountains." Read more

Discovery Park Loop Reviews

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7/30/2009
Beautiful scenery easy hike. One of the most beautiful beaches of Seattle.
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7/2/2009
Fun hike. Large openings under a canopy created by huge firs and spruces native to the region provide a good opportunity to view wildlife. The trail was well maintained and there was little traffic during the middle of he week. Hiking was moderate because I was pushing a stroller most of the way. An outdoor stroller would have been much more suitable.
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4/19/2009
First off, the gorgeous weather made this hike even better. The paved areas and the trail areas were pretty much dry and muck-free, which was a blessing. There was quite a bit of traffic, but not so much that we felt overrun. Gorgeous hike, the views were awesome.
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Discovery Park Loop Photos

Trail Information

Seattle
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
4.7
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
1 hour
Duration
Skating, Biking
Additional Use
Views, Wildflowers
Features
DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer—Washington, page 45; Seattle Parks and Recreation—Discovery Park, available at visitor center and online at seattle.gov/parks/trails_detail.asp?id=310
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018