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Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods 

by Jake & Cathy Jaramillo

* The only guidebook to stairway walks in Seattle
* Explore Seattle neighborhoods in a new way with these interesting walks in Seattle
* Written for people of all ages who want to get outside, exercise, and explore
*Learn more --> 


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Links & Media

* KPLU 88.1 "Tourist in Your Own Town" - Mount Baker Stairway Walk (2013)

* KING 5 Evening Magazine - Discover the Secret Stairways of Seattle (2013)

* KUOW News - The Hidden Legacy of Seattle Stairways (2013)

* AAA Journey - Last Stop: Stair Attraction (2012)

* Seattle Times - Guidebook Authors Show Ups and Downs. . . (2012)

Feet First - Seattle Walkability Advocates

* Sound Steps - Great Walking Groups for Over-50s!

* WalkOn inBellWa! - Walking Routes in Bellevue's Parks and Neighborhoods

Inventory of Seattle Stairs of 100 Steps or More website by Doug Beyerlein

* All Stairs Seattle Guide website by Susan Ott & Dave Ralph

* Year of Walking Seattle's Parks blog by Linnea Westerlind

*KOMO News - Year of Mapping Seattle's Stairs (2011)

*Seattle Times -  Queen Anne Stairways Map (2009)

* Washington Trails Association Magazine -  Urban Hiking (2007)

* Seattle Times - Seattle Stairways: Taking Time to Learn More About the City (2003)

* Seattle Weekly - Stairway Weekend (1999)

The Mountaineers as well as our publisher, Mountaineers Books

Entries in North Seattle (7)

Tuesday
Sep252012

University of Washington

This stairway walk shows off all the "U-Dub" chestnuts like Red Square, the magnificent Gothic-style Suzzallo Library, Rainier Vista, The Quad, and Drumheller Fountain. But you'll also get to explore places seldom seen by the casual visitor to the University of Washington: the lengthy Wahkiakum Lane stairway; the "Stairs to Nowhere" near the School of Architecture; curving twin stairways oddly suspended just above the ground, with a wooden staircase filling in the gap; a surreal outdoor amphitheater, and literally tons of campus art.

Extra website pictures, referenced in the book, are contained in the slideshow below (as indicated by the "www" icon). Scroll further for even more scenes of this UW version of Seattle stairs.

 

The Story of Those Sylvan Theater Columns:

The University of Washington had a tough time at the beginning. Financial problems shut it down three times before its first student, Clara Witt, graduated n 1876. By 1895 the University was stable and growing, and moved to a new building on today's campus: Denny Hall, just to the north of The Quad (see below). When the original downtown building was set to be razed Edmond Meany, the History Department chair, led an effort to save the portico columns and move them over to the new campus. Over the years they've had rough adventures; two of the columns were blown over before all four were safely secured to a concrete base. The original cedar scrollwork at the tops didn't make it. What you will see are fiberglas replacements, installed in 1958.

 

These are the "Stairs to Nowhere," a project of students from the School of Architecture

The Spiral Stairs will take you past the Henry Gallery to a footbridge over 15th Avenue NE, and on to "The Ave"

The Ave is a busy student hangout, with lots of food places and different types of ethnic cuisine. There's a brewry and alehouse too, as well as the University Bookstore, which is a fun place to hang out browse.


The Ave is not to be missed - busy with students, stores and good places to eat...

...like this, Alladin Gyro-cery, one of our favorite shawarma spots


Back on campus, springtime in The Quad brings a spectacular explosion among the Yoshino Cherry trees


The buildings around The Quad are decorated with easily-missed grotesques like these


Looking back up at part of the Wahkiakum Lane stairs, toward the end of the walk

Wednesday
May252011

Maple Leaf and Thornton Creek

For a kaleidoscopic view of nature, urban art and environmental design, this Seattle stairway walk is unparalleled! Thornton Creek, the biggest year-round creek in Seattle, provides the running theme for this exploration of Seattle stairs. You'll cross and re-cross it; view it bank-side; stand on a bridge viewing it from tree-canopy height; and see how it's engineered by humans and animals (yup, beavers)! At 4.7 miles, this is the longest stairway walk in the book, full of interesting things to do and see.

The "www" icon just above the slideshow means it contains additional pictorial content that was referenced in the book. Scroll below that for even more views from this walk.

 

Looking down into the Knickerbocker Flood Plain, Kingfisher Natural Area




Creekside view at La Villa Meadows Natural Area


A side trip down an unpaved lane leads to a beautiful view of Thornton Creek; a trail on the other side, just out of the frame to the right, begs for future exploration



This view overlaps right side of picture above, one year later

 

A close view of beaver handiwork



"Bad Buoys" is part of a sculptural suite by Benson Shaw at Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel

Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel (TCWQC): designed for urban nature


A discreet entryway: NE 95th Street stairs


Finishing up: heading down the NE 95th Street stairs to Lake City Way