A guide to Seattle area parks with a special emphasis on accessibility and photography.
All previews have a Things to Know section and photos at the end if you’re just looking for quick facts and aren’t interested in the detailed descriptive information. Parking and admission is free at all areas previewed unless stated otherwise in the preview.
Type of Park
Viewpoint = The view is the main reason to visit.
Local = A park primarily used by people living or working in the surrounding area.
Trip = A park unique enough to warrant going out of your way to see.
Destination = A very large park, usually with a wide variety of attractions/activities. People come from all over the greater Seattle area to visit it.
Preview = A post about a specific location with full details and photos.
Tangent = A post usually related to parks, birds, or photography in some way, but not a preview.
On the Road = A post about a location outside of Seattle and its immediate suburbs.
Combo Outing = A section in some previews with suggestions of other nearby locations to visit on the same trip.
To find the type of park you’re looking for use the Categories section. For a list of all parks previewed so far use the Preview category. To find a park by name use the Search function. The Links section provides links to maps, city park pages, and a few blogs of interest.
All content, including all photographs, of the Park Preview Blog is copyrighted by the blog owner, except where otherwise noted. Do not use Park Preview content without permission.
Starting today all state parks, wildlife areas, and water access sites are completely closed.
Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks are completely closed.
The National Forests have not announced specific trail closures, but all facilities such as trailhead bathrooms and visitor centers are closed.
Due to crowding and refusal to follow social distancing guidelines, Seattle Parks and Rec announced late this afternoon that the parking lots are now closed at several popular Seattle parks.
The parks themselves are still open, but you must be able to walk or bicycle to the park. This is an attempt to reduce the large numbers of people in the parks to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
The parks currently affected are:
Gas Works Park
I’m really bummed that uncaring people have ruined this for everyone with their inconsiderate actions. By closing off parking lots these parks are now completely inaccessible to everyone with mobility issues.
Magnuson and Golden Gardens are my go-to parks when I need to get out for a bit, and both parks have nice spots to just sit in your car and enjoy the view. Now we can’t even do that.
I’m surprised Carkeek isn’t on the list, so I expect this will be expanded sooner rather than later.
Last night Governor Inslee issued a statewide stay at home order. The order is in effect until April 6th.
Luckily parks are still on the allowed activities list, as long as you follow all other precautions, which include not going if you are sick or know you have been exposed, and keeping at least six feet away from other people.
Here’s the list of activities that are still allowed under the new order:
Today the Snohomish County Executive made a decision to partially close Snohomish County parks to reduce the recent crowding at many of them. Previously just the playgrounds were closed.
All restroom facilities are being closed.
Parks that have parking lots with a gate will have the gates shut and locked. Such parks are still open for use, but you need to be able to walk or bicycle to the park. This will cut down on the number of people in the parks.
This means crowds may increase at parks without gates. Be responsible and keep your distance or more draconian measures will be taken.