Discovery Park Loop Trail

Discovery Park, Washington

Trip Date: Sunday, September 20th, 2020
Last Updated: Saturday, January 2nd, 2021
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★☆☆(3/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 2.8 miles roundtrip
Time 1.5 hours
Terrain A few hills
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No


Hike Summary

Discovery Park is Seattle's largest park, and the Loop Trail is a designated National Recreation Trail that circles this urban beauty. The trail is generally wide and flat, and signposts at every intersection point the way for the Loop Trail. Most of the trail travels through a thick forest like pictured below. If you're new to the area like me, you'll be amazed at how moss covers seemingly every surface.

A massive, gnarly tree covered in moss

A massive, gnarly tree covered in moss

On the western edge of the park, you'll have views of Puget Sound and, on a clear day, the frequently snow-covered Olympic Mountains. This is the best part of the hike, and you can enjoy the views pictured below from a handful of benches. If you want to enjoy more of this scenery, you can take the South Beach Trail down to the beach and lighthouse, adding a bit more than a mile to your hike.
Clouds obscure the Olympic Mountains

Clouds obscure the Olympic Mountains

Puget Sound from the Loop Trail

Puget Sound from the Loop Trail

Discovery Park is definitely somewhere to visit while you're in Seattle. Read more about the hike and current conditions on the Loop Trail's Washington Trails Association page. Connect with me using the social media links below and share your adventures!

Important Information

Dogs are allowed on leash. This flat, wide trail is great for the entire family. You can visit in any season, though views are best on a clear day. Expect to see many people on the hike unless you are hiking very early in the morning.


Located on the far western edge of Seattle in the Magnolia neighborhood, Discovery Park is not freeway-adjacent. The city streets you use depend heavily on where you're coming from. The urban location also means you can consider using transit or riding your bike. Click the Google Maps link to find the best way.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There are restrooms in the visitor center. If this lot is full, there are two other parking lots or you can park on the street -- since this trail circles the entire park, you can access it easily from anywhere.

Nearby Hikes

Poo Poo Point has an amazing view of Mt. Ranier
Poo Poo Point via Chirico Trail
West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area, Washington
Middle Wallace Falls shrouded in mist and surrounded by moss
Wallace Falls
Wallace Falls State Park, Washington

External Links