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Sehome Arboretum

Puget Sound and Islands > Bellingham Area
48.7330, -122.4846 Map & Directions
6.0 miles of trails
Elevation Gain
325 feet
Highest Point
620 feet
Trails at Sehome Arboretum have been cared for by WTA volunteers. Photo by Hiking Hobbit. Full-size image
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Coast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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A lush, green refuge with 6 miles of trails is the backyard playground for Western Washington University and Fairhaven College in Bellingham. Continue reading

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Hiking Sehome Arboretum

Nestled between a university and a high school, Sehome Hill Arboretum is a little pocket of nature in the heart of Bellingham. Established in 1893, the 180-acre arboretum offers visitors a network of trails that wind through lush, second-growth forest along with a few interesting human-made features, including interpretive displays.

From the parking area just inside the arboretum’s entrance on 25th Street, head north to connect the South Ridge, Douglas fir and Tower trails to reach the 80-foot wooden observation tower at the modest summit of Sehome Hill.

Along the way, you’ll walk through a forest of mighty Douglas fir, originally harvested in 1904. The forest has grown thick over the past 100-plus years, making the views of Bellingham Bay and the surrounding mountains from the tower somewhat limited.

From the Tower Trail, take a side trip along the Tunnel Ridge Trail and walk through a tunnel blasted from the area’s signature sandstone in 1923. To make your way back to your car, retrace your steps to the Tower Trail. Head north briefly on the Tower Trail, veering right at the Huntoon Trail junction.

The Huntoon Trail loops around the north end of the arboretum before swinging south along the park’s western edge. Along the way, pass the location of a 1935 landslide and several side trails leading to Western Washington University. Eventually, you will connect with the Fairhaven Trail for the final quarter-mile to the parking area.

If you are looking to extend your walk, choose from several other short trails that crisscross the Arboretum to create your own longer adventure.

Seasonal Tip: The view from the overlook tower is best in winter or early spring, when the trees have fewer leaves.

WTA worked here in 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2010!

Hike Description Written by
Lindsay Leffelman, WTA Correspondent

Sehome Arboretum

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.7330, -122.4846 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From I-5, take exit 252 for Samish Way. Head west (toward Western Washington University) and then turn southwest onto Bill McDonald Parkway and then turn right on 25th Street. Parking for Sehome Hill Arboretum is on Bill McDonald Parkway at 25th Street, near the South end of Western Washington University's campus.

Pedestrian access also exists at the following intersections:
The end of Jersey St. and E. Myrtle St.
The northern end of 25th St.
Allen Avenue and 32nd St.

take transit

This trailhead is accessible by bus! Plan your visit by bus using TOTAGO.

More Hike Details


Puget Sound and Islands > Bellingham Area

City of Bellingham

Guidebooks & Maps

Bellingham Trail Guide

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Sehome Arboretum

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