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Seattle Stairs: A Step Up from Stairmasters

Posted by Anna Roth at Dec 12, 2013 09:50 AM |

Can you hike in the city? Sure you can. Discover a whole new side of Seattle and stay in shape with the Seattle Stairway Walks guide from Mountaineers Books.

by Cassandra Overby

Get outside in the off-season

Life during hiking season is an adventure. Each weekend brings with it the possibility of discovering a favorite new trail, conquering a difficult new peak, or making an epic new memory that you and your hiking companions will talk and laugh about for years to come. In comparison, life in the off-season can seem, well, off. It doesn’t have to be that way.

The place you live, wherever it is, is teeming with adventure. It’s practically vibrating with the energy of things waiting to be discovered: a cozy cafe, a sweeping vista, a lovely neighborhood park.

Explore the art, elevation gain, and nearby eats of Seattle’s stairways

For Puget-Sounders or Seattle visitors, authors Jake and Cathy Jaramillo help you find that adventure with Seattle Stairway Walks from Mountaineers Books. This inspiring new title is crammed full of neighborhood walks that will have you exploring the nooks and crannies of the city, discovering new favorite spots and -- you guessed it -- climbing a lot of stairs. You’ll even learn about local history and experience grassroots art along the way.

Small enough to slip into your jacket pocket, Seattle Stairway Walks features 25 hikes around the city, so it’s easy to just grab and go. Each entry contains information on where to start the walk, as well as handy maps that show your entire route with turn-by-turn directions. For the tech-savvy, there are even QR codes that link to digital directions to navigate via smartphone.

But the route information is just the beginning. Each entry also lists hiking distance, walking time, steps up and down, and whether or not the route is kid friendly.

One of our favorite features is the café and pub suggestions, as well as the little informational boxes on local history and attractions.

Rediscover the city with "new eyes"

Before and during your hike, you’ll learn a surprising amount about the stairways in Seattle. Did you know there as many as 650 publicly accessible ones? You'll also find out why they exist. You’ll become intimately familiar with all of the neighborhoods that give Seattle its unique flavor, from Madrona to Eastlake to Alki.

The off-season doesn’t have to seem off. Instead, these months of short, chilly days can be the perfect excuse to adventure locally.

Take a cue from Marcel Proust, who famously said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Strong legs, like the ones you’ll have after walking all of these stairs, don’t hurt either—and will have you ready for the trail come spring and summer.

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Take your stairway walks at a walk or a run. A recent Trip Reporter ran the stairs in Discovery Park. Photo by Big Barefoot B