Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Third annual Seattle Stairway Walks Day features popular Southwest Queen Anne route

January 24th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

wilcox wall stairsFor the past two years, Feet First has organized a Seattle Stairway Walks Day that includes a very popular Southwest Queen Anne route. This year, it’s a three-peat as the Queen Anne route is again on the list of stairway walks around Seattle.

Tickets are available online for a suggested donation of $10 (you can give more or less), and since it’s a family-friendly event, kids under 18 are free. Ticket proceeds will help nonprofit Feet First in its efforts to make communities across the state more walkable.

All of the 14 stairway walks begin at 10am and runs (walks) through noon on Saturday, February 7th. Here’s the description for the Southwest Queen Anne Walk:

Southwest Queen Anne Walking Tour
Queen Anne hill can be roughly divided into four distinct quadrants, each with its own look and feel. Southwest Queen Anne is the elegant one. On this route we’ll visit the stately, neo-Gothic Wilcox Wall; climb secluded stairways and cobblestone lanes beneath towering trees and opulent homes; and take in famous, wide-open views across the city.
Walk Leader: John Stewart, Feet First Board Member
Numbers: 2.6 miles: 588 steps down, 477 steps up

QA Stairs ComstockIn the past, the Queen Anne walk has been one of the most popular on the list, selling out quickly. If you’d like to reserve one of the 35 available spots, RSVP online asap.

If you’d like to explore other neighborhoods, check out the full list here.

Love to walk and want to share our neighborhood with others? You can volunteer to become a neighborhood ambassador or a Feet First member, and lead future Queen Anne walks. Get out and get walking!

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Epic Stairway Run makes its way through Queen Anne this Saturday

June 16th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

Galer Stairway WestThe Seattle Stairway Walks people are getting ready for what they’re calling an “Epic Seattle Solstice Stairway Run” – and, it really is pretty epic.

The 16 hour run starts this Saturday, June 21, in West Seattle at the crack of dawn (5:12am) and works its way to Queen Anne, where the run will end at sundown (9:12pm) at the top of Galer St.

Organizer and Queen Anne resident Michael Yadrick found inspiration in urban stairway treks in other cities such as Los Angeles. The all-day run celebrates the Solstice with 63 miles, 80 stairways, and an elevation gain of 11,500 feet. The list of stairs was created by Doug Beyerlein of He’s been working for years to highlight public stairways in Seattle and other cities, and Yadrick credits him with identifying key stairways on the run.

The day-long route is not for the couch potato, but runners of all levels are welcome to join in for all or part of the route. The overall run will be at an ultra pace, 16 hours of running at about a 15:30/mile pace.

Since the run wraps up on top of Queen Anne, you can plan to join anywhere along the route or just cheer the runners on! Here’s the info on the Queen Anne section of the run:

6th Section: Queen Anne! Mile 57 to 63, 15 stairways, 1,533 ft gain and 1,143 ft loss. Estimated start time of the Queen Anne Section at Dravus & 15th at 7:45 PM. Notable sights and landmarks along the way: Queen Anne Greenways, Kinnear Park, Kerry Park, Lake Union, Westlake Stairclimb (4 consecutive stairways, and the biggest and best for last at 536 steps): Sunset.

Here’s the Queen Anne section map (click for a larger view):

QA Stairway Run

If you’re interested in doing the whole Solstice Stairway Run or just joining part of the route, check out their Facebook page. You can post any questions on the page or contact the organizer via email.  Photos will be posted on the Facebook page during the run next Saturday, so Queen Anne stairways are sure to make an appearance!

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Reminder: RSVP by Monday for the Queen Anne Greenways stairways audit

April 6th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

You may recall our post on the upcoming Queen Anne Greenways groups’ stairways audit walk. It’s a great chance to meet your neighbors, explore our many Queen Anne stairways, help make those stairs safer, and get a workout to boot!

Galer Stairway West

Help make these stairways safer!

The Stairway Audit Walk is set for Tuesday, April 9th, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm or 9pm, depending on your schedule. The Queen Anne Greenways team will work with you to assign a sector of stairways that are most convenient for you – whether you prefer a start or end point near your home, work, or your choice of location (e.g. restaurant or coffee house before/after the walk).

In order to plan the routes and align assignments with preferences, the organizers are asking that people RSVP by 5pm on Monday, April 8th. It’s going to be a great event, and you’ll be helping out our neighborhood at the same time. Get a group of neighbors or friends together, and RSVP via email.

Details on routes and groups will be sent via email to everyone who signs up. And, don’t let today’s weather dissuade you – Tuesday is supposed to be pretty nice! I’m up for it, are you?

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Join your neighbors in a Queen Anne Greenways stairways audit

March 18th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

In the last Queen Anne Greenways community meeting, there was one agenda item – better lighting for Queen Anne stairways and greenways. It seems simple, but have you ever traversed our neighborhood at night? There are some seriously dark spots, even some of the more-often travelled stairways that lead to key bus routes and connect Upper and Lower Queen Anne.

Queen Anne Stairway 119
part of the stair system
from Galer to Aurora

That’s where the Queen Anne Greenways stairway is stepping up with an audit of our stairways to assess which ones are top priorities for repair and lighting. The community is invited and encouraged to participate – get out and meet your neighbors, explore our stairways, and makes steps to improve safety at the same time.

Queen Anne Greenways’s stairway audit walk will be held on April 9th starting at 6:30pm, and running until 8:30 or 9pm, depending on your group and mapped area. The group will use the audit results to present our neighborhood’s needs to the Seattle Department of Transportation, to ensure safe routes all over the neighborhood.

The group is judging interest via RSVPs, and once they know how many residents can participate, they’ll divvy up the hill into sections. You can pick the best start point for you, meet up with like-minded neighbors, and investigate our stairways.

Key Details:

  • When: Tuesday, April 9th, 6:30pm to 8:30 or 9:00pm
  • Where: various start points around Queen Anne (your choice, map TBD based on RSVPs)
  • RSVP: email Queen Anne Greenways

Once Queen Anne Greenways has RSVPs, they can map out the hill and keep volunteers informed via email as details are nailed down. It’s free, simple, and a great way to get out and about… or, rather, up and down!

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Submit your best Queen Anne stairway artwork for Stairway Art & Photo contest

February 22nd, 2013 by Laura Fonda

Earlier this month, Feet First hosted a Stairway Walks Day that included a SW Queen Anne Stairway Walk that sold out overnight. Granted, there were only 20 spots – but other neighborhoods had openings up to the day of the event. We all love our hidden and not-so-hidden stairways, and they’re apparently popular with visitors to our neighborhood as well.

Now’s your chance to showcase our stairways via an art & photo contest hosted by Feet First. Photographers and artists of all ages and experience levels can submit their two-dimensional art and photos with finalists’ work exhibited in Nord Alley behind Feet First’s Pioneer Square office during the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square on April 4th from 5pm-8pm.

Adults will compete in the categories of Traditional Art, Photography, and Digital Art and kids will compete in age groups (Grades K-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12). Judges will be from The American Institute of Architects Seattle, City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, 4Culture, Seattle Parks & Recreation, and Neighborhood House. The public will also vote for a People’s Choice Award during the First Thursday Pioneer Square Art Walk. Winners will be announced at 6pm on April 4th in the Nord Alley.

The entry deadline is March 15th, with finalists chosen and notified by March 28th. In addition to the award announcement on April 4th, winners will be highlighted on the Feet First website and their artwork will be on display in Nord Alley through the end of May.

Contest rules and an application form are available online.

You don’t have to limit yourself to Queen Anne, but wouldn’t it be great to see our staircases in the final exhibition? Get out your cameras, sketchpads, and easles and start capturing our staircases as art!

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Sunset magazine highlights QA’s historic stairs

August 28th, 2009 by Thea

I finally got my hands on a copy of the latest Sunset Magazine (the September issue) and sure enough, there is in fact a three-page spread dedicated to Queen Anne.

Our neighborhood hill has – count them – 121 hidden public stairways. And for the “Inside Seattle” city scape feature, writer Kathryn True highlights four can’t-miss routes for urban hiking up and down Queen Anne’s historic staircases.

For those of you who aren’t able to pick up a copy, here are True’s top picks:

The Galer Traverse: a nine stairway, 225-step (QA’s longest!) route beginning at the East Queen Anne Greenbelt and ending at the Galer Crown, the highest stairs on the hill.

From Kinnear Park to Kerry Park: soaks in the views from Kinnear to Parsons Gardens Park to Wilcox Wall and finally Kerry Park, where you can catch a view of the whole city.

The Garden Route: Start at Soundview Terrace Park and make you way over to the Interbay P-Patch Community Garden for a tour of colorful gardens with a view of the Olympic mountains in the background. (P.s. Keep you eye out for pick-able blackberries along the way).

The Romantic Walk: Begin at the Comstock Grande Dame and make your way down the “kissing” staircase just a hop and a skip away from Queen Anne Avenue.

Back in February True did a longer piece about Queen Anne’s hidden stairways for the Seattle Times. Read that story here.

For a hand-drawn (and waterproof!) map of Queen Anne’s historic stairways, check out the “Map of the (Oft) Pedestrian Public Stairs of Queen Anne Hill”, created by Thomas Horton, an architect and cartographer who lives on Queen Anne Hill. You can pick one up at Queen Anne Books for $5, or order it online from the Queen Anne Historical Society.

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