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    Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    7.1 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    144 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail

    Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail is a 7.1 km hike in the Seattle-Tacoma area that is rated as easy. This hike is part of a designated National Recreation Trail that passes through beautiful forest and meadows. It’s popular with runners and walkers and can be enjoyed all year. This loop extends out to the beach where the West Point lighthouse stands watch. It’s a fantastic trip that requires very minimal elevation gain. Wildlife also frequent this area, making it a favorite for birdwatchers.

    This trail gets busy, so if you prefer a quieter hike, try visiting early in the morning, later in the afternoon, or midweek.

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    Route Description for Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail

    Discovery Park is a gorgeous recreation park north of Seattle that is frequented by walkers, runners, bikers, and adventurers of all ages. This trail loops through Discovery Park and to the beach, giving you the chance to appreciate forests, meadows, shoreline, and the West Point lighthouse all in one go. It’s an easy loop that is suitable for all ages and skill levels.

    Discovery Park can get busy, so if you want to avoid the crowds, try visiting in the early morning, later in the afternoon, or in the middle of the week.

    You can extend this hike easily by exploring any of the numerous interconnecting trails that cover the park. Download your GPS map if it’s your first time visiting and you’re concerned about losing your way.

    Begin from the parking area near the environmental center. You can do this loop either way, but we’ll describe it clockwise. Take the path to your left, then look for the Loop Trail heading south (left again). Follow this all the way down to the edge of the park, where you’ll curve to the right and follow the road towards the beach.

    There are a few pretty lookout points along the water, so take your time. You’ll hug the shoreline to get to the lighthouse, where you’ll have wide open views all the way to Bainbridge Island. Take a moment to appreciate the view over the ocean and to see if you can spot any marine wildlife. Herons and bald eagles can frequently be seen here.

    From the lighthouse, follow the point across North Beach and dip back inland on the trail. Watch for Cooper’s hawks or red-tailed hawks.

    Keep following the Loop Trail as it cuts through the park, taking you along a nice stretch of wooded trail. After crossing Illinois Ave twice, you’ll be back where you started.

    Trail Highlights

    Discovery Park

    Discovery Park is a 534-acre recreational park on the shores of Puget Sound in north Seattle. It is the largest public park in Seattle and boasts 19.0 km of walking paths. The park is home to a variety of bird species, animal species, and plant life. The Discovery Loop Trail that winds through the park is a designated National Recreation Trail and is frequented by walkers and joggers.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you have to pay for parking at Discovery Park?

    No. It is free to park at Discovery Park, although the parking does fill up on busy weekends.

    Can you swim at Discovery Park?

    Yes, you can swim at both the north and south beaches.

    Do you need a Discover Pass for Discovery Park?

    No, you do not need a pass or permit to visit the park.

    Insider Hints for Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail

    • If you’re around on a summer Saturday, check out the farmer’s market in Magnolia Village.
    • Bring a picnic to enjoy on one of the beaches.
    • Arrive before 10 AM for the least crowded experience.

    Getting to the Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail is near the Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center off Discovery Park Boulevard.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


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