Galer Traverse

A few years ago I read an article about stairways and pathways in Seattle that are not always visible or well-traveled. This is especially intriguing for me, as I enjoy finding places off the beaten path for my home city as well as look to find places of solitude and mystery. In many ways, this is a substitute for when I’m not in some ancient foreign city going through beautiful back alleys that have been well-travelled throughout the centuries.

So I went on one of the suggested routes, which was called the “Galer Traverse,” which essentially starts at South Lake Union and ends up in West Queen Anne while tracing a route through a myriad of stairways and streets. Walking from my apartment on Capitol Hill to the starting location (which was a fun and new way to get there), I sidetracked through the South Lake Union park. Which is just an amazingly soulless corporate park that was clearly designed by someone who wanted to create a park in order to engender good will without actually making a park that people would want to use. So. Much. Concrete. And instead of grass? Hey let’s have gravel instead. That sounds great! People will love it!

Reaching Galer and Westlake Ave, I began the climb on a stairway that was attached to some faceless warehouse. After going through various neighborhoods, finding a few fully shaded picnic tables next to Aurora Ave (and the remains of a homeless camp), and finding Queen Anne High School, I had completed the first half of the traverse. And thank goodness, as it was steep at points.

After that I mostly wandered around West while going through various parks and streets. Queen Anne is a neighborhood that I haven’t explored much, but it had its charming points and viewpoints that were just as good as the very popular Kinnear park–without the tourists.

Photos? Well, I only took eight the entire trip. I was having too much fun wandering around to remember to take pictures.

This was a fun little urban hike that should only take a few hours and gives you some great views of Seattle while doing so.

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