Sketched May 9, 2019
Halfway through my bike ride on the Chief Sealth Trail, Mount Rainier appeared again, glorious as ever in the distance.
“Do you realize how beautiful it is up here? Look at that view!” said a neighbor walking by with a bag of groceries.
The scenic location is one of many along this 4.5-mile pedestrian and bike pathway that zigzags around transmission towers on a wide swath of terrain connecting Beacon Hill and Rainier Beach in Southeast Seattle.
Fair warning to bicyclists, this is a hilly ride, and you’ll have to slow down to cross through some quiet neighborhood streets and two major thoroughfares, Beacon Avenue South and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South.
But don’t let that stop you from adding this path to your biking routes. During my bike ride on a recent summerlike day, I felt like I was playing a game of hide-and-seek with the majestic mountain — sometimes you see it, sometimes you don’t. And despite some steep climbs where I had to walk my bike, the cool breeze and sights of community gardens and backyards along the way made for a really pleasant experience.
The trail extends from South Angeline Street and 15th Avenue South in Beacon Hill to South Gazelle Street and 51st Avenue South near Kubota Garden, another South Seattle location that is perfect for summer exploration.
Getting there: The ride from north to south is the most scenic. I drove and parked at South Angeline Street, but you can also take light rail to Beacon Hill and ride your bike 1.4 miles to the trailhead.