Motors Allowed?
Easy / Class A
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Surrounded by the bustling metropolis of Seattle and home to the Port of Seattle, Elliott Bay is one of the busiest urban bays in the U.S. And with abundant views of downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, the Seattle Great Wheel, Mount Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains off to the west, it's arguably one of the prettiest bays as well.

First discovered by explorers in 1841 during the The United States Exploring Expedition, it's unclear for whom exactly Elliott Bay was named, as there were a few Elliotts on the expedition and the historical records failed to mention a specific man.

At its deepest point of approximately 590 feet (180 meters), somewhere between the headlands of West Point and Alki Point, Elliott Bay is one of the deepest bays in Puget Sound. Harbor seals, sea otters, starfish, and many kinds of birds are common sights in the bay, and occasionally orcas are sighted.

Kayaking around Elliott Bay can be challenging during peak boat traffic hours, as large vessels can produce wakes that can form at unexpected angles to the naturally occurring waves in the bay. Navigating around the bustling waterfront can be intimidating as well, as kayaks tend to be the smaller and slower moving vessels in the bay. Myrtle Edwards Park makes an excellent landing and break point for kayaking adventures in the bay.

The Ultimate
Adventure Maps

Access 650K+ miles of trail data, Offline Maps, GPS Tracking, Waypoint functionality, Outdoor Project Adventures, and more with onX Backcountry. Start your free trial today–no credit card required.

Start Free Trial

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Street Parking


Close to Seattle. Easy access. Unique views of downtown Seattle.


Lots of boat traffic.



Site characteristics: Water


Portage required




Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.