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Days
?
Motors Allowed?
Yes
Difficulty
Moderate / Class B
Distance
7.50 mi (12.07 km)
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.

The busy little Portage Bay located in Seattle’s Ship Canal is home to several boating clubs (Agua Verde, Seattle Yacht Club, and the Queen City Yacht Club), the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and a quiet neighborhood of houseboats. Before the construction of the Ship Canal, transporting logs from Union Bay to Lake Union required a portage over the Montlake Isthmus, and Portage Bay earned its name by being the bay into which the logs were deposited.

There is a small beach on the northwest corner of West Montlake Park that has a small beach that provides the gentlest non-dock based launch point for Portage Bay. While there are usually a fair amount of small boats on the water, most of them are from one of the several previously mentioned boating clubs and are pretty harmless when given a wide berth. However, do be mindful of the vessels traveling through the ship canal, as many of them can be quite large. 

Portage Bay, Union Bay, the Washington Arboretum, and Lake Washington can be accessed via the Montlake Cut to the east, and Lake Union can be reached by following the Ship Canal to the west.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Easy access. Good for beginners. Good for a short adventure.

Cons

Small and busy. Lots of ship canal traffic. Highway noise.

Address

W Park Dr E
2815
Seattle, WA 98112
United States

Features

Picnic tables

Site characteristics: Water

Lake

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

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