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Days
?
Motors Allowed?
Yes
Difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
4.90 mi (7.89 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.

Before the completion of the Ship Canal and the opening of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Union Bay extended well into the present-day shopping center of University Village. After the canal's completion and the subsequent 9-foot drop in water level in Lake Washington in 1916, much of the bay drained away, and the marsh retreated to its current protected area now known as the Union Bay Natural Area.

Located on the western shore of Lake Washington, Union Bay officially terminates at the eastern opening of the Montlake Cut and encompasses the waters north of the Arboretum between Webster Point and the north shore of Madison Park. Features of the bay include the WA-520 bridge, a large art instillation by Max Gurvich entitled "Aurora Borealis," and the University Slough. Union Bay has several islands including Foster Island, Broken Island, and the creatively named Number 2 Island. The University of Washington Waterfront Activities Center rents canoes and rowboats to students, faculty, and the general public.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Close to Seattle. Easy access. Many other adventures in the area.

Cons

Very busy. No beaches or landing opportunities.

Address

E Park Dr E
2802
Seattle, WA 98112
United States

Features

Picnic tables
Bird watching
Wildlife

Site characteristics: Water

Lake

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

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