Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Wildflower hikes: Looking for lupine around Seattle

Explore the fields and find pretty purple, pink and white lupine flowers all around Seattle

We’re getting to wildflower hiking season and my family and I just love seeing lupine popping up all over the Seattle area. These early bloomers are purple, white and sometimes pink. They are tall plants with hearty petals and strong stems. If you’re looking for beautiful summer pictures, you’ll want to head to the lupine fields. Luckily you don’t have to travel too far to find these beauties. Walk through the fields, brush your fingers gently over the petals and immerse yourself in spring and summer’s bounty.

Things to remember

Wear hiking shoes or boots because, well, with all this rain that we’ve had, it makes for muddy paths. Fields of lupine mean lots of pollination, so warn your kids ahead of time that there will be bees and butterflies. They can stay on the paths, away from the flowers, if they would like, or be respectful of the insects and don’t wave or shoo at them as they’re doing their job. Finally, leave the flowers for everyone to see and don’t pick them. You can purchase seeds at your local plant store and have them for next year’s bloom.

Here are 5 places to go on a wildflower hike to find lupine around the Seattle area:

Take a wildflower hike through rows and rows of lupine. Watch for wild animals within the plants. Photo by Jasmin Thankachen

Van Lierop Park

What to know: You don’t want to miss these beautiful fields of lupine. Walk the paved path surrounded by rows and rows of lupine. Bring your bike or scooter, the path is perfect for learning to ride a bike and for seasoned riders too. The fields have paths within them so that families can walk through and take pictures, but watch your step, little fledglings are learning to fly and one may land right on your shoe (like it did with my son)!

Tips: On hot days, wear sunscreen and bring a hat. There are benches to have a snack or lunch. Bring plenty of water. Next door there’s a restaurant called Farm 12, serving an assortment of entrees and pastries. All profits from the restaurant are donated to Step by Step, a program that serves low-income and at-risk mothers.

Address: 7999-7529 134th Ave E, Puyallup, WA 98372

A young child takes a wildflower hike, finding rows of Lupine in the Seattle area.

Walk along the path at Evans Creek Park and find the lupine. Catch the last of these blooms, before they’re gone. Photo by Mingie Holland.

Evans Creek Preserve

What to know: Evans Creek Preserve is a 213-acre park with several trails, leading to wildflower meadows, wetlands and pedestrian-only loops. Park at the lower level in Redmond and follow the map to find points 4 and 5. Walk the gentle wooded trail to reach your destination- a path of lupines waiting to be explored.
Tip: You can’t walk into these lupine fields, but you can use the path to take pictures. Hikers have reported that families should wear sturdy boots because of muddy trails. See these meadows soon, the parks maintenance crew may come through and mow over the plants, once the season is over, to clear the overgrowth and prepare for the next season.

Address: 4001 224th Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98053

Colorful lupine are found on the south trail at Discovery Park. Take this wildflower hike right in Seattle.

Amazing views beyond the lupine as you take a wildflower hike along the south trail at Discovery Park. Photo by Dalia Mathew.

Discovery Park, Hidden Valley Trail

What to know: Discovery park is a 534-acre oasis of public land. The largest park in Seattle, families will find lots to explore, from the lighthouse, garden areas, and meadows to the beaches that line Puget Sound. Take the Hidden Valley Trail to the South Trail and see lupine along the way. You’ll find dense gatherings of them as well as smaller groups as you walk along the path.
Tip: Stop at the visitor center for trail maps, park passes and a play area for kids. Restrooms are available here too. Pack some toys for the beach and if it’s low tide, kids will love finding anemone, crabs, and sea stars too!

[Check out our low tide guide for your next adventure]

Address: 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199 (South Trail)

Lupines are just about to bloom at this pocket park. Wildflower walks are popular at this park in Seattle.

These lupines will be blooming any day now. Take this wildflower hike soon! (Photo by Terumi Pong)

The Beach at Expedia Group

What to know: The Beach is a piece of private property offered to the public for recreational outdoor activities. With pathways, plants and seating, the space extends to the shoreline, where there is a small part of beach to walk, play and relax. Find lupines along the walking path and the landscaped area. A perfect place for pictures of the flowers and Mt. Rainier in the distance.
Tip: The flowers are going to fully bloom any day now, so head out soon.

Address: One Expedia Group Way West, Elliott Bay Trail, Seattle, WA 98119

Bonus: West Fenwick Park

What to know: Find a variety of lupine at this park varying in color from white and purple to pink. Although there are no trails, there is an amazing park that is a throwback to the game Chutes and Ladders. Climb, hop and jump around and end your days with a picnic by the lupine.

Tip: Play at the park and take some pictures by the garden of lupine before you leave. The park gets crowded, so go early and on a weekday.

Address: 3808 S Reith Rd, Kent, WA 98032

Extra:

Read Miss Rumphius to your child before or after your wildflower hike to find lupine throughout the Seattle area. A fictional story about a woman who planted lupine all around the countryside for people to enjoy, this is one of our favorite stories. Take it to the fields and imagine who might have planted the lupine at your favorite park.

 

Need more ideas on hikes, trips and outings this summer? Read Seattle’s Child Summer Route 66

Find more parks to explore with these themed parks all around the Seattle area

About the Author

Jasmin Thankachen

Jasmin is the Associate Publisher at Seattle's Child and an Eastside mom of two boys. She enjoys parenting with lots of love and laughter. Co-Founder of PopUp StoryWalk, she also loves children's picture books, essay writing, and community stories.