Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Walk through a field of Lupine at Van Lierop Park

Wildflower hikes: Looking for lupine around Seattle

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

We’re ready for wildflower hiking season and my family and I just love seeing lupine popping up all over the Seattle area. Head to the lupine fields now if you’re looking for beautiful early wildflower photos. These early bloomers in purple, white, and sometimes pink usually appear in late May through early June.  They are tall plants with hearty petals and strong stems. 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 to protect your feet and for a comfortable walk. Fields of lupine mean lots of pollination, so warn your kids that there will be bees and butterflies ahead of time. 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 do 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 five places to go on a wildflower hike to find lupine around the Seattle area:

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

Van Lierop Park

What to know: Van Lierop Park in Puyallup opened in 2015 in the former location of Van Lierop Bulb Farm. Walk the paved path surrounded by rows and rows of lupine. This is a casual stroll –  not a hike –  and as long as there are not too many walkers,  the path is fine for learning to ride a bike or scooter.  The fields of flowers have paths through them so that families can walk through and take pictures. Do watch your step, little fledglings are learning to fly in the fields, 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. Once the season is over, the park maintenance crew may come through and mow over the plants 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 are along the walking path at the Beach at Expedia Group.  (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.

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

 

Bonus: West Fenwick Park

What to know: At this park, you can find a variety of lupines, 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 in the lupine garden before you leave. The park gets crowded, so go early 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.

Read more

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

Head to the Mima Mounds for more wildflowers

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.