Denny-Blaine (Capitol Hill)
View of Cascade peaks, Lake Washington, and Bellevue
Northeast corner of Lake Washington Boulevard and Hillside Drive
As I’ve mentioned before, there are surprisingly few east-facing viewpoints in Seattle. There are at least a dozen parks along the Lake Washington shoreline where you can catch glimpses of the higher peaks in the Cascades, but viewpoints up on the eastern Seattle ridges are rare.
Some of the best views of the Cascades from within Seattle are found by standing in the middle of east-west streets at the crests of hills, but they make for poor photo ops with all the houses, parked cars, and power lines filling up the foreground. Not to mention, you risk getting run over.
Lakeview Park is an exception. Though, like Louisa Boren Lookout, it’s only an okay, not great, view. Part of the issue is that even from these higher points, hills on the Eastside block the lower mountains so that you only see the top ridge of crests. The other issue is that geography and vegetation constrains how much you can see. In this case you mostly get a view that is straight across the lake.
The majority of Lakeview Park is a wooded and grassy hillside. There are trails if you want to clamber around and up and down, but I’m not sure if there are any good views available in the park proper with all those trees. It does look like a quite pretty area though.
The viewpoint itself is across Lake Washington Boulevard from the main park, at the start of Hillside Drive.
The viewpoint is a small grassy area bounded by an old stone wall and containing a single cement bench. You can see Lake Washington, the 520 floating bridge, Cascade peaks, and the Bellevue city skyline.
I wasn’t there on a particularly good day, so my photos don’t show the view at its best. This viewpoint is best visited in winter through early spring when the mountains are covered in snow. Without snow the peaks tend to be indistinct blueish blobs from this distance.
The best time of day to go is at sunrise, or in late afternoon. For sunrise, a few clouds being lit by the rising sun make for the most picturesque experience. When going later in the afternoon, a day with no clouds to the east is the best choice.
Like previously previewed Louisa Boren Lookout and Mt. Baker Ridge Viewpoint, Lakeview Park isn’t a stunning enough view to warrant a special trip from longer distances for the average person. But if you are already in the area, love sunrises, or enjoy seeking out the more obscure viewpoints in Seattle, then you might find it worth your while.
Things to Know
4 am – 11:30 pm
No picnic tables.
Street parking on Hillside Drive next to the viewpoint.
The Lakeview Park viewpoint is primarily used by locals. I’ve only been there once, but my guess is that it mostly attracts people who pause briefly to enjoy the view while out walking, jogging, or biking. There’s a high probability you’ll have the viewpoint to yourself.
Eastward view that includes Lake Washington, Cascade peaks, 520 bridge, and Bellevue skyline.
Best light: sunrise and late afternoon.
Julia Lee’s Park, Denny-Blaine Lake Park, Washington Park Arboretum, Madison Park, Madrona Park.