A raccoon wants to snack on a dead salmon in Piper's Creek. Credit: Catherine Anstett
7. Piper's Creek, Carkeek Park, Seattle
The trail along Piper's Creek, in Seattle's Carkeek Park, is a wonderful family hike any time of the year. But a walk here is especially magical in the fall, when you can look for hundreds of chum returning to the creek. Salmon can be seen throughout October, November and December. Piper's Creek is typically the city’s best spot to view a salmon run.
Tip: Don't miss the salmon slide at the playground in the upper meadow, to the north of the lower meadow area by the creek.
Location: Carkeek Park, 950 N.W. Carkeek Park Rd., Seattle. Follow the one-way loop road past the play area and bridge to the beach to park at the lower meadow that's nearest the creek. Or, park at the upper entrance, behind the QFC on Holman Road, and walk the trail that criss-crosses the creek and passes the old apple orchard. It's about a mile to reach the main salmon-viewing areas.
When: October, November and December. Volunteer salmon stewards have been on hand on weekends in past years; check back for 2021 info.
More info: Check the Carkeek Park Salmon Stewards Facebook page for salmon updates.