Mercer Island: Mercerdale Hillside & I-90 Sculpture Parks

An easy hilly day hike just below the "right toe" of Mercer Island.

on the trail

Mercerdale Hillside & I-90 Sculpture Parks

3.9 miles round trip, 830 feet of elevation gain

The Mercerdale Hillside Park trails and Mercer Island I-90 Sculpture Garden offers cultural and forest delights in some prime walking territory. This is an enhanced  version of Hike #25 in Seattle Stairway Walks, this route includes more than 330 steps up and 525 steps down over nearly 6 miles. Also check out the Jarmillo's Seattle Stairways blog.

I-90 Trail

5.5 miles round trip, 300 feet of elevation gain

From the parking lot near Dr. Jose Rizal Park, walk north along 12th Ave to the traffic light (intersection with Golf Dr S). Cross the street and start the I-90 Trail. At the junction, turn right and cross a well-maintained greenbelt to Sturgus Park with views of the Seattle downtown skyline. From Sturgus Park, enter Daejean Park where there's a pagoda and a view of Mount Rainier framed through it's openings. Continue east to a spur which veers right to Rainier Ave S. Walk alongside the highway before going behind a noise barrier where there is an excellent view of Mount Rainier. The trail then enters Benvenuto Viewpoint at the entrance of the I-90 tunnel. Continue east, skirting the Central District to the freeway lid. Cross the busy 23rd Ave S and enter Jimi Hendrix Park. Continue to walk east, crossing Martin Luther King Jr. Way S and enter Sam Smith Park. The trail winds through the park before entering the Mount Baker tunnel, emerging above the floating bridges. Descend and walk along the floating bridges towards Mercer Island. At Mercer Island, walk down the stairs to South Day Street Park for another great view before turning around.

  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking, Urban Adventure, Urban Walking
  • Seasons: Year-round
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 3.9 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 830 ft
  • 318 ft
  • Land Manager: Mercer Island Parks & Recreation
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 30
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 30
  • Seattle City Map
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Mercer Island: Mercerdale Hillside
  • Mercerdale Hillside Park Trails
  • I-90 Trail

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