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Public Access & Recreation

Since its formation, Friends of the Bluff has worked tirelessly to expand public access and improve the bluff's trail network. In 2022, we gave a presentation to Parks Department officials that highlighted the current opportunities and threats. Since then, we've been working hard to move the following projects forward.

Trails & Signage

There are over 20 miles of trails on the bluff. The steep topography, coupled with the fragile, sandy soil deposited on the hillside by ice-age floods, make building and maintaining sustainable trails especially challenging.


Trail users are encouraged to contact us when they come across trails in need of repair or volunteer at one of our trail maintenance events. You can learn more about sustainable trails here.


Prior to 2020, the bluff didn't have an official trail map or signs. Friends of the Bluff's efforts to map the trails, get trail names approved by the city, and manufacture trail maps all led to the map and signage that we're familiar with today. You can learn more about the interpretive signs that line the bluff here.

Golf Course Access

In August 2022, Parks Dept officials met with the Qualchan Golf Course staff to make plans for expanded public access through the Meadowlane Rd Bridge at the base of the bluff.


In 2023, Friends of the Bluff and Washington Trails Association organized a work party to widen the Creekside Loop trail that begins on the golf course side of the bridge. Friends of the Bluff has plans to install a trail map in this location by the end of 2024.


If you visit this trailhead, please park along Meadowlane Rd and be careful not to block anyone's driveway. Make sure you are aware of the golf course's hours of operation so you don't get locked in when they close the gate.


Trailhead at the end of Meadowlane Rd

Rocket Gulch Access

Trailhead near 43rd St and Hatch Rd

Just south of the Rocket Market and north of just north of the golf course gated community called Manito Place (near 43rd St and Hatch Rd) there is a 30-foot public right-of-way.


When Friends of the Bluff first approached the city about using this location as a trail access point there was a tall fence blocking passage. This fence was removed in mid-2017 and some adventurous hikers are now walking down a steep slope to the trails. Friends of the Bluff wants to see this trail improved so it can be used as a safe access point. 


A set of steps on the steepest section of the embankment is needed, so Friends of the Bluff hired AHBL to design a sustainable, reliable long-term plan. These plans have been approved by the city, so we are currently awaiting a cost estimate.


We are working closely with the city, the Parks Department, and the adjoining property owners to find a solution that will provide access and minimize the impact on the neighbors.

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