Seattle Sundial Trail

Within the boundaries of Seattle are some 20 sundials, the oldest from 1909 and the latest from 2006. They represent many different types, materials, and artistic styles, not just the usual horizontal type with a gnomon jutting upwards. This Seattle Sundial Trail includes eight of the best dials, and will take you to many parks and school campuses, and further provide marvellous views of the mountains and water for which Seattle is renowned. Possible tourist activities are also suggested along the Trail, including two iconic public sculptures. Seattle is famous for its clouds and rain, which is why the natives appreciate the sun and sundials all the more. To optimize your chances for actual sunshine and shadows, follow the Trail in May through September. But rain or shine, there is a delicious irony in Seattle being well on its way to becoming the Sundial Capital of North America.

This Trail includes eight of Seattle’s best dials, with four additional, optional dials for those who have more time. For most folks the Trail will require transport by car, although fit cyclists can certainly do it; the routes described are for a car. Total length of the Trail is 17 miles (27 km) and your tour will take anywhere from 4 to 10 hours depending on breaks for refreshment, time spent lingering, and the degree to which optional activities and dials are pursued.
The numbers in the listing below correspond to a Google Map called "Seattle Sundial Trail", and each dial is linked to this map, shown here.

View Seattle Sundial Trail in a larger map

You can of course use this Google Map in all the usual ways to get directions (including street views that often include the dials), distances, satellite views, nearest pizza parlors, etc. Navigating around Seattle is greatly aided by its rectangular grid with Streets running east-west and Avenues north-south, but of course there are exceptions, bodies of water, ravines, etc. that sometimes make it challenging.
The dials are color-coded into two groups. The 8 green dials (numbered G1 through G8 in this text) constitute the basic Trail; there are also 4 optional yellow ones (Y1 through Y4). For the locations and linked descriptions of all 20 sundials in Seattle, see the Google Map “Seattle Sundials”.

Enjoy! Please send feedback on your Trail experiences to: woody [AT] astro dot washington dot edu.