A spectacular urban green space by Lake Washington
Founded in 1934 and designed by the famed Olmsted Brothers firm, Washington Park Arboretum contains one of the most diverse and important plant collections in North America displayed among 230 acres of woodlands, wetlands, gardens, and walking trails. Located on the western shore of Lake Washington, just a few miles from downtown Seattle, it is open seven days a week and free to the public.
The Arboretum features more than 40,000 plants, including 10,000 trees. It is internationally renowned for its collection of oaks, conifers, camellias, Japanese maples, and hollies. It also is home to the Seattle Japanese Garden, one of the most celebrated Japanese gardens outside of Japan. New features include the ecogeographic gardens and forests of Pacific Connections and the two-mile, multi-use Arboretum Loop Trail
The Arboretum is a dynamic partnership between Seattle Parks and Recreation, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, and the Arboretum Foundation.
“I have loved walking in the Arboretum for the last 46 years! Always a source of renewal.”
Walk, bike, drive, or take public transportation to view the gardens.
Learn about key attractions, download a map, and find your moment of Zen.
The iconic, Olmsted-designed Azalea Way was once a horse track.
Our volunteer-run gift shop and plant nurseries raise vital funds for the park.
A Virtual Walk along Azalea Way
A stroll down Azalea Way in peak bloom on Mother’s Day is a Seattle rite of spring. In 2020, the Seattle Channel created a 25-minute “slow TV” tour of this historic, Olmsted-designed promenade. See beautiful footage of azaleas, rhododendron, magnolia, and dogwoods in flower and enjoy lots of historical tidbits about the Arboretum.
Vintage Tour of the Arboretum
This 26-minute video, produced by the Foundation in 1993, provides a brief history and tour of the plant collections at the Arboretum. A lot has changed here since the video was made, but the core information is largely accurate. The video includes rare footage of late Arboretum Director Brian Mulligan, who was hugely influential in the development of our prized collections of maples, oaks, mountain ash, magnolias, and camellias.
Download the UW’s trail map of the Arboretum to your desktop or mobile device.
Caring for the Arboretum’s plant collection, and ensuring the health and safety of the trees, is a major expense and our biggest pride and joy.
Foundation members provide vital Arboretum support and receive unique benefits.