As a resident of Capitol Hill and owner of two vivacious golden retrievers (Buddy and Brooklyn), I’ve learned a thing or four about off-leash dog parks around Seattle.
While most dogs relish a stroll around the block with their favorite person, sometimes an ordinary dog walk just won’t do. When your sidekick needs to stretch their paws and take a victory lap, a safe, fenced-in area is ideal. It’s even better if the off-leash destination induces helicopter-style tail wagging as soon as you arrive.
The tricky part can be finding the dog park that suits your lifestyle best. Not trying to deal with the mud and inevitable car clean up? We get it. Have a dog that loves to swim? Seattle definitely has a park for you. Looking for a taste of the sweet life? Look no further than a couple towns down.
These are the ten best off-leash dog parks in the Puget Sound area, hands-down. They’re even ranked by a local, devoted dog parent (me!)
Essential tips before you go:
- Never leave valuables in the car. As many parking lots at the following locations will indicate, dog parks tend to be high-prowl areas.
- Always come prepared with poop bags. While a lot of the following locales provide them (thanks to local sponsors), you’re better off safe than sorry.
Several dog parks are volunteer-run. If you’d like to get involved, I’ve included links below.
It’s not hard to see how this scenic dog park got its name. Grandview 18 miles south of Seattle, just under Seatac Airport, and boasts breathtaking views of Mount Rainier on a clear day.. The sprawling, beautifully maintained park is a true gem for folks on the south end of the city and definitely worth a trip to visit.
When you first enter, you have the option to hook a right and walk through the fence and down the stairs to the open area for running. Otherwise, you can follow the loop and circle up and around to the field area at the end, which also has an obstacle and agility course for the intrepid.
Grandview provides just as enjoyable an experience for humans as it does dogs, so put on your walking shoes, fill up a tumbler with hot coffee and soak in the views while you cruise the grounds.
Get involved with DOGS (Dogs of Grandview Supporters) here.
When you first enter Magnuson, there’s a large open gravel area perfect for tossing the ball around, giving your bud ample opportunity to get their yayas out. Close to the entrance, you’ll find shaded seating, doggie vendors selling treats and various goodies (check the schedule), as well a smaller section of the park reserved for small dogs.
But the real draw of this spot can be summed up in two words: dog beach.
If it’s a stroll you’re looking for, go straight through and hang a right before following the trail all the way down and over to get to another fence, which precedes the dog beach. The dog beach is a sweet little cove that gets really busy in the summer and is a lovely spot to throw the ball.
If you have a breed that loves to swim and is prone to gunning for the water (*cough* retrievers *cough*), that fence is a lifesaver when it comes to avoiding a muddy car.
For residents of North Seattle, this park is the biggest in the area, so do note that at times, parking here (especially on sunny weekends) can get a little hairy.
Get involved with MOLG (Magnuson Off Leash Dog Group) here.
Majestic is a good start when it comes to describing this tree studded dog park located in the south end of Green Lake. In the summer, it’s a cool and shady haven; in the fall, it’s a leafy autumnal oasis. Easily accessible for residents of Wallingford, Greenwood, Greenlake, Maple Leaf, Ravenna, the U-District or really anyone that lives near the 99, as this park lives right off it.
While beautiful, the layout here is a little odd and prone to bottlenecking. When you walk in, there’s a set of steps up a hill to the center of the park, where you’ll find water dishes and benches. It’s a nice spot to look out at the grounds, but the longest stretches of park (if you’re looking to throw a ball) are found along the perimeter.
Important to note: there is one giant green dumpster near the front gate and it’s the only one for disposing of waste at the park.
Get involved with COLA (Citizens for Off Leash Areas) here.
If you’re in the neighborhood, you can’t miss Blue Dog Pond—just look for the giant blue dog monument that stands watch over the park. Resplendent with unique art installations for your perusal, Blue Dog is a quirky 1.7-acre neighborhood off-leash area next to Judkins Park and close to I-90.
If you’re heading east with Fido in tow, it’s a great spot to get a run in before a long car ride. The rectangular, no-frills park has multiple entrances and a grassy, hilly area along the side perfect for tiring your dog out.
The park moonlights as a catchment basin, so it gets muddy when it rains. Blue Dog Pond is the best off-leash option for residents in the areas of Capitol Hill, Central District, International District, and Beacon Hill.
Get involved with COLA (Citizens for Off Leash Areas) here.
The Denny Substation Park is a new off-leash dog park in South Lake Union that is good for small dogs in a pinch. Centrally located at the bottom of Denny next to the Substation, it’s a good one if you live or work around the area (SLU/Capitol Hill/Belltown) and need to let your small dog stretch their paws before or after work.
For larger dogs, it’s a less ideal situation. Unfortunately, with all the new construction and highrises in the neighborhood, the immediate area is a bit lacking in the off-leash department. The upside: the park has artificial turf, so no mud! Also, it’s cool to throw the ball in the shadow of what has become a giant metropolis tech city.
The Edmonds off-leash dog park, located at the Marina Beach Park, has all the makings of a PNW classic. Touting epic views of Puget Sound, Olympic Mountains and Kitsap Peninsula, the park is 18 miles north of Seattle, south of the Edmonds-Kingston ferry. There’s also a hose so you can clean up a bit before loading back in the car.
A number of canine community events take place at this park, which you can keep track of here.
Do note that the Amtrak goes by the dog park and it can occasionally get loud—however, most regulars find it more charming than annoying. Don’t forget to wave and give a warm welcome to the folks on board!
Get involved with OLAE (Off Leash Area Edmonds) here.
About 40 minutes south of Seattle, Tacoma’s Wapato Park offers a bucolic opportunity for a city dog to get a good old-fashioned taste of life in the country.
The behemoth park has three separate areas: one reserved for smaller dogs (25 lbs and under), an open lower area lined with wood chips perfect for frisbee or fetch and an upper, more wooded area full of trees and a walking trail. The grounds are well maintained and almost zen-like on a crisp fall day. Water, benches and shelters are on site.
Because it’s such a large park, it’s recommended that you keep a closer eye on your companion—it’s easy to wander and lose track.
Three Forks is located approximately 35 minutes east of Seattle in Snoqualmie next to Centennial Fields Park. It features a whopping eight acres of land for your dog to trot, prance and explore, and there’s a fantastic view of the rugged cliff sides of neighboring Mount Si.
An added perk: The Snoqualmie Valley Regional Trail is accessible through the grounds. This park is great for east siders and anyone embarking on a trek via I-90, as it’s just a short detour off the interstate.
If it’s a bit of an adventure you’re after and you have an afternoon to skip town, Three Forks is a lovely option for a quick getaway from Seattle. Sometimes, a dog just needs wide open spaces!
Definitely don’t expect to come home with a spotless pooch, especially if it has been raining. However, with a smile like the one you’re bound to see on your dog’s face after a visit here, we’re sure you won’t mind a little cleanup.
Marymoor is the stuff dogs (and dog owners) dream of. A favorite of Brooklyn and Buddy’s, the humongo 40-acre park has affectionately been nicknamed “Doggie Disneyland” by the locals. It’s easy to see why: The park offers a variety of different landscapes to get lost in, like lush meadows and tall grass and inviting coves to wade in.
If there were just one dog park to keep coming back to over the years, this would be it. Come through early in the morning for misty, magical vibes. Plus, it smells amazing. Nothing beats coming here on a sunny morning and watching the golden grass sway in the wind (and your dog’s tail going berserk).
Parking here costs $1 and fresh water from the Sammamish River is available for dogs to quench their thirst.
Get involved with SODA (Save Our Dog Areas) here.
Located in Highland Park just west of Boeing Field, Westcrest is an 8.4 acre off-leash area in the south end of Seattle. For some reason, this park gets overlooked… which is ironic, because the overlook from the hill in this park is nothing short of breathtaking.
It’s about a 150-yard walk from the parking lot and through the community garden to the dog park gates. The park is resplendent with lush greenery and tall trees and features a separate section for small or shy dogs, as well as a training course, covered shelter, benches, and a water fountain.
After you’ve had enough fun at the off-leash park, there are great trails that wind around the park and offer unique and underrated views of the city.
For residents of West Seattle, White Center, South Park and Georgetown; Westcrest is a godsend.
Get involved with Westcrest Off Leash Area here.