Peak Times to Avoid the Crowds at Seattle’s Big Parks

Compared to other parts of the state, King County’s higher rate of COVID-19 means that we have needed to sustain social distancing and caution until the data says otherwise. So far our community has done a terrific and encouraging job of flattening the coronavirus curve.

But the coast is not yet clear. To keep this contagious virus trending downward, we must remain vigilant about being too close to others, even outdoors.

Going to the park earlier in the day is a great way to do this. Many parks open at 4:30 am, and the rest open at 6 am! As the weather heats up, it’s also cooler to go in the morning. And don’t forget, the major parks are now closing at 8 pm until the end of the Stay at Home order.

Based on cellular tracking data, here are the least-crowded times to go to our most popular parks on the weekends:

Alki Beach, Golden Gardens, and Seward Park leave by noon
Gas Works and Carkeek parks leave by 1 pm
Green Lake and Discovery parks leave by 11 am
Cal Anderson, Volunteer and Judkins parks leave by noon
Lincoln Park and Kubota Garden leave by 1 pm
Magnuson and Woodland parks leave by 11 am
Washington Park Arboretum leave by 1 pm
West Seattle Stadium arrive AFTER 1 pm (afternoons are not crowded)
Myrtle Edwards leave by 1 pm

So check the Google “peak times” graph for a particular park before you go. Here’s how.  And go early!  Avoid the dinner hour whenever possible; parks tend to be busiest during those times. If we all continue to do our part now, we’ll have less to worry about later.