Paddle Lake Union


    Added by Michael Gabbert

    A perfect spot to enjoy the sunset with panoramic views of the Seattle Skyline, Queen Anne Hill, Gasworks Park & the Seattle Houseboats.

    As the sun sets over Queen Anne Hill, there are few better places to be in Seattle than Lake Union. Sitting just 2 miles from downtown Seattle, the Lake is a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. No matter the season, catching a sunset and dusk on the lake is absolutely stunning.

    Unless you live in Seattle and own a kayak, chances are you’ll need to rent. Luckily there are two companies to rent from directly on the lake. Northwest Outdoor Center, located on the west side of the lake and Moss Bay, located on the east side of the lake. Each has similar rental hours, but depending on the time within the season, there are chances you will need to return the kayaks prior to the sun actually setting. Based on the rental hours and sunset times, your best combinations are in Jan/Feb or Aug/Sept to return after the sun sets.

    Once on the lake, there’s not a bad spot to catch the sunset. However, to plop yourself smack dab in the middle gives you panoramic views of Gasworks Park to the north, the houseboat rows to the east, the setting sun over Queen Anne Hill to the west and the stunning Seattle skyline to the south. Plus, the middle of the lake will allow a quick paddle back to any part of the shore or wherever you may have rented your kayak. Best paired with a tasty adult beverage, catching the sunset while kayaking on Lake Union is a can't miss Seattle experience.

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    Stand Up Paddle
    Easy Parking
    Family Friendly
    Food Nearby

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    Rate this Adventure

    🥇Top Contributor

    12 days ago

    Great way to explore

    Great way to explore the city. It's cool during the day, but would want to come back for a sunset paddle.

    🥇Top Contributor

    4 months ago

    Fun paddle

    Fun place to paddle that over looks the Seattle skyline. The best time to paddle is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and the sun stays out late.


    🥇Top Contributor

    over 3 years ago

    Easy cityscape paddling

    Even when the winds are high and waters are rough, paddling in Lake Union is generally save and easy to navigate. Take off after hours to avoid choppy water and heavy boat traffic - all you need after sunset is a headlamp, according to Seattle's light laws. Head east past the I5 and University bridges to Agua Verde where you can dock and enjoy a beer before heading home.

    over 3 years ago

    Great mini adventure + volunteerism!

    If you want to combine your adventure with volunteering you can do some trash pickups on kayak through I did this for a college bio class and actually had a ton of fun with my kayak buddy!

    🥈 Contributor

    about 4 years ago

    Canoeing as well

    UW also rents out canoes (as well as kayaks) for students to paddle around the lake for $6 an hour. However, I believe they require that you return the rental before sunset so you won't be able to capture these stunning shots with a rental, but it is still a great time! (Rentals located by the Husky Stadium)

    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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