Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Catch the Sunset over Bellingham Bay from the Sehome Arboretum Tower
Todd Elsworth

I’m a sucker for a good sunset. One of the (not so) secret spots to catch the sunset over Bellingham Bay is from the Lookout Tower on Sehome Hill Arboretum.¬† There are so many ways to make your way to the tower to enjoy this spectacular hidden little perspective of the horizon throughout the day (and night). I chose to ride my bike up the road to the top and catch the last bit of the sunset from the tower.

Arboretum Sunset

You should at least walk. You can try to run it. You could even make a day hike out of it.¬† If you choose go on foot, you may like to start downtown. I put a map in below outlining my favorite “secret” route up to Sehome Hill from downtown. It’s quite a workout. Here’s the route: Let’s just say you start from Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. Head South on Railroad Avenue until it winds around and turns into E. Laurel St. You’ll see the hill in front of you as you head up E. Laurel and cross N. State, N. Forest, N. Garden in succession. As you cross busy N. Garden, you’ll climb up a paved sidewalk that is your first introduction to elevation gain. You’ll cross an alley and emerge on High Street. Keep on chuggin’ and pass Laurel Park on your right. (This is also another good place to start from- take the bus, bike or drive) As you come to the end of the road in the alley behind Indian St. continue up the path to Jersey Street. Take a right and head for the end of the road. Fortunately, the end of the road is only a block away. Then you have your choice of Jersey Street¬†Route A or Route B to make your way up Sehome Hill.

Jersey Street Route A brings you on a gentle sloping traverse of Sehome Hill with great views out over Bellingham, Bellingham Bay, and Beyond (aka Canada). The trail will hook you in with the backside of Western Washington University’s campus behind Edens Hall and Old Main. Route B is a more aggressive trail that provides quicker access to the top. Take your pick, either way is an excellent choice.

Sehome Access

There are plenty of ways to get to the top for the sunset or even just explore the many trails that Sehome has to offer. You can even¬†drive your car to the top. In the end, you’ll get to the tower and have a great view. Here are Sehome Hill Road Directions for taking the road either by bike or car.¬† Check out the full map below to plan your adventure. BIKES are NOT ALLOWED on the trails, but can be ridden on 25th St. “Arboretum Drive” to the top and back down.

Sehome Map

I hope that you find the time to get OUT THERE and enjoy it for yourself. Try to time your adventure so you can catch the sunset from atop the Sehome Hill Arboretum Tower. As the sun disappeared below the point of land in the distance that is Lummi,¬† I headed out into the dark with my headlamp aglow and it illuminated the tunnel.¬† I passed through and reflected on the changes the “Hill and the Tunnel” have gone through over the years. Listening for the long gone sounds of rumbling Model T’s driving through this passage when it was first built in 1923.

Sehome Tunnel

See the Timeline of The Human History of Sehome Hill. Enjoy.

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About the Author:

As the co-Executive Director of Recreation Northwest and the founder of the Bellingham Traverse, Todd promotes outdoor recreation and brings people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. He enjoys biking, hiking, paddling, skiing and will try anything twice. Get connected at RecreationNorthwest.org.

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