• Artist rendering of Pioneer Square during Klondike Gold Rush

    Klondike Gold Rush - Seattle Unit

    National Historical Park Washington

Happenings in the Historic District

Fall 2011

So that was summer? The snow is finally clearing from some of the favorite hiking areas at Mt. Rainier and Olympic national parks. So don't delay if you want to see a great wildflower show it's only a matter of time before the snow starts to fall again.

Here in downtown Seattle, early fall is a fun time to explore the city while the weather is nice and the tourist have gone home. The crowds here at the park are also diminishing, and while our summer ranger walks and demonstrations end Labor Day you can still catch a movie on request.

Tim J. Karle
Lead Ranger

 

Yarn bombing in Occidental Park.

Summer 2011

Okay, so summer might be a misnomer for someone visiting here from anywhere else, but to Seattlelites temperatures in the 60's and 70's with sunny days is why they live here. Unfortunately for those craving a walk in the alpine areas of Mt. Rainier or the Olympic Mountains you may have to put off those plans for another month.

Here in downtown there's plenty to do while you wait for the high country snow to melt. June 25th is Northwest National Parks Family Day, on July 8 its time for the Fire Festival, and for a peek of the Yarn Bombing craze sweeping the world check out Occidental Park to see what this movement is all about.

Tim J. Karle
Lead Ranger

 
orcas

Orcas in Puget Sound

Spring, 2011
Well, the calendar says its spring, but the wet cool weather feels more like winter. Apparently other local national park units have also been fooled into thinking its spring. On March 27th, both Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks, closed their snow play areas for the season although there's between 10 and 15 feet of snow still piled on the ground!

Here in the lowlands though its hard to miss the sights and sounds of spring time.

On a recent commute, on the Bainbridge Island ferry, a pod of orcas hunting salmon put on quite a show with several breaches and fins slaps. New bird calls are noticed each morning and eagles seem to be more abundant this year than any in recent memory.

For all our spring-time happenings check out our new Facebook pages at Klondike-Gold-Rush or sign up for our twitter tweets at KLGRSeattleNPS.

 
winter time in Seattle

Winter, 2010. What a difference a year makes. Last year it was mostly cool and wet. Well this year it's been really wet and a whole lot colder. To read the papers or watch the evening news you would think snow was unheard of in the Seattle area.

Like many places around the country residents often forget what "it use to be like" after a few mild winters Well searching back through the old photos I can tell you Seattle has had it's share of big storms and it's hard to believe, but it appears everyone took the storms in stride and everyday life went on. Too bad in this modern era snow, no matter how light, seems to bring our society to it's knees. Can you only imagine how the those headed off to the Klondike in 1897 would have laughed at us as we struggle to get to work or school.

Through this blog, we hope to share what winter is like in the park, as well as the activities you can do in the winter season. Stay tuned for further entries. If you aren't a fan of winter, check out our website for upcoming indoor activities here at the park and the surrounding Seattle area.

 

Fall, 2010 "Fins off the port side!" Thus an otherwise normal morning commute on the Bainbridge Ferry, becomes a whale watching opportunity as a pod of Orca whales head south hunting for salmon. Its that time of year when one often sees migratory birds, seals, whales, and salmon working their way coming south in the Puget Sound.

Weatherwise, our brief summer (no precipitation period often lasting 8 weeks) has come and gone. To the lament of many area gardeners the heat that we all heard about occurring throughout the rest of the world never reached the Northwest. Many of us are now wondering what to do about those green tomatoes, undersized squash, and 2 inch ears of corn!

Schools are now in session and field trips to the park are on the mine of educators. Just a reminder that all school groups need to have a reservation to visit the park. Call 206-220-4240 for more information or visit our For Teachers pages

 

Summer, 2010 Cruise ship season is now in full swing here in Seattle and our two most asked questions this year have been.

1. I thought Seattle was rainy most of the time?
2. What will the weather be like in Alaska?

Seattle's annual precipitation total is less than most locations eastern half of the the United States. More often in spring and summer you may find the weather sunny, cool, with occasional passing drizzle or showers.

Although it may be a warm summer throughout most of the United States, Northwest Washington state and Alaska, especially along the coast rarely see temperatures above 75. Even on the sunniest days all that water surrounding your ship is barely above 55-60 degrees.

Don't forget to visit our park during your stop-over in Seattle we're free, easy to find, and will answer any question you have about this area or Alaska.

 

Spring, 2010 - Seattle is now headed into spring. The steady rains have turned to steady drizzle. The sun occasionally peaks through the clouds and the daily temperatures are beginning to creep upward. While the area's planter boxes are starting to liven up, throughout the Puget Sound daffodils, tulips, and all types of fruit trees are starting to bloom.

Each day seems to bring a new bird to the nearby parks. Last week five Bald eagles were seen by the lunchtime crowd in Occidental Park. Orcas are now being seen by the rush hour commuter ferries.

Here at the park were getting into the heart of school visit season. Final training sessions for the Trails and Rails volunteers are occurring. Our last two Saturday Northwest Notes Speakers are coming up. Still time before the summer crowds invade downtown to visit us.

Check out the volunteer page for more details on this exciting railroad program. And finally are pilot season schools in the Join the Journey fourth grade program with rangers and volunteers making classroom visits. Looking forward to see all those gold rush characters all the kids have developed.

 

Spring, 2010 Seattle is now headed into spring. The steady rains have turned to steady drizzle. The sun occasionally peaks through the clouds and the daily temperatures are beginning to creep upward.

Here at the park visitation is beginning to pick up. We're now seeing an upsurge in school reservations. If you don't have yours in yet check the teacher's calendar because dates in April and May are starting to fill up. The 2010 Trails to Rails volunteer program is now holding its orientation meetings.

Check out the volunteer page for more details on this exciting railroad program. And finally are pilot season schools in the Join the Journey fourth grade program with rangers and volunteers making classroom visits. Looking forward to see all those gold rush characters all the kids have developed.

 
Orcas and eagles, winter time in Puget Sound

Orcas and eagles are common sights in Puget Sound

Winter, 2009. In Seattle, the transition from fall to winter can be somewhat subtle. The misty showers become steady rains, the leaves are falling from the trees, and the temperature is beginning to drop. Wildlife is also undergoing changes with the season. Fewer gulls are seen among the buildings while down on the waterfront several species of migrating and resident waterfowl can be seen.

On a recent commute, over from Bainbridge Island on the ferry, a pod of orcas were seen hunting the late run of salmon. Eagles are still a daily occurrence for the sharp-eyed. For visitors willing to brave the elements this is a perfect time to discover all those Seattle sights which are crowded during the summer months, but are now extremely quiet.

Through this blog, we hope to share what winter is like in the park, as well as the activities you can do in the winter season. Stay tuned for further entries. If you aren't a fan of winter, check out our website for upcoming indoor activities here at the park and the surrounding Seattle area.

- Tim J. Karle -
Visual Information Specialist and Lead Education Ranger

Did You Know?

Did You Know? The regrade of Seattle involved more dirt than the building of the Panama Canal

About one fourth as much dirt was moved during the Seattle regrade projects as was moved during the building of the Panama Canal.