8/14/2013: PJ Glassey will lead interested stair climbers up and down the Howe Street Stairway in Seattle (the 4th longest outdoor stairway in the USA) on 8/24/13 at 8:30 am. Climbers will learn valuable techniques on stair climbing ranging from how to maximize the workout, to reducing muscle soreness, and everything in between. This is all part of Lifewise Health Plan of Washington's new fitness inspiration program through Actively Northwest, using #FitMob as the signal to their customers to get active and get fit. You're invited too! There is no requirement that you be a Lifewise customer either. It's highly advised to go xgym.com/stairs and check out the great info there to brief yourself beforehand so you show up informed and ready to go!
8/6/2013: David Ryan's many stair finds include Dubuque, IA, with two major stairways (not including two other abandoned stairways) and many other minor ones.
8/5/2013: David Ryan's many wanderings (entertainingly described in his "The Gentle Art of Wandering" blog) includes finding three major stairways in Galena, IL (a fourth stairway is closed). More info on his stairway finds in other cities and towns to come.
8/4/2013: I did a recount of the Dipsea stairs in Mill Valley, CA, in May and found that the lower stairway now has 316 stairs (up from 313). I did a similar count of Gil's Stairs in Hood River, OR, in July and found that they had also increased by 3 (from 413 to 416). Is the Earth expanding?
8/3/2013: There has been a long break in the update of the stair info on this web site due to a number of factors: the largest (and most time consuming) factor being the addition of two Alaskan malamute puppies to our family in February. We are now down to one (a male, named Tuolumne). You can see his photo on the Who We Are page. Life is slowly returning to a new normal.
1/16/2013: If you find climbing stairs the conventional way not challenging enough then try climbing them on a unicycle like Terry Peterson does in his "Extreme Unicycling" video.
1/8/2013: Tomorrow (Wednesday, 1/9/2013) is "Take the Stairs" Day, courtesy of stairsport.com. But let's make every day "Take the Stairs" Day starting now!
1/7/2013: Iceland has stairs! Susan Ott Ralph found them last summer when she and her husband visited Skogafoss, Iceland. The 380-Skogafoss stairs climb to the top of the Skogafoss waterfall. Nice climb!
1/6/2013: Lucas Boyle has produced an entertaining video of his (and two friends) travels up and down the many West Seattle stairways - all in a single day and with bicycles! Go to the video page to view his video.
1/5/2013: If you want to visit Thai stairways check out the Wat Tham Suea Stairway just outside of Krabi, Thailand, on the Andaman Coast. Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple) Stairway has 1237 stairs and gains over 1000 feet. LonelyPlanet.com provides a good description of Wat Tham Suea and the stairway. There is also an excellent video of the stairway produced by Dornz Arrummy Rojvithee. Info on the Wat Tham Suea Stairway was provided to me by Vern Lovic (Vern's web site is GoUpIt.com) and John Stockton. Thank you both!
1/4/2013: Susan Ott Ralph reports that the Ferdinand-53rd Stairway in Seattle has been rebuilt by the City of Seattle and looks much nicer than the old stairway, although 9 stairs were lost in the process. New info and photos are found on the Seattle map. Thanks, Susan!
1/3/2013: For Seattle stair walkers circle Saturday, February 9, on your calendar for Stairway Walks Day, sponsored by Feet First promoting walkable communities. On that Saturday there will be 15 organized walks, featuring stairway walks described in Jake and Cathy Jaramillo's new book, "Seattle Stairway Walks". Go to feetfirst.org for more info.
Jake and Cathy Jaramillo's new book, "Seattle Stairway Walks" is now available in bookstores from The Mountaineers Books. This is a great little pocket guide to stairways through the Seattle metropolitan area. It even includes QR codes.
1/2/2013: Robert Skip Sandberg has published the second edition of his book "Steps, Lanes and Paths of Mill Valley". This new edition contains more beautiful photos of Mill Valley, California, stairways and one new stairway not included in the first edition.
1/1/2013: In the spring of 2012 Bob Inman, Andrew Lichtman, and Ying Chen undertook an epic journey to walk 300 public stairways scattered across the Los Angeles basin in ten days. Their book "The 300: The Way of the Stairs Across Los Angeles" is the story of their journey. More info about their travels can be found on their web site 300LAStairways.com.
12/18/2012: The gap in adding new info on this page is not due to a lack of interest or material, but only due to a lack of time on my part. I hope to find some time in the next few days to get caught up. That said, I recently joined Incline Friends, a group working to make the Manitou Incline in Colorado officially open to public access. Manitou Incline is one of the longest, steepest rural stairways in the country. You can get more info at http://inclinefriends.ning.com/.
9/8/2012: Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Does it have any major outdoor public stairways? I didn't think so, but thanks to Liz Newman the answer is YES! The University of Florida Gator Stadium in Gainesville is open to public use of its stairs. Check them out!
8/23/2012: Shaun Hoffman has found another Happy Valley, OR, stairway: 147th Ave Stairway with 113 stairs. Keep it up, Shaun!
8/22/2012: David Ryan in his wanderings has found another stairway, just east of St. Louis. This is the 156-stair Monks Mound Stairway leading to the top of Monks Mound in Cahokia State Park in Collinsville, IL. This stairway leads to the top of the large complex of Indian mounds found in the United States. Thanks, David!
8/21/2012: For years I have heard rumors of a giant stairway in the hills southeast of Portland, Oregon, but I never had a specific location. Shaun Hoffman of Happy Valley, OR, may have found it with his discovery of the 442-stair Hilltop Stairway in Happy Valley, Oregon. It looks like quite a climb! Great find, Shaun!
8/20/2012: The SFGate.com article (see below) includes the 139-stair Arch Stairway (aka Larkspur Steps) in Larkspur, CA.
8/10/2012: Julian Michelucci has a great web site Stairways Are Freedom where he documents the many stairways that he explores in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of his recent finds is the 119-stair Seal Point Park Stairway in San Mateo, CA. Thanks for the info, Julian!
7/25/2012: If you are looking for great ocean views try the 218-stair Point Vicente Stairway in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA; info courtesy of Jacques Monier.
7/24/2012: Naomi Goehle has found a beautiful 105-stair stairway leading up to the Jackson County Courthouse (now the Jackson County Library) in Sylva, North Carolina.
7/23/2012: David Ryan finds another stairway in New York City. The W 155th Stairway is in Manhattan and is a short walk from the old Polo Grounds, where more stairs can be found. Check for yourself.
7/16/2012: Nice article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about a community group, Community Steps Cooperative headed by M.J. Flott and Alex Lake, that is working to preserve and maintain Pittsburgh's public stairways.
6/22/2012: Port Angeles, Washington, is just across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Victoria, BC. Jacques Monier says that from the top of Port Angeles's 106-stair Laurel Street Stairs you can see all of the way to Canada. Go take a peek at the view!
6/20/2012: Quebec City has escalier (stairways). Cap-Blanc Stairs are the longest with 398 stairs, according to quebecregion.com. Check them out for yourself.
6/15/2012: Jake Jaramillo reports that the City of Seattle Department of Transportation has rebuilt the Spokane-61st Stairway and it now has more than 100 stairs (109, to be exact). Thanks, Jake.
6/10/2012: We now have stairs in Oakland, California, courtesy of Dan Schulman of Oakland Urban Paths.
6/9/2012: Another good article about stairs is on the Governing.com blog site.
6/8/2012: Who knew that Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, has stairs? David Ryan did, and he provides us with the first major public outdoor stairway in the state of West Virginia. Thanks, David!
6/7/2012: Excellent newspaper article about Cincinnati stairways by Steven Rosen in today's Cincinnati Enquirer. It is great to see renewed interest in preserving and promoting Cincinnati's historic stairways.
5/29/2012: Scott Stanley reports that Austin, Texas, has stairs. The best are at Mount Bonnell and include a great view of the city.
5/8/2012: How many steps does it take to climb to the moon? To find out and to participate in the 2012 Climb to the Moon go to moonclimb.com.
5/6/2012: Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, Washington, (just north of Seattle) has both beach access to Puget Sound and a major stairway with 199 stairs. Great views from the top.
4/7/2012: If you like walking not only up stairs, but also on other types of terrain then check out Patricia Jewett's new web site: All Things Walking.
4/3/2012: I found this photo on the "Stair race training buds" Facebook page:
We should advocate for these symbols on all public stairways where there is a choice.
3/20/2012: There are two major types of stair books: guides to neighborhoods (e.g., Charles Fleming’s “Secret Stairs” books) and photographic essays (Robert Sandberg’s “Steps, Lanes, and Paths of Mill Valley”). David Ryan’s new book “The Gentle Art of Wandering” is a third stair path: the philosophy of using stairways to wander or explore. Ryan uses stairways (and other transportation venues) to explore the big and the little that surrounds all of us, but is often invisible to our busy lives. In Chapter 4 Ryan describes his wandering the hills and stairways of Los Angeles and the discoveries he makes in the process. He describes his process of “seeing” and “connecting” with the environment, whether it is urban, rural, or wilderness. This is an important book to read. For more info go to the book page.
3/19/2012: David Ryan (author of "The Gentle Art of Wandering") wandered into the old mining town of Miami, Arizona, and discovered the Keystone Stairs (155 stairs). The town of Miami holds an annual stairclimb every April. See the stairs on the Miami, AZ, stairs map.
3/12/2012: If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area check out the Oakland Urban Paths group which is regularly featured in the blog Our Oakland. They know all of the local Oakland area stairways and a lot more. Looks like a fun group.
3/11/2012: While running along Lake Washington in Seattle I ran past the newly rebuilt Jackson Stairway. The number of stairs has been reduced from 140 to 135, but the new stairway is very nice. Check it out if you are in the neighborhood.
3/9/2012: Randy Wilson reports the discovery of the Birch Stairway in Camas, Washington (near Portland, Oregon). The stairway is located at the end of Birch Street between NE 7th Ave and NE 12th Ave. Unfortunately, it has only 94 stairs and does not meet the 100-stair minimum requirement to be included on the stair map. But it is still worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood.
3/8/2012: The lack of news is purely a function of my busy work schedule. If you have new stair information please let me know.
An eco-friendly urban exercise area concept by Michael Jantzen is a series of stairways that can be built anywhere (hills optional). More info in GreenMuze.
11/3/2011: While photographing Seattle's Discovery Park South Bluff and Hidden Valley stairways I found the North Bluff Stairway (201 stairs); also another Seattle downtown stairway (Lower Market Stairway with 110 stairs).
10/22/2011: For those of you who like stair running/racing take a look at Trevor Folgering's new web site StairClimbCanada.com.
10/6/2011: The small mining town of Wallace, Idaho, is rediscovering its stair heritage. You can see their two major stairways (7th Street Stairs: 154 stairs; 6th Street Stairs: 211 stairs) on the Wallace map and a video of their stairs, produced by Randy Knight. They have a lot of work to do to rebuild their historical wood stairways. If you would like to contribute send your tax deductible donation to the City of Wallace, City Clerk, 703 Cedar St, Wallace, ID 83873.
10/5/2011: I discovered two trail stairways in Seattle's Discovery Park: South Bluff Stairway (216 stairs) and Hidden Valley Stairway (108 stairs). Find them on the Seattle map.
10/2/2011: There is an excellent article about working out on stairs by Alyssa Shaffer, Women's Health Editor, on the blog "Innovation for Endurance". Take a look.
9/20/2011: We now have a new longest concrete stairway in the United States: Murphy Ranch East Stairway (512 stairs!) in Los Angeles. Dave Ptach counted the stairs. Good work, Dave!
9/13/2011: Bob Inman visited the Manayuk neighborhood of Philadelphia and found seven major stairways. Take a look.
7/8/2011: Zach Behrens of KCET Los Angeles blogs and videos about walking the "Secret Stairs" of Los Angeles. Check out the video and meet author Charles Fleming.
7/7/2011: With the help of Laura O. Foster's book "Portland City Walks" I recently found and documented two stairways in Oregon City, Oregon. The McLoughlin House Stairway (215 stairs) starts in a tunnel under railroad track on the edge of downtown Oregon City.
7/6/2011: While on my Mill Valley visit I found two stairways in neighboring Sausalito, CA. There are more in Sausalito to be found.
5/14/2011: Based on information provided by Steve Rock and Rick McMichael I found the 290-stair Eagle Landing Park Stairway in Burien, WA. It leads down to the beach on Puget Sound.
4/26/2011: While in the San Francisco Bay Area I discovered this 105-stair Foothill College stairway in Los Altos Hills, CA. This is the only major outdoor stairway that I know of on the San Francisco Peninsula.
4/2/2011: Premera has donated a giant box of "I TAKE THE STAIRS" buttons, so I have lots and lots of buttons if you and your stair friends want some. Go to the buttons page for more details.
3/20/2011: Discovered another stairway (100-stair Lincoln Park North Stairway) in Seattle. Seattle is now tied with San Francisco for third place for the city with the most number of major public outdoor stairways.
3/1/2011: Ted Smith and family has found the first documented major public outdoor stairway in Richmond, VA. Check out the 157-stair Libby Hill Stairway. Thanks, Ted!
2/27/2011: I am changing my stairs email address to firstname.lastname@example.org because of problems with my business email address. Please use this new email address until further notice. - Doug Beyerlein
2/25/2011: Read in the Seattle Times an excellent article about Susan Ott Ralph quest to find all of the public stairways in Seattle. And see some of the stairways tonight (7 PM) at her slide show at the Montlake Community Center in Seattle.
2/22/2011: Linda Nicholas has provided info and photos of the 245-stair Lang Trail Stairway in Peachland, British Columbia. Thanks, Linda!
2/14/2011: I received more "I TAKE THE STAIRS" buttons from Premera LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, courtesy of Kelly Jones. I will mail you free buttons if you email me your postal address and the number of buttons that you want (you don't have to live in Washington state to participate). All that I ask in return is that you send me a digital photo of each person who gets a button. I will put the photos on the new "I Take the Stairs Button" page. Check it out!
2/7/2011: The first Hawaiian stairway has been found! Check out the Koko Crater Railway Trail Stairway with 1207 stairs! And this is not the longest stairway in Hawaii. The Haiku Stairs are 3922 stairs long, but currently access to them is closed to the public. We hope that changes soon.
2/1/2011: Susan Ott Ralph continues to find Seattle stairways. She has found five previously undocumented major stairways: #74 Raye (106 stairs), #75 Crescent (103), # 76 Madrona Park (100), #77 Horton (100), and #78 Highland (112). Excellent work, Susan! And remember her talk on 2/25.
1/31/2011: Portland, Oregon, stair walkers should put on their calendar the Heartbreaker Walk on 2/12. This 5K and 10K walk visits many of NW Portland's hidden and not-so-hidden stairways and is organized by the Columbia River Volksports Club. More info available at www.walking4fun.org.
1/20/2011: Susan Ott Ralph will be giving a talk on Seattle Stairs on Friday, February 25, 7:00 PM, at the Montlake Community Center, 1618 E Calhoun St, Seattle. She will briefly describe 29 walks that feature the best stairs. She will show some of her photographs of the different styles of stairs in Seattle and her candidates for some categories of stairs: highest, longest, most beautiful, most obscure, best view, most urban, least urban, oldest, most artistic, and the ones that capture the essense of Seattle. Put this event on your calendar!
1/19/2011: Colleen Neff, president of the Berkeley Path Wanderers, has provided photos of the Berkeley stairways plus information on Poppy Path Stairway (193 stairs). Thanks, Colleen!
1/12/2011: Fred Beyerlein (no relation) of Longboat Key, FL, has provided info about The Approach, the 147-stair entrance to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. See Troy, NY stair map for photos and more details. Thanks, Fred!
1/1/2011: New Year's Resolution: Let's make 2011 the "Year of the Stairs". To help promote stair useage LifeWise Health Plan of Washington is giving out free "I TAKE THE STAIRS" buttons. I will mail you free buttons if you email me your postal address and the number of buttons that you want (you don't have to live in Washington state to participate). All that I ask in return is that you send me a digital photo of each person who gets a button. I will put the photos on the new "I Take the Stairs Button" page. Check it out!
What U.S. city has the greatest number of documented major outdoor stairways? Which city has the longest (most number of stairs) stairway? Go to the Stairway Records page to find out.
What is a major outdoor public stairway? The simple answer is: It is a set of 100 or more stairs that are outside and open for public use. Go to the Rules page for the complete criteria.
Where can I find major outdoor public stairways? Go to the Map page and check out any of the stair maps. You are welcome to leave your comments about any of the stairways that you visit. Let us know what you think!
What do I do if I find a major outdoor public stairway that is not on a map? Congratulations! You are a stair seeker! Go to the Stair Documentation page for information on how to add your stair information to this web site. Once your stair information is added to the maps you will become an honorary stair seeker and your name will be included on our Stair Seeker page.
WANTED: Volunteers to document known outdoor public stairways in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, Mill Valley, and Sausalito, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; and Cincinnati, OH. Become a stair seeker! Contact Doug Beyerlein for more details.
The two stair finding contests are finished. Check out the winners on the Contest page. ***
For a little history on how this whole idea got started read my “Seattle Stairs” article, originally published in the June 1999 issue of Northwest Runner magazine.
Now go out and enjoy some stairs!
Doug Beyerlein, Seattle, Washington
Do you have a group or organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and promoting stairways in your community? If so, send me your information and I will post on this web site on our new Stair Community page. Email your info to Doug Beyerlein at email@example.com.