One afternoon, I walked past the Troll. As usual, tourists were climbing all over him, and taking his photograph. I noticed the flights of stairs flanking him and wondered, “What’s it like up there?” So I climbed the stairs, and my breath was taken away. First, by the cars speeding across the bridge at 50 miles an hour – and then by the view. It was a clear, bright day and the sun was magnificent, shining over Lake Union.
The eastern walkway of the bridge has views of Wallingford, the University District, all of Lake Union, skyscrapers of downtown and the tall, white masts of sailboats docked below. If you can only choose one side of the bridge, I recommend this one. If it is early evening, or if you have the time, try the western staircase up to the bridge, and look out over most of Fremont. The Lake Washington Ship Canal stretches out to the Ballard Locks, and you can check out the steep elevation of the Queen Anne hills to the south.
I visit the bridge at different times of day. When the sky is clear, I can see the Olympic Mountains, including Mt. Rainier, rising beyond the Puget Sound. At sunset, I get the golden light reflected in the canal and off the glass fronts of technology office buildings. Few people visit outside of commuting hours, so have a walk-up and enjoy!