Trail to Treasure

The Trail to Treasure takes you on an exploration of Seattle’s early history, in the neighborhood where it all began – Pioneer Square.

Take a Free Guided Tour of the Trail to Treasure!

Free drop-in walking tours of the Trail to Treasure begin June 19, 2015 through September 27, 2015. The tour begins at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (319 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104) at 2 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Call the Klondike Gold Rush NHP at (206) 220-4240 or email for more information.

Re-Discover Seattle’s Orignial Neighborhood

Pioneer Square is the historic birthplace of Seattle. After initially landing on blustery Alki Point in current day West Seattle, the Denny Party moved inland to settle on the calmer tideflats of Pioneer Square. It was here that fellow settler Doc Maynard suggested that the burgeoning village be named Seattle, after his friend Chief Sealth. Doc Maynard also convinced an entrepreneur named Henry Yesler to locate his sawmill at the settlement’s shoreline on Elliott Bay. It was here that Yesler’s Mill jump-started the economy, which spurred Seattle’s growth from a frontier town into a bustling city. These earliest beginnings are Seattle’s proud heritage, and is evident throughout Pioneer Square to this day.

The Trail to Treasure follows the people who settled here – many of whom have become local legends. Get to know the stories of the special places and events that helped shape the history and development of Pioneer Square, the city of Seattle, and the greater Puget Sound region.

Historical Walking Trail & Waysides

Find a Trail to Treasure walking map at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park or at Milepost 31. Both visitor centers are located in Pioneer Square and are great places to start your historical tour.

In 2013, the first round of Trail to Treasure wayside exhibits were installed in sidewalks throughout Pioneer Square. These informational panels feature historical photos and facts that give pedestrians the opportunity to see the urban environment around them as it once was.

Whether you come across a wayside or start at the first point on the Trail to Treasure walking map, we’re excited to have you explore the history of the neighborhood and of Seattle!

More on Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a visitor center that preserves the story of the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush. The Klondike has also hosted summer Trail to Treasure walking tours which have been tremendously popular – look out for next year’s schedule for guided tours.

More on Milepost 31

Milepost 31 is an award-winning information center that highlights the people and projects that shaped Pioneer Square, and provides an inside look at the SR 99 Tunnel Project. There, you’ll find more than just construction photos and brochures. You’ll find history, artifacts, interactive exhibits and tours designed to broaden your understanding of the land beneath you. You’ll explore the neighborhood’s changing landscape, from earth-moving efforts of the past to the massive tunnel project that will soon move State Route 99 underground and reconnect Pioneer Square to the waterfront. Before your visit, check out for more historical information related to the viaduct.

Getting Here

Pioneer Square is at the nexus of several transit lines, including King County Metro bus service, Sound Transit Link Light RailAmtrak, and the Washington State Ferry system. We strongly encourage visitors to take public transportation to get here, but if that is not an option there are several pay parking lots throughout the neighborhood. Please visit on your computer or smartphone for locations of pay parking lots and their rates.

Our Partners

Trail to Treasure is a project driven by a diverse community of stakeholders led by the Alliance for Pioneer Square. We’d like to thank our partners who helped create and fund the Trail to Treasure project:

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

National Park Service Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program


The City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour

The Waterlines Project


The Portico Group

Collins Woerman

The Trail to Treasure Advisory Board

The Stakeholders of Pioneer Square

3 Responses to Trail to Treasure

  1. Kevin Sill says:

    Today, 7/5/14, my wife and I joined the Pioneer Square walking tour. We are Seattle natives but enjoyed learning details about the area we hadn’t known. Our guide, Mark, was very informative and engaging. I would encourage people to watch the museum video “Seattle:Gateway to the goldfield” before the tour to better understand the area.

  2. Pingback: Pioneer Square Resurgence - Aspen Clean

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