Howe Street Stairs are basically an outdoor recreation center in Seattle.

Featuring an elevation gain of 160 feet and consisting of 388 steps with 13 flights, this is Seattle’s longest staircase and it is beloved by residents.

You will breathe!

There are a lot of health benefits to stair training exercise. In fact, stair training is possibly better than running for strength and cardio. It also requires less impact and repetitive stress.

Benefits of Stair Training Exercise:

  1. Improves good HDL cholesterol [1]
  2. Decrease less desirable LDL cholesterol [2]
  3. Increase VO2MAX up to 17% [3]
  4. Can increase strength and induce hypertrophy of lower body muscles [4]
  5. Improves balance and stability throughout the pelvis and lower limbs [5]
  6. Brief, intense stair climbing is a practical, time-efficient strategy to improve cardio respiratory fitness in previously untrained individuals. [6]
  7. Better overall fitness, reduced fall risk, and less perceived strain during daily life activities. [7]
  8. To maximize metabolic cost and muscle building, a double step or skipping a step is recommended, but not required. [8]
  9. Recommended for all fire fighters as it is task specific. [9]
  10. Increase bone mineral density and maximal voluntary isometric contraction strength. [10]
  11. Immediate, acute benefits to cognition and mood in young adults (and most likely all ages). [11]

Pros and Cons of Howe Street Stairs in Seattle:


  • Free and easily accessible with easy neighborhood parking.
  • Access using public transportation on Seattle bus route 49.
  • Long, continuous staircase for walking and running
  • Views of South Lake Union and parts of downtown, LQA.
  • Friendly people and great atmosphere.
  • Great place for a workout by yourself or with friends or partners.
  • People of all ages, shapes and sizes. Trust me, it’s challenging for everybody.
  • Instant respect for all who do it.


  • Occasionally, it can get crowded.
  • Some people aren’t wearing masks during the pandemic.
  • If you go all the way down, there is a road with semi-fast traffic that isn’t always enthusiastic about stopping for you.
  • I’m only there if you want me to be!


a) Bring water!

b) Keep breathing.

c) Use two step technique if you can (skip a step), try to engage glutes!

d) Don’t give up, even if it means slowing down.

I hope this article inspires you to use the Howe Street Stairs in Seattle or any staircase available to you in your city.

You might even be able to train stairs if you live in a high rise building. In that case, you could even take the elevator down!

Stay tuned for more and thanks for reading.

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