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Japanese Gulch Loop



3.5 mile 5.6 kilometer loop
88% Runnable


Ascent: 571' 174 m
Descent: -565' -172 m
High: 594' 181 m
Low: 96' 29 m


Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)


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Trail shared by Judith Mayer

A steady uphill alongside active rail that heads into the back of Boeing, feat. rolling terrain.

Judith Mayer

Features River/Creek · Waterfall

On sunny weekends the parking is packed, but there is plenty of parking on the street.


This route uses some of the more obvious of Japanese Gulch's varied trails. Keep in mind that the trails in the area have many alternate routes, and it's possible to endlessly vary your experience.

Need to Know

Trail entrance to the east side of gulch currently (4/14/16) closed for major construction. You must enter on west side and cross over to east side on a bridge.

Runner Notes

First 1.8 miles open and easy. Once you enter the forest it is very technical. There are lots of tree roots and a few intermittent streams.


Whether you're traveling fast or slow, this route will give you a workout. The first 1.6 miles on the BNSF Trail are a steady uphill before you reach a portion where the trail features rugged rolling terrain. The first 1.6 miles are wide and packed dirt or gravel.

Keep an eye out for a sharp, hairpin L turn at the top of the climb, and head about 1/8 mi down the utility road. You'll see a thinly defined 'trail' through the bushes that line the path. This shorter trail comes out by a holding pond. Keep this pond tight on your left, and you'll enter the forest and find yourself presented with a myriad of trails. The trails are obvious but unmarked. This route mostly uses the Western Trail on the way back to the northern end of the park. All of the smaller trails were created by mountain bikers and runners.

The dog park located nearby has port-a-potty that is always clean. There is a coffee shop where visitors can purchase espresso and baked goods, chocolates and a pizza parlor located 4 blocks away, and it is possible to catch the ferry about 6 blocks away.

Flora & Fauna

Since the trail head is at the Mukilteo Dog Park, you can expect to see dogs. People are very conscientious about scooping. I have never, ever had to scrape poo off my shoes. As a courtesy, people generally run with dogs off leash, but leash when they see runners or bikers.

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Oct 3, 2019
Joshua Anderson
Watch out for the aggressive owl(s). Great trail, a little muddy, alway keeps cool with the tree coverage. 3.2mi
Jan 26, 2019
Emily Branch
Really great. First time on the trail so got turned around a few times. Muddy, but as long as you have good shoes and watch your movement it was fine. 6.2mi
May 9, 2018
Damien Scott

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 10 votes


  3.9 from 10 votes
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in Washington


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6,530 Since Apr 1, 2016



1st bridge to cross over to east side of the gulch.
Apr 18, 2016 near Mukilteo, WA
First 1.6 miles uphill on packed gravel: tracks on left, creek on right.
Mar 8, 2016 near Mukilteo, WA
Singletrack at top of the trail before you start downhill.
Mar 8, 2016 near Mukilteo, WA
West side trail entrance
Apr 18, 2016 near Mukilteo, WA
Creek alongside first 1.6 miles
Apr 1, 2016 near Mukilteo, WA
There are 3 places with small bridges where you can cross to the MUCH steeper south side.
Apr 1, 2016 near Mukilteo, WA