Camp Long is a hidden gem, a 68-acre enclave on the crest of West Seattle featuring old growth forest, wildlife, a variety of hiking trails, rock climbing, ropes courses, camping, and environmental education.
Camp Long's genesis came about during the Great Depression, conceived as a youth refuge and center for teaching scouting and camping skills. The park was founded in 1937 by Seattle Park Board member Archie Phelps, Judge William Long, Ben Evans of the Seattle Park Department, and Scout leader Clark Schurman, who was an expert mountaineer and wilderness camp developer. The park and its well-known centerpiece, Schurman Rock, were built by the Works Progress Administration from 1937 to 1941.
Camp Long contains old growth forest, including alder, birch, maple, Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, and cedar. Several trails crisscross this forest, including the Animal Tracks Nature Trail (0.34 miles), the Ridge Trail (0.11 miles), the Middle Loop Trail (0.45 miles), and the Lower Loop Trail (0.53 miles). There is a 0.1-mile spur trail, leading to Longfellow Creek, that exits the main area of the park at the northeast corner. Maximum elevation change, from the parking lot to Longfellow Creek, is about 240 feet.
In addition to hiking, the park offers birdwatching, rock climbing, camping, orienteering, and an environmental learning center. Wildflowers bloom during the summer, and the foliage is spectacular during the fall.
Park hours are 10 am to 6 pm, Tuesday through Sunday, March to October. Hours are 10 am to 6 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, November to February.