Lake Union Live Cam

It is a major part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal


Lake Union is a freshwater lake located in Seattle, Washington, and has a rich history that dates back to the indigenous people who first inhabited the area. The lake was originally named "small lake" by the Duwamish tribe, who lived in the region for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Lake Union became an important hub for maritime activities, including shipping and boat building. Many of the city's early industries were located around the lake, including sawmills, ironworks, and coal mines.

During World War I and World War II, Lake Union became a center for shipbuilding, as many of the city's shipyards were located along the lake's shore. The lake was also used as a testing ground for new seaplane designs, which helped establish Seattle as a hub for aviation.

In the mid-20th century, the lake's industrial uses declined, and the area became more residential. Today, Lake Union is a popular recreational area, with parks, walking paths, and marinas for boating enthusiasts. The lake is also home to the Center for Wooden Boats, which showcases the area's rich maritime history and offers sailing and boat-building classes.

Here are some additional details about the history of Lake Union in Washington:

  • The first European explorer to visit the area was George Vancouver, who named the lake after his friend and fellow naval officer, Peter Rainier.
  • In the late 1800s, Lake Union became a center for the city's growing logging industry. Logs were floated down the lake and processed at mills located on its shores.
  • One of the most famous shipyards on Lake Union was the Seattle Construction and Drydock Company, which built many World War II-era ships, including the aircraft carrier USS Hornet and the battleship USS Washington.
  • During the 1960s and 1970s, Lake Union was a center for the city's counterculture movement. Many houseboats were moored along the lake's shores, and the area was a gathering place for artists, musicians, and other bohemians.
  • In recent years, Lake Union has become a hub for technology companies, with several major firms, including Amazon and Google, locating their headquarters in the area.
  • The lake is also home to several notable landmarks, including Gas Works Park, which features the remnants of an old gasification plant, and the Museum of History and Industry, which documents the history of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Today, Lake Union is a popular destination for boaters, kayakers, and paddleboarders, as well as hikers and cyclists who enjoy the area's scenic walking and biking trails.

Top Tourist Attractions

  • Gas Works Park: This 19-acre park is located on the site of a former gasification plant and offers stunning views of Lake Union and the Seattle skyline. The park features a large play area, picnic shelters, and a hillside area perfect for kite-flying and sunbathing.
  • Center for Wooden Boats: This maritime museum offers visitors the chance to explore a collection of historic boats and learn about traditional boat-building techniques. The museum also offers sailing and rowing classes, as well as boat rentals.
  • Lake Union Park: This 12-acre park is located at the southern end of Lake Union and features a large fountain, a model boat pond, and a boardwalk with stunning views of the lake.
  • Museum of History and Industry: Located on the shores of Lake Union, this museum documents the history of the Pacific Northwest, with exhibits on the region's natural environment, Native American culture, and early European settlement.
  • Kenmore Air: Visitors can take a scenic seaplane tour of Lake Union and the surrounding area with this local airline. The flights offer breathtaking views of the city skyline, Mount Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains.
  • Seattle Floating Homes: The houseboats on Lake Union are a unique feature of the area, and visitors can take a guided tour to see the eclectic mix of floating homes and learn about their history.
  • Fremont Troll: This quirky sculpture, located under the Aurora Bridge in the Fremont neighborhood, has become a local landmark. The troll, which is over 18 feet tall, is made of concrete and steel and is depicted holding a real Volkswagen Beetle in its hand.


Lake Union has a marine west coast climate, which is characterized by cool, wet winters and mild, dry summers. The lake's proximity to the Pacific Ocean moderates its climate, keeping temperatures relatively mild throughout the year.

In the winter months, temperatures around Lake Union typically range from the mid-30s to the mid-40s Fahrenheit (2-7 Celsius), with occasional snowfall. The area receives an average of around 6 inches (15 cm) of precipitation in January, with most of it falling as rain.

In the summer months, temperatures around Lake Union typically range from the mid-60s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit (18-24 Celsius), with occasional heat waves bringing temperatures into the 80s (27-32 Celsius). The area receives an average of around 1 inch (2.5 cm) of precipitation in July, with most of it falling as light rain or drizzle.

Overall, Lake Union's climate is mild and pleasant, with relatively little temperature variation throughout the year. However, visitors should be prepared for rain and cloudy weather, particularly during the fall and winter months.


Lake Union is a freshwater lake located in Seattle, Washington, United States. The lake has a surface area of approximately 580 acres (235 hectares) and a maximum depth of around 50 feet (15 meters). It is situated at an elevation of 20 feet (6 meters) above sea level.

Lake Union is roughly shaped like a narrow, elongated oval, with a length of approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) and a width of about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) at its widest point. The lake is fed by several small streams and creeks, and is drained by the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which connects it to Puget Sound.

The lake is surrounded by several neighborhoods, including Eastlake, Wallingford, Fremont, and South Lake Union. The University of Washington is located just north of the lake, and downtown Seattle is located to the south.

Several parks and green spaces are located around the lake, including Gas Works Park, Lake Union Park, and the Burke-Gilman Trail. The lake is also home to several marinas and yacht clubs, as well as a number of houseboats, which are moored along its shores.