Big Rock Garden Bellingham Washington - Sculptures And Art Set In A Garden Setting
Home Things To Do Things Not To Do Golf Courses Fairhaven Events Alaska Ferry Birch Bay Lynden Sumas

Big Rock Garden Park Bellingham - Outdoor Art Museum Bellingham WA

Today we visit Bellingham's Big Rock Garden Bellingham, on of the city's least known parks. Big Rock Park is located near the north end of Bellingham's Lake Whatcom in the Silver Beach Neighborhood. This out of the way Sculpture garden is tucked away down an ordinary looking neighborhood street and down a narrow drive so many Bellingham residents know nothing about it.

The Big Rock Garden property was once owned by Bellingham Washington City Council Member George Drake who created the gardens as part of a nursery and outdoor sculpture gallery. The city of Bellingham, always eager to add another city park to their portfolio purchased the property in 1993. Note: Big Rock Garden refers to the size of the garden. There are no really big rocks there.

A Peaceful Enclave In An Already Peaceful Neighborhood

The Big Rock Garden can best be described as an eclectic outdoor sculpture garden with art pieces that range from serene, to quirky and outright disturbing and perhaps not suitable for small children. One sculpture in particular perhaps attempting to draw attention to child hungar features sculptures of starving children with extended bellies and exposed ribcages. 

Most of the art pieces in the Big Rock Garden collection are more subtle and attractive giving the gardens a type of relaxed Japanese Garden look and feel. It has been said that many more people would appreciate art like this if they had any idea of how hard it was for them to make it. Polished stone, cut glass and formed steel not the easiest or most forgiving things to work with, It is one thing to walk through and annualize each art piece and deciding "Is It Pretty". But take another walk through and imagine the time and seffort it took to create each piece and you will come away with a completely different appreciation for the art and the dedication of it's creator.

Open Dawn To Dusk

As We Mentioned before, the Big Rock Garden was originally conceived as a neighborhood nursery so the plants selected for the garden are actually just as important or more important than the art pieces. The Big Rock Garden also features 100 varieties of maples planted throughout the park giving it the look of a Japanese garden especially in the fall when all the maples turn vibrant colors. In the spring time you can enjoy the many azaleas and rhododendrons putting on a show of colors.

The Big Rock Garden is a "Leave Your Dog At Home" park. They will have to do their barking and pooping at home. Sorry but Dogs are not allowed at the Big Rock Garden.


Rhododendrons are one of the most popular flowing plants in the Pacific Northwest and Western Washington is the colorful Rhododendron.

Azaleas are actually a subspecies of true rhododendrons however they have only five anthers per flower. Anthers are the pollen laden part of a stamen--the male organ of the flower.

Rhododendrons got their name from the Ancient Greek words for Rose Tree. Most species of Rhododendrons originated from Asia with many of the smaller leaved and flowered species coming from alpine regions.  

There are over 1,000 known varieties of rhododendron


The Big Rock Garden Park Is Situated Down A Neighborhood Street Near The Intersection Of Alabama Hill And Electric Avenue.


2900 Sylvan Street
Bellingham Washington
Located In The Silver Beach Neighborhood.

Drive East On Alabama And Turn Left On Sylvan Street Just Before Reaching The Stop Sign At Electric Avenue. Drive a few blocks and look for the Big Rock Garden sign on your right and continue down the alley road to the garden's parking area.  
Lake Whatcom Park Bellingham Washington Is Located On The Eastern Shore Of Lake Whatcom.OTHER MUST SEE PARKS Lake Whatcom Park / Hertz Trail

Drive east on Alabama Street to the top of the hill.

Turn Left On North Shore Drive

Continue as the Road Winds Around A Small Neighborhood Strip Mall And Convenience Store. (Site of the old "White City" Amusement Park and Roller Coaster).

The road name changes to North Shore "ROAD".-- Continue for 5.4 miles then follow signs to the left into Lake Whatcom Park.   

Lake Whatcom Park is basically located midway on the Eastern Shore of Lake Whatcom opposite the Sudden Valley Marina and Reville Island.


Hertz Hiking Trail Lake Whatcom Park Washington North Shore Drive Signs To Lake Whatcom Park The Parking Lot For Lake Whatcom Park Trailhead For Hertz Trail At Lake Whatcom Park - Bellingham Washington Map Of Hertz Trail - Lake Whatcom Park Washington Information Board At Hertz Trail Washington Shelter On Hertz Trail - Bellingham Washington
Strange Wood Along The Hertz Trail Bellingham Washington Hertz Trail Washington - Photo Hertz Trail Bench At One Mile Marker And Covered Bridge Waterfall Photo At Covered Bridge On Hertz Trail Hertz Trail Lake Whatcom Washington Old Steam Railway Track - Hertz Trail Washington Beautiful Lake Whatcom Washington Photo

List Of Bellingham WA Parks
Arroyo Park Carl Lobe Park
Big Rock Garden Chuckanut Bay Shorelands
Birchwood Park Civic Athletic Complex
Bloedel Donovan Cordata Park
Boulevard Park Cornwall Park
Broadway Park Cornwall Tot Lot
Elizabeth Park Euclid Park
Fairhaven Park Fairhaven Village Green
Forest & Cedar Park Fountain Plaza
Fouts Park Franklin Park
Gossage Garden Happy Valley Park
Lake Padden Laurel Park
Lee Memorial Park Little Squalicum
Lorraine Ellis Park Maritime Heritage
Memorial Park Northridge Park
Queen Mountain Open Space Ridgemont Park
Rock Hill Park Roosevelt Park
Sehome Hill Arboretum Shuksan Meadows Park
Squalicum Creek Park St Clair Park
Sunnyland Park Sunset Pond
Whatcom Falls Park Woodstock Farm Park

Can You Name All 42 Bellingham Parks? Have You Been To All 42?



Sudden Valley



Barkley District

Lake Whatcom


Birch Bay

Lummi Island



Mt Baker Ski Area


Tulip Festival

Alaska Ferry

WA State Ferries

Whale Watching

San Juan Islands

Be Bear Aware On Whatcom Trails

While there are no posted warnings about immediate threats from bears at Lake Whatcom Park, when you are hiking in the wilderness or at the edge of any wild area in Washington there is a possibility you could encounter local wildlife, including Eagles, Coyotes, Cougars and Bears.

 Washington has an estimated Black Bear population of 30,000 and while bears prefer to avoid people, confrontations can happen. The North Cascades is Black Bear Country and Bear hunting is even allowed in Whatcom County. There is a 2 bear kill maximum per hunting year so there are still plenty of bears around.

If you encounter a bear there is no way you can outrun it so don't even try because it will just cause it to chase you. Bears can charge you at close distances at 30 miles per hour. It is best to stay calm and retreat slowly if possible. If an attack appears eminent you may want to climb a tree at least 33 feet high. The bear could still climb the tree and pull you out of it but more than likely the bear won't want to bother if you no longer appear to be a threat.

There are Bear Bells you can buy to wear while you are hiking to warn unsuspecting bears you are approaching. They can be purchased online for about $6.00 or possibly in a local outdoor sporting store.

If a bear makes contact and actually attacks you be sure to protect your neck and face if possible and use any means of defense you can find including pepper spray, pocket knife or legal firearm. We suggest you visit the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Website for more information about bears and suggestions about what to do if you should encounter one in the wild. 

Shopping Guide To Bellingham Washington Area Stores And Shopping Areas 
Home Things To Do Things Not To Do Golf Courses Fairhaven Events Museums  Birch Bay Lynden Sumas Tweet
Store hours may vary. All information is subject to change without notice. Disclaimer: This website is for entertainment purposes only. Maps are not to scale
 Bellinghamster.Com LOGO 2003 Bellinghamster.Com 
Make Someone's Day Share This Website With A Friend