Finn Hill's Topography
Understanding the Lay of the Land
The hill has been carved by numerous creeks into deep gullies and is covered by four watersheds. The neighborhood’s principal stream, Denny Creek, flows from a beaver pond in Big Finn Hill Park, passes under Juanita Drive, and drops down to Lake Washington through a ravine that runs through O.O. Denny Park. The ravine has been the site of numerous landslides, recent and ancient. The depths of Lake Washington near the mouth of Denny Creek hold a petrified forest that washed out of the ravine many centuries ago. The creek once hosted salmon runs. Efforts to restore salmon in the creek are ongoing.
The Puget Lobe of the great Cordilleran ice sheet advanced from Canada to Tacoma about 18,000 years ago, carving the Puget Sound, Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish from what was once a lowland plateau. As it retreated, the ice sheet left rows of hills composed of bedrock covered with glacial till. Finn Hill is one the hills that the ice sheet left as it withdrew to the north.
From its highest points in Big Finn Hill Park, Finn Hill drops steeply on its flanks to Lake Washington on the west and south and to Juanita Creek on the east.
Creeks adjacent to Simonds Road and Goodwill Hill on the eastern side of Finn Hill feed Juanita Creek in the Juanita neighborhood. Juanita Creek empties into Juanita Bay at the eastern edge of the Finn Hill neighborhood. The stream still supports runs of Chinook salmon in the fall.
3D Model of Finn Hill Topography
Source: U.W. Green Future Labs