San Juan Islands: A Guide to Exploring the Great Outdoors
by Dave Wortmand (Falcon Guides)
© 2005 Dave Wortmand/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This is such a beautiful trail! The hike starts on the Cold Springs Trail, continues to the North Trail, lastly Little Summit Trail. This is a total of 10.3 miles for the hike up. The trail was rated difficult to challenging, but if you prepare well it's well worth it.(light weight- high protein food, water, good shoes and socks, and of course lots of stretching before and after) As far as the hike down there are a few options, choose according to where your campsite is. I would suggest getting a map at the ranger station to follow the trail up and to choose one for the hike down. There were many different layers of the mountain each had adapted to it's elevation and position. One layer is this incredible aftermath of a windstorm from 1972. Uprooted trees with roots twice my height! It is one of the most surreal experiences I've had. I would also start in the late morning so you have most of the day. Bring a camera!
Incredible old growth trees with forest changing as you gain elevation to the 2,400' summit. Veiws and outlooks were incredible. Found geocache at summit and had a great lunch veiwing the San Juans to the West.
We had a great trip to Orcas Island and this trail is awesome. We didn't complete the entire loop but what we did see of it was well worth the trip. I would recommend bringing a fishing pool to stop by the lake and catch some dinner :) while your visiting.
The views are fantastic. The starting point is high and one would think it to be a reasonably easy hike. However, you go down for quite a ways and then must climb up quite sharply in a very short bit of time. The climb is for a good mile and straight up, and near the last 4/5th's of the hike. The vistas are worth it, however.
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