Looking for a mountain style trail that starts near sea level and is in western Skagit County? This is the one. Although the most popular route in this network is to Oyster Dome, if you take the other fork to the Samish Overlook, it is still quite the workout.
Drive north on SR 11, Chuckanut Drive, and just past the hamlet of Blanchard is the Chuckanut Manor, on the left. This is only about 14 miles from Highland Garden House. Just a bit further you will come to the parking area, along the highway, south facing. No permit required. There is room for at least 25 cars. The trail starts on the uphill side of the highway.
The maps say 2.1 miles to Samish Overlook. With some additional walking around, this makes it a 5 mile round trip. The trail consists of some very long switchbacks up the 60+ degree side of Chuckanut Mountain. Most of the route is in deep second growth forest, but there are a few open places where you can take in the San Juan Islands to the west, and Samish Bay, far below. The trail forks at about 1.8 miles, the left fork continuing on to Oyster Dome, the right to the Samish Overlook. There are picnic tables, benches and potties. No water nor trash containers, so pack it in and pack it out!
If you are lucky, there will be hang glider activity at the top. This place can also be driven to from the east side of the mountain, near Alger.
’til next time,
Highland Garden House B & B
501 E. Highland Ave.
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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