From delicate flowers, cascading waterfalls, a trail through a magical forest, two ridges both with great views, it was obvious that Spring has sprung on Chuckanut Mountain. By the time we had finished this hike, my Fitbit had logged 10.20 miles in trail time. We began our hike at the North Chuckanut Mountain trailhead and shortly thereafter, turned off to follow the Hemlock Trail for several miles.
Once on the Raptor Ridge Trail, we climbed sets of stone steps that hugged the edges of many moss-covered sandstone cliffs that led us deep into a dense and dark forest. Magical, mystical, Hobbit-like is the best way to describe this stretch of the trail.
Once we reached the sign indicating which direction to the viewpoint, in no time we stepped out onto the polished ledge of rock known as Raptor Ridge. The view of the forest covered hills from the ridge was stunning.
On our way to Raptor Ridge, we passed a side trail marked for Huckleberry Ridge, so as we were hiking back down Chuckanut Mountain, we decided to head over to Huckleberry Ridge to see what that was all about. The view from Huckleberry Ridge was a bit of a let down after soaking in the sun and enjoying the view from Raptor Ridge, but at least there was a bench to sit on for a minute, before heading back to our main trail. Now we can at least say that we’ve been there and done that one too.
For more information on the hike to Raptor Ridge, visit the Whatcom County Parks website, here http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/parks/chuckanut/raptor-ridge.jsp; and for trip reports, go to the Washington Trails Association website, here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2012-04-29.1544498673. And for those of us who enjoy learning about the rocks along our trails, excellent information about the geology along the Raptor Ridge hike is provided here – http://nwgeology.wordpress.com/the-fieldtrips/the-chuckanut-formation/raptor-ridge-geology-hike-chuckanut-mountains/.