What an awesome hike this was! What hike starts with a ferry ride and takes you all the way to the highest point on one of the San Juan Islands? The Guemes Mountain Trail! Go here – http://www.skagitcounty.net/common/asp/?d=publicworksferry&c=general&p=ferry.htm – for information on the Guemes Island Ferry. Here, Dena and I enjoy the sunshine on the deck of the ferry as we travel from the town of Anacortes on Fidalgo Island to Guemes Island.
It’s only a short drive from the ferry landing once on Guemes Island to the Guemes Mountain Trail. If you prefer, park your car in downtown Anacortes and go as a walk-on passenger on the ferry. Bring your bicycle and ride to the trailhead. Or, if you don’t have a bike, the Anderson’s General Store might have a bicycle available for you to borrow. Go here – http://www.guemesislandstore.com/ – for information about the store and their contact information.
Four vehicle parking spaces are available at the trailhead, and a bike rack that will probably accommodate six or more bikes on a busy day. Early Spring and not a busy time of year for the island, we had the entire trail to ourselves; but I suspect it might be quite a popular hiking destination during the summer vacation season.
You should go now! Why? Because of the wildflowers. We saw fawn lily, chocolate lily, camas, pear, apple and wild plum trees in bloom, red flowering currant, Oregon grape, and more. All absolutely beautiful in the afternoon sunshine!
Do you like mountain views? This trail has them too – Mount Baker, Twin Sisters, Mount Rainier, Canadian Cascades and the Olympics, all visible from the summit. And island views. From the summit you can see Lummi, Samish, Cypress, Lopez, Orcas, Fidalgo, Portage, Vendovi, Sinclair.
The trail gains approximately 500′ in elevation as it climbs through a lovely forest to the top of Guemes Mountain. It is in very good condition and easy to travel so is a great hike for the entire family – regardless of their age or hiking experience.
For more information on the Guemes Mountain Trail, visit the Washington Trails Association website, here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/guemes-mountain. Go, and enjoy!