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Guemes Mountain

WTA recently constructed this new trail to the top of Guemes Mountain on Guemes Island. The one-mile trail leads to an incredible viewpoint overlooking nearby islands and ocean straits, the Skagit River delta, and the volcanoes and jagged spires of the North Cascades.

The Guemes Mountain Conservation Area was protected by an unprecedented partnership between Skagit Land Trust, San Juan Preservation Trust, and the residents of Guemes Island. Guemes Mountain is the highest point on Guemes Island and features stunning views of the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker, the North Cascades, and the Skagit flats. The mountain features a unique prairie habitat with a wide variety of flowering flora, small areas of wetlands and maturing forest. The 70-acre Guemes Mountain Conservation Area is at the center of a larger 534-acre area of protected private and public lands (see map). The protection of Guemes Mountain has ensured that this scenic location is maintained in a natural state for the public to enjoy.

The hike climbs gradually through the woods to the top of Guemes Mountain. This short hike is a lovely treat year round. In late spring you are treated to wild roses and dozens of other little blooms along the rocky top. On a clear summer day you can see not only the surrounding islands but all the way to Canada's peaks. And in the fall you will be treated to autumn colors that speckle the lands below.

Do note that this is a day hiking site only, and camping, fires, motorized vehicles, bikes and horses are not allowed.
Driving Directions:

From Seattle to Ferry Dock: Take I-5 north approximately 64 miles. Take exit 230 for WA-20 toward Burlington/Anacortes/Skagit Airport. Turn left (west) on WA-20 towards Anacortes. Follow WA-20 west for 11.7 miles. Continue straight on WA-20 West Spur for 2.7 miles and enter Anacortes (do not turn left towards Deception Pass/ Oak Harbor). Turn right on Commercial Ave. and travel 1.3 miles. Turn left on 12th St. and travel 0.5 miles. Turn right at I Ave. and travel 0.4 miles to the Guemes Island Ferry.

Drive straight off ferry on to Guemes Island Road for 1.5 miles. Turn right on Edens Road (this is the corner of Schoolhouse Park). Drive Edens Road for 1.5 miles. On the left side of the road you will see a gravel lot that holds about four cars.

Ferry info at: http://www.skagitcounty.net[…]p;c=general&p=ferry.htm

Courtesy bikes may also be borrowed to get to the trailhead. More info at: http://www.skagitlandtrust.org/properties/guemes.aspx

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 9 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Guemes Mountain — Mar 30, 2013 — BobnSusie
Day hike
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I wanted to return to Guemes after working on the trail. Susie and I caught the ferry in Anacortes ...
I wanted to return to Guemes after working on the trail. Susie and I caught the ferry in Anacortes and ferried to the slower world of the island. We drove to the trailhead and parked in the roadside parking area. We headed up the trail on a beautiful spring day. The lower conifer forest filled me with memories of working here and made me think of Arlen and Pete who put so much fine effort into this trail. ( along with many other fine WTA volunteers...) The trail opens up near the top into the 'bald' that the glaciers scrapped at the top of the mountain. I was delighted to find a picture of the work party I went on in an informational sign installed by the Skagit Land Trust. ( who were instrumental in saving this place from development) The top is a fine vista place where one can see San Juan Islands, Bellingham, Anacortes, and has a particularly fine view of Mt Baker. With a warm spring day, we were blessed with blooming currants, budding trees, woodpecker drumming, and only two other parties on the whole trail. WTA did a fine job here and I'm glad I participated. It is a worthy place to return to and enjoy a fine hike in a quiet place. 530 foot of gain in about 1.5 miles. Go do it.
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Guemes Mountain — Mar 10, 2013 — explorerdogs
Day hike
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We went on an island adventure today hoping for a little of the tropical weather we experienced...
     We went on an island adventure today hoping for a little of the tropical weather we experienced yesterday. Instead we were greeted by a cool drizzle. We boarded the ferry in Anacortes (we parked in the free parking lot next to the terminal and walked on) and were met as we disembarked by an otter watching curiously from the water and an eagle flying closely overhead, rather than any hula girls with leis.
    Turning right, we walked along South Shore Road taking in the coastal views as we headed to the trail about 2 miles along. Although there are no sidewalks or shoulders on the side of the road, there is very little traffic and the drivers that did pass by gave us a friendly wave. We were able to distinguish the trailhead by the bicycle rack and the small pull out parking lot along the road.
    There is a lovely trail map at the start (I must order myself a print). We headed up the nicely groomed trail. It starts off in a forest of firs but opens up about half way up and views (on a nice day) can be seen. The trail is not steep but a nice gentle climb. The summit opens up and views can be seen from all points. We met a few of the friendly locals who frequent this trail and were warmly welcomed. We sat and had a snack before heading back down. I am sure the views are stellar on a clear day but I am wondering if there is ever a crowd on top.
     Upon arriving back at the bottom we decided to continue along South Shore road to Eden and Guemes Island Road and make a loop of our road trip. This added an extra mile or so (mileage for the day about 7-8?) but we were able to see a tree full of eagles, pasture full of cows, another car or two, and, of course, a few more friendly islanders before boarding the return ferry.
     The day brightened a little as it went along so this was a very pleasant trip. We will be back again to have lunch at Andersons, explore some more and experience a little more of the great island hospitality.
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Guemes Mountain — Jan 28, 2013 — treeana
Day hike
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The trail through the fern forest is just as good in the rain, although views at the top are mostly...
The trail through the fern forest is just as good in the rain,
although views at the top are mostly lost in the clouds.
Guemes Island is a good place to bike, away from the water a sleepy, quiet meander through fields, and some water views along the shore. (in between houses) A wet misty day enhances the quiet
laid back atmosphere of the island. (one pic is taken from the top
on a clear day)
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Guemes Mountain — Jan 13, 2013 — raring2hike
Day hike
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Wanting to get outside for a few hours to enjoy the filtered sunlight, we decided upon a bike & hike...
Wanting to get outside for a few hours to enjoy the filtered sunlight, we decided upon a bike & hike excursion to the Guemes Mountain trail.

After parking the car in the free ferry parking lot in Anacortes and unloading our bikes, we pedaled over to the Guemes Island ferry terminal and noticed the ferry pulling away from the dock. Checking the schedule online before heading out in the morning would have been a good idea, but the warm waiting room provided comfortable seating while waiting for the next ferry run.

The time passed quickly as we watched kayakers and fishermen launch their boats from the nearby shore and observed various water birds swimming in the channel or resting on the piers. When the ferry returned to the Anacortes side, we paid our fares of $3.50 each (the non-peak season rate for one bike & rider) and boarded.

After the 5-min ferry ride to Guemes Island, we rode our bikes about 2 miles over relatively flat terrain to the Guemes Mountain trailhead and parked our bikes in the bike rack. When exiting the ferry lanes, we immediately turned right on South Shore Road; then stayed on South Shore Road as it veered to the left at an intersection about 1.5 miles from the ferry.

We hiked this trail two years ago and are happy to report it is still in excellent condition. Though it’s only 2.5 miles round trip, it has enough variation to make it interesting and the panoramic views from the top are remarkably spectacular even though the high point is less than 700’ in elevation.

The entire excursion from Anacortes only took about 3 hours. We learned that we should have dressed warmer for the bike ride since the temps were hovering around 30 degrees. Face & ear coverings and thicker gloves would have protected us from the wind we encountered while riding along the shore.
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Guemes Mountain — Aug 03, 2012 — Diana
Day hike
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We had the day off and just wanted to relax, and also do a 2nd hike for Hike-A-thon. This 2.5 mile ...
We had the day off and just wanted to relax, and also do a 2nd hike for Hike-A-thon. This 2.5 mile round trip was short and sweet with a rewarding view at the top. The parking area was full when we first arrived; luckily a couple of hikers were just returning so we only had to wait a few minutes to park. A few of stretches of the trail could use a little brushing. Other than that, trail is in great shape. The short wait for the ferry on the way back gave us time to get a fudge chocolate chip mint ice cream cone... yummy!
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Guemes Mountain volunteers summit michael torok.JPG
WTA Volunteers head to the summit of Guemes Mountain for lunch. Photo by Michael Torok.
WTA worked here!
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Location
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Skagit Land Trust
Statistics
Roundtrip 2.3 miles
Elevation Gain 550 ft
Features
Coast
Mountain views
Summits
User info
No pass or permit required

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Red MarkerGuemes Mountain
48.544545 -122.594473
  • Signature Trail 2010
  • Trail Work 2013 Frontcountry
  • Trail Work 2012
  • Trail Work 2011
  • Trail Work 2010
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