Community Forest Lands,Sugarloaf Mountain, Whistle Lake, Anacortes
Apr 24, 2000
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
The extensive forest lands near Anacortes are a great place for hiking. There are miles of trails, clearly marked (although you need a map--available in Anacortes at the chamber of commerce) in order not to get lost in the maze. This time we started up the trail to Sugarloaf mountain from about midway on the Mount Erie road (there's a longer trail that starts at the bottom of the road) which gets you to the summit in about a third of a mile. The view from Sugarloaf is spectacular: all the San Juans are spread out before you, and Deception Pass to the south, Cascades to the southeast, etc. The weather on Monday was sunny and it felt like a summer's day up there. After leaving the summit we continued down through a complicated set of trails (too complicated to describe here--the map is essential!) through lovely mixed forest, over ridges, and finally down to Whistle Lake, a large, deeply blue lake, surrounded by gorgeous forest (with many enormous Douglas firs and cedars). We walked around the lake on a narrow, up and down trail (around 3 miles, I would guess)and along Toot Swamp and finally back up to the Erie road a short distance above where we had left our car. In all, a hike of between six or seven miles--all beautiful. We only saw two people during the entire hike. This is definitely a place to come during the week, if possible, since it can be very busy during weekends and motorbikes (plus horses and mountain bikes) are allowed on most of the trails.