Twin Lakes (Orcas Island),Mount Constitution (Orcas Island)
Jun 12, 2007
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Mount Constitution and Mountain Lake
- Region: Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
- Agency: Washington State Parks
- Avg Rating: 4.25
For a change of scene, and some different hiking, I took the San Juan ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island, and connected with hiking buddy Blue Towel who is spending several weeks on the island.
We drove east from Eastsound and entered Moran State Park (no fee for day use,) followed the signs to Mountain Lake, and parked across from the ranger's residence. It's a short walk to the boat landing, and
from there we hiked north on the level trail along the west side of the lake. At the north end of the lake, at a signed trail junction, we turned left toward Twin Lakes. It's gently uphill, forested all the way, and very green, to the first of the small Twin Lakes, 2.4 miles from the parking area. There, at another trail junction, we turned left toward Mt. Constitution, and continued gently uphill another 0.2 mile where a side trail leads to Cold Spring. At that point, our trail began to switchback quite steeply uphill for another mile. The trail is in excellent condition, with no mud or blow-downs, and we had this section entirely to ourselves. A few small wildflowers were present (spring beauty, foam flower, et al) but nothing particularly showy.
Arriving by trail at the summit of Mt. Constitution is a bit anticlimactic, since it's also reachable by a steep road. So we shared the viewpoint with a few others whose ascent had required petrol rather than perspiration. No matter, it's still a great viewpoint, the highest point on the island at 2,407 feet above sea level.
We enjoyed the expansive views SE across several of the San Juan islands toward Anacortes (photo), and NE toward Bellingham and points north. To the east, there were hints of snow, although the Cascade summits were obscured by cloud.
We descended by the same route we had come. Total distance 7.2 miles round trip, with about 1,500 feet elevation gain and loss. In all, an enjoyable early season (for us) hike.