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Young Hill

Puget Sound and Islands > San Juan Islands
48.5866, -123.1468 Map & Directions
Length
2.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
587 feet
Highest Point
665 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy/Moderate
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Summits
  • Good for kids
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Coast

The hike up Young Hill is a San Juan Island classic. A moderate trail leading to surprisingly expansive views, and the short side trip to the English Camp cemetery offers a chance to observe unique natural and historical features. Continue reading

Rating
3.29 out of 5

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Hiking Young Hill

The hike up Young Hill is a San Juan Island classic. A moderate trail leading to surprisingly expansive views, and the short side trip to the English Camp cemetery offers a chance to observe unique natural and historical features.

From the parking lot at English Camp, find the trail in the eastern corner of the lot and head southeast. At the first branch in the trail, which you will encounter minutes after starting your hike, stay right. (Taking a left leads to Bell Point.)

The trail starts climbing almost immediately; very gradually at first, steeper sections will come as you approach the summit. But first, cross San Juan Valley Road at 0.3 miles. Cross carefully and pick up the trail on the other side of the road, following a smooth, wide grade the entire way. Be sure to pause and admire the many Pacific madrona trees, with red bark that peels away to reveal a smooth, light-green trunk beneath.

At 0.36 miles, a signed path on the right leads to the English Camp cemetery, worth a stop as you ascend or descend Young Hill. The cemetery is a memorial to seven Royal Marines who died on the island in the 1860s. Four of them  perished by drowning, and the cause of death is unknown for the remaining three. While paying your respects to these English soldiers, look up and observe the gnarled Garry Oaks that surround the cemetery. These oaks are part of an ongoing restoration project, and are making a comeback thanks to prescribed burns carried out by the National Park Service.

After your side trip to the cemetery, head back to the main trail and continue climbing. You will reach your first viewpoint at 0.8 miles, and although this is not the summit of Young Hill, it does include an informative plaque naming some geographic features that are visible on a clear day. Keep climbing, and at 1.0 miles reach the summit, with even better views of the Salish Sea and surrounding islands.

Several trails branch out from the summit, and there are many options for those looking to extend their journey. Before you wander down that maze of trails, be sure to download maps from the San Juan Island Trails website, and be confident in your navigation skills. There is no cell service beyond the summit of Young Hill.

WTA Pro Tip: There is limited parking where the trail crosses San Juan Valley Road. If you have very small children or others who aren’t up for the two-mile roundtrip climb, you could start your hike at the road and end at the first viewpoint. This results in a 1.2 mile roundtrip walk which will still give you a sense of your surroundings along with views of the island and water.

Hike Description Written by
Jessica Kelley, WTA Correspondent

Young Hill

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.5866, -123.1468 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor, you will be almost immediately directed left on Spring St. Stay on Spring St for two blocks and then take a right on Second St. Second St turns into Guard St, which turns into Beaverton Valley Rd as it heads out of town. After several miles, Beaverton Valley Rd becomes West Valley Rd. A little over 8 miles from town you will see the well-signed entrance to English Camp on your left. This is your first left after passing Yacht Haven Rd. If you reach Roche Harbor Rd, you’ve gone too far.
The entire route is paved. Although this is technically a National Park, no permits are required to park here. There is a bike rack, bathrooms, and parking for approx 25 cars. Dogs are allowed on leash.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands > San Juan Islands

San Juan Island National Historic Park

Guidebooks & Maps

USGS Roche Harbor

Park map at English Camp kiosk

sanjuanislandtrails.org

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Young Hill

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