Mount Pickett on Orcas Island of San Juan Islands / 皮凱特山

  • Reading time:7 mins read

Mount Pickett is the second tallest peak on Orcas Island after Mount Constitution. The island itself is the largest landmass of the island chain south of the Canadian border. At the same time, the land boasts the “Gem of the San Juan Islands” nickname.

Mount Pickett in the mist
Mount Pickett in the mist

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Mount Pickett at a Glance

Access: Twin Lakes Trailhead
Round Trip: 6.8 miles
Elevation Range: 920′-1765′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Anacortes Ferry to Orcas Island

It’s another rainy weekend. So that meant we’d either return to Eastern Washington or the rain shadow by the ocean. I tossed around several options and settled on Mount Pickett. Puget Sound islands had a lower rainfall after 10 AM.

The ferry left Anacortes as we took a 50-minute ride. Soon, we sailed through the beautiful chain of the San Juan Islands, including Blakely, Lopez, and Shaw Islands. Meanwhile, we took a nap in the car en route due to a lack of sleep.

A cloudy start
A cloudy start

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Mount Pickett in Moran State Park

The island looks like a pair of saddlebags, with Eastsound’s narrow inlet separating the two bags. Mount Pickett sits in the east by Mount Constitution inside Moran State Park. Then the second time, I went up to Turtleback Mountain.

I enjoy a place like this during the off-season or when the Cascades weather is questionable. So any chance to escape the mainland is always a pleasant relief. At the same time, it’s an excellent excuse to leave behind the chaos of the city.

En route to Twin Lakes
En route to Twin Lakes

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Twin Lakes Trail

Our loop from the lower lot before Twin Lakes Trailhead would take us by Mountain Lake. But there was also a lakeshore trail for a less intense hike. But we made the trip worthwhile by including Twin Lakes farther north.

Soon, we met some people and their lab by the north shore and let our pups play together. Then Twin Lakes was only another mile. Water had flooded parts of the trail by the smaller lake, where I used a down tree to cross.

Flooded trail
Flooded trail

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Mount Pickett Summit

We later met two people with their pup below the top, making their loop run. So I told them about the flooded path by the lakes. I had expected to see more folks around, but they were the only ones on the mountain.

The trail-turned-road soon took us to the broad and woodsy top. At 1765′, Mount Picket sits 700′ lower than the neighboring Mount Constitution. Even on a clear day, I wasn’t sure if we’d see Puget Sound.

Mount Pickett summit
Mount Pickett summit

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Outro

After a break, we continued south on the main road. The path took us down to Mountain Lake’s south shore, where we stopped at the small dam for photos. Then we followed the trail and reached the starting point soon after.

We went back to the ferry dock just before the boat arrived. Then we waited in the overflow lot since we were at the end of the line. But glad there was still room for us to make the sail!

Thanks for a rain-free day
Thanks for a rain-free day

See more trip photos here.

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