Chuckanut Mountain by Bellingham / 靠貝靈厄姆的查克納特山

It was another rainy weekend. So we followed the 50% chance of rainfall up to Chuckanut Mountain. It rained when we were on Galbraith Mountain last week. But then we had sunshine and blue sky in the afternoon.

Chuckanut Mountain's Fragrance Lake
Chuckanut Mountain’s Fragrance Lake

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Chuckanut Mountain at a Glance

Access: Cleator Road
Round Trip: 7 miles
Elevation Range: 600′-1940′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Chuckanut Mountain

Chuckanut is a Native American word for “Long beach far from a narrow entrance.”. The mountain is just south of Bellingham, Washington. It is also part of the Cascade Range. But it is the only place where the Cascades meet the ocean.

Some facts about Chuckanut Mountain. First, Larrabee State Park sits inside the mountain range. Next, it’s the first state park with a designation in Washington State in 1923. Wikipedia has also listed a few known high points on the mountain range.

Road walk to Chuckanut Mountain
Road walk to Chuckanut Mountain

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Notable High Points

Blanchard Hill. It is near the southern end of the range next to the famous Oyster Dome. Chuckanut Mountain. It includes the north mountain, the south mountain, and also Chuckanut Ridge.

Then there is Galbraith Mountain, aka North Lookout Mountain. Plus, the next-door Lookout Mountain. It seems strange because, on the map, the Lookout Mountain range looks separate from Chuckanut Mountains.

Continuing
Continuing

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The Trail Network

Here is another thing that I found fascinating. Just Like Galbraith Mountain, Chuckanut Mountain also has a vast network of hiking and biking trails. It’s not as extensive. But the trails cover a massive portion of the range.

There is also a network of biking trails over on Blanchard Hill. It’s just southeast of here by Oyster Dome. So the two biking networks connect through access roads low down near the saddle.

Some views on Chucknut Mountain
Chuckanut Mountain with some views

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Cleator Road Accesses

There are three main ways to access the mountain. They are the Arroyo Park entrance, Cleator Road, and Fragrance Lake Road. All of them are accessible from Chuckanut Drive.

There were running races up on the mountain today. But I didn’t know until we drove up to the trailhead. So we skipped the trail and took Cleator Road instead. In turn, that allowed us to avoid most runners going up to Fragrance Lake.

Cyrus Gates Overlook west view
Cyrus Gates Overlook west view

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Chuckanut Mountain Summit

The road took us straight up to the Cyrus Gates Overlook. Then we followed a trail to up to the actual high point. But it was another woodsy summit with a small opening. It didn’t provide any view.

We spent an hour on top as some runners went through the summit. Then we went back to the overlook. The views out to the sound we’re excellent. After chatting with a few other hikers, we then left the lookout area.

Puget Sound islands
Puget Sound islands

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Outro

We walked down to see Fragrance Lake. And the lake was quite busy today! Later, we hiked counterclockwise through the alpine lake to the west end. But the plan was to exit through Two Dollar Trail to make a loop trip.

After hiking down Fragrance Lake Trail for one mile, I realized we went in the wrong direction. So we went back up to the lake’s outlet. We got on the Two Dollar Trail there. Then it was just under two miles to go back to the car.

Fragrance Lake panoramic view
Fragrance Lake panoramic view

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