Chuckanut Mountain by Bellingham via Larrabee State Park / 查克納特山

  • Reading time:7 mins read

Chuckanut Mountain by Bellingham harbors Larrabee State Park, the first one designated in Washington State in 1923. It’s the only place where the Cascades meet the ocean. Chuckanut Drive generally provides quick access to the high points.

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

The Preface on Chuckanut Mountain

Another rainy weekend, so we chased the 50% chance of rainfall to Chuckanut Mountain. The weather pattern looked eerily similar to Galbraith Mountain across the freeway where we were last week.

Chuckanut is a Native word for “Long beach far from a narrow entrance” “or beach on a bay with a small entrance.” The mountain proper includes the north, the south, and Chuckanut Ridge.

Road walk to Chuckanut Mountain
Road walk to Chuckanut Mountain

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Notable High Points

Blanchard Hill is on the south of the range next to the notable Oyster Dome.

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

Another fascinating thing I found was the vast network of hiking and biking trails like Galbraith Mountain. It’s not as extensive, but the routes cover a significant portion of the mountain range.

There is another trail system over on Blanchard Hill to the southeast by Oyster Dome. The two biking networks connect through access roads down by the saddle.

Some views on Chucknut Mountain
Chuckanut Mountain with some views

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Cleator Road Accesses

The three main ways to access the mountain include Arroyo Park entrance, Cleator Road, and Fragrance Lake Road. All of these are easily accessible from Chuckanut Drive.

We drove up to the trailhead with a handful of runners not knowing about the races. So we skipped the trails for Cleator Road. In turn, we avoided most people on the Fragrance Lake Trail.

Cyrus Gates Overlook to the west
West view from Cyrus Gates Overlook

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Chuckanut Mountain Summit Views

The road took us straight up to the Cyrus Gates Overlook. Then we followed a trail to the actual high point. It turned out to be another woodsy summit with a tiny opening without any view.

We stayed an hour before returning to the overlook with excellent sound views. It had turned sunny in the afternoon like last week. After talking to several hikers, we left the lookout area.

Puget Sound islands
Puget Sound islands

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Outro

Afterward, we went to see Fragrance Lake, which was quite busy today! Soon, we walked counterclockwise to the lake’s west end. Then I decided to exit through Two Dollar Trail for a loop trip.

After walking a mile down Fragrance Lake Trail, I realized we had taken the wrong path. So we returned to the lake and went on the Two Dollar Trail there. Then it was only two miles to reach the car.

Fragrance Lake panoramic view
Fragrance Lake panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

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