Lopez Hill on Lopez Island / 洛培茲島上的洛培茲山丘

At the heart of Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands lies the serene Lopez Hill. Like many lowland hills, it has a forested summit with limited views. But it makes a great escape from the Cascade rain.

Kodak moment on Lopez Hill
Kodak moment on Lopez Hill

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Lopez Hill at a Glance

Access: Lopez Hill Trailhead (maps)
Round Trip: 6 miles
Elevation Range: 250′-535′
Gear: none
Route Info: Fred Beavon
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Lopez Hill

Friends of Lopez Hill have built and continues to maintain the trails on the 400-acre land. Currently, the land ownership is under the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. But the goal is to convert the lease to a perpetual right by 2059.

Lopez Hill is the highest point on the island. It also ranks #13 on the Washington State Island High Points list. Together, the seven small trails provide many route variations. But it’s also possible to cover all the paths in a short day.

Lopez Hill trail map
Lopez Hill trail map

See more trip photos here.

An Early Start

We needed to be back home early. So the 5:35 AM ferry was our best option. On top of that, we also needed to factor in the two-hour drive to the boat dock. But man, waking up at 3 AM at this time of the year is always hard.

From the Lopez ferry landing, it was only a 15-minute drive south. Then that put us at the starting point smack in the middle of the island. After organizing and warming up in the car, we started hiking at 7 AM.

Nearing sunrise
Nearing sunrise

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Lopez Hill Trails

My goal was to hike all of the paths on this hill. Together, the seven trails added up to a little over four miles. But sadly, we couldn’t walk through all of them without repeat parts of some of them.

At the first trail crossing, I decided to go up to the summit first. So we continued west, aiming for the top of the hill. All the junctions had a wooden marker with a unique icon and color to guide the way.

Trail marker
Trail marker

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Hiking All the Trails

Soon, we reached the top in two miles. But just as I had suspected, it was another woodsy summit. So we didn’t stay very long before moving again. Then we finished the rest of the Hilltop Trail before continuing to tackle the rest.

All the trails joined up nicely. But we needed to walk a short section of road to connect Muerte and Rainbow Trails. Earlier, we met a hiker with their baby below the summit. Then we saw them again later by the rundown shed.

This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be my childhood dream

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Outro

It was only mid-morning when we finished the hike. So glad that it never rained! I thought about going on another nearby high point. But I wasn’t sure if we would have time. We had a ferry to catch in a few hours.

So instead, we dillydallied our way back to the dock. But not before we paid a visit to Lopez Village by the Fisherman Bay. Then I stood in line at Isabel’s Espresso to check out the hype. But we’ll be back to see the rest of the island!

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

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