Island Adventure - Guemes Mountain Hike

This past sunny Sunday has gotten me in a tropical mood and I am ready for an Island Adventure.  Unfortunately, I do not have the time nor the funds to fly off to Hawaii but I do have a few bucks to spare for some gas and ferry fare to a nearby, yet remote island. A short ferry ride from Anacortes is the small island of Guemes and 2 miles from the ferry dock is a small mountain (about 2 miles RT and 550 ft elev. gain) with some great views.  It is possible to walk off the ferry and along the road to this mountain as there is very little traffic over there and we may be able to do some beach walking as well.  So pack a lunch and supplies for a day of exploring. Dogs allowed on leash.

I estimate to be walking about 6- 8 miles or so and spend 3 - 4 hours before heading back.  There is no rush - we will be on island time.

We can meet at Ash Way Park and Ride at 8:00 am and carpool or caravan up, aiming for the 10 am ferry. Let us know if you want to carpool, can provide the carpool or will meet at ferry.(Ferry fare is $2.50 RT and  parking at the Anacortes ferry is supposed to be free.)

http://guemesferry.com/?page=sch_nonpeak

Forecast for the weekend is looking pretty goody.  If the weather is not great on Sunday morning we can still head up to Anacortes and do the Guemes Channel Trail on the Anacortes Side so we are not stuck on an island in inclement weather and can leave independent of ferry service.

WTA recently constructed this new trail to the top of GuemesMountainon GuemesIsland. The one-mile trail leads to an incredible viewpoint overlooking nearby islands and ocean straits, the Skagit River delta, and the volcanoes and jagged spires of the North Cascades.

The GuemesMountainConservation Area was protected by an unprecedented partnership between Skagit Land Trust, San Juan Preservation Trust, and the residents of GuemesIsland. GuemesMountainis the highest point on GuemesIsland and features stunning views of the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker, the North Cascades, and the Skagit flats. The mountainfeatures a unique prairie habitat with a wide variety of flowering flora, small areas of wetlands and maturing forest. The 70-acre GuemesMountainConservation Area is at the center of a larger 534-acre area of protected private and public lands (see map). The protection of GuemesMountainhas ensured that this scenic location is maintained in a natural state for the public to enjoy.

The hike climbs gradually through the woods to the top of GuemesMountain. This short hike is a lovely treat year round. In late spring you are treated to wild roses and dozens of other little blooms along the rocky top. On a clear summer day you can see not only the surrounding islands but all the way to Canada's peaks. And in the fall you will be treated to autumn colors that speckle the lands below.

Do note that this is a day hiking site only, and camping, fires, motorized vehicles, bikes and horses are not allowed.

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2011-06-24.2342646206

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  • Gretchen

    Great day! Thanks Kathy and Vicki for taking and sharing all the photos.

    March 11, 2013

  • Vicki G.

    Fun hike and companions. My dogs are both sacked out - perfect. Thanks everyone for a great day!

    March 10, 2013

  • Albina

    The hike was great! Surprisingly it was very active day for animals and birds.
    Daisy is happy and sleeping on the couch.
    It was nice to see everyone.

    March 10, 2013

  • Kathy L.

    What a fun adventure. Although a little cloudy and drizzly to start things brightened up a little. We were greeted as we disembarked the ferry by an otter in the water and a bald eagle flying right over our heads. Walking along the roads was no problem. All the locals waved as they passed us and on the top of the mountain the few we met were very welcoming as well. Good day and a great group to hike with. Thanks for coming.

    March 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a great idea! Have fun...

    March 10, 2013

  • Kathy L.

    The Guemes Island Ferry is not the San Juan/Anacortes Ferry.
    http://local.yahoo.com/info-22185789-guemes-island-ferry-anacortes-anacortes

    March 9, 2013

  • Patricia

    I'm confused - if it's Sunday, Jim and I might be able to make this...will know for sure on Sat eve

    March 8, 2013

  • Collene

    This is a nice hike with great views at the top! I went in May last year (when the camas were bloomin'!), although I drove to the TH. Here's a page with a little more info about it: http://www.skagitlandtrust.org/properties/guemes.aspx Can't make this trip, so thought I'd share logistic notes remembered from my visit. The ferry to the island is not your usual ferry - it's pretty small without much cabin space (I stayed in my car, so not sure how little space), so you might want to bundle up for the crossing (but it is a pretty brief crossing). Anderson's store on the island as you get off the ferry does have some food available. The south shore road does have some nice views, but my memory from the car is that it is up on a bluff, so not much access to beach from it except near ferry dock. There was a nice picnic bench maybe halfway? along it on a wide grassy spot with nice views. Lastly, there are no TH restroom facilities as of last year.

    Have a great time!!!!!

    March 5, 2013

    • Kathy L.

      Appreciate the feed back, Collene. Not sure exactly what I am getting myself in for so this helps. Have you done Mt Constitution on Orcas?

      March 6, 2013

    • Collene

      Can never quite get interested in hiking Mt. Constitution since you can drive there year round and the zen impression of the trail is dark and wet. Would suggest a more fun alternate hike on Orcas is Turtleback Mountain Preserve from the south TH up to Ship's Peak. http://www.sjclandban...­ I would go more often if not for the long drive/ferry and the ferry cost!

      March 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be coming back from Neah Bay

    March 7, 2013

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