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.)
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.