Lily and Lizard Lake Loop
Distance: 7.14 miles roundtrip / Area: Bellingham, WA / Elevation: 1400 ft.
If you’re up for a short road trip, the Bellingham area offers some great hiking spots. The most well-known and busiest trail in town, Oyster Dome, is notorious for its summit’s stunning view of Bellingham Bay. But you won’t catch Bellingham locals hiking here. Offering an even more incredible view is the Lilly and Lizard Lake Loop, which peers down on Oyster Dome from an elevation of 2,120 ft. The hike is on the moderate side with several sections of steep elevation gain, but the view at the top is well-worth the sweat. Often, you can spot eagles and hawks soaring below you – it’s an odd feeling being that high up.
Tip: prepare for mud and bring some bug spray. The trail gets slick in some areas and the mosquitos tend to come out at dawn and dusk around the lakes.
Trail Information: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lily-lizard-lake-loop
Distance: 4.7 miles roundtrip / Area: North Bend, WA / Elevation: 1,300 ft.
Located just thirty minutes east of the city, you can expect crowds (and dogs!) on this popular hike. Once past the initial steep incline, the trail splits, offering a few different routes that vary from beginner-level to strenuous. A calf-burning, three-quarter mile final push to the summit is rewarded with spectacular views of the valley below and the surrounding peaks, Mount Si and Mount Washington.
- Tip: Pack a picnic and soak in the scene. Trust us, you won’t want to leave once you’re up there.
Trail information: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/little-si
Distance: 9.4 miles roundtrip / Area: North Bend, WA / Elevation: 4,000 ft.
With 850 feet of elevation gain per mile, you’ll feel the burn on this hike. Four miles of switchbacks and a final half-mile, 960-foot ascent lead to the ridgeline peak where, you guessed it, sits a mailbox. You’ll be surprised what you can find at 4,800 ft. Hikers have left behind beer, toys and even a fire hydrant. A popular weekend hike, plan to arrive early to secure a parking spot.
- Tip: Don’t forget to bring along a small treasure to put in the mailbox!
Trail information: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mailbox-peak