Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chuckanut's Cedar Lake 4/8/09

On my way home from spending the day putzing around Heather Meadows I decided to stop for a quick hike to Cedar lake in the Chuckanut area. This would add some miles to my day as well as some good elevation gain.

The Trailhead to Pine and Cedar Lakes is located on the west side of I-5 between the Fairhaven Exit 250 and the North Lake Samish Exit 242 just south of Bellingham . The trail gains respectable elevation quickly – it’s a good workout for those preparing for the upcoming Ski to Sea race. It’s easy to follow with a number of signs to help keep you oriented.

Along the trail I saw a chipmunk and heard numerous owls. Despite my efforts, I couldn’t find one visually but I’m pretty sure one swooped near me, but I only heard it and didn’t see it. I also saw this interesting moss/fungi growth on a tree and a stump that appeared to be winking at me… and smoking a cigar.

The trail follows a small creek, but there weren’t any notable falls worth photographing. The trail also follows along the side of a canyon or two which provided neat side-views of the huge rocks that make up the topography. Neat to look at in person, not so neat to photograph.

I followed the signs to Cedar Lake and then proceeded beyond Cedar Lake to a couple of Viewpoints at about 2,000 or so. Once you reach Cedar Lake , keep to the left to get to the viewpoints. To the right, I believe, is a campsite. One viewpoint looks north to Bellingham (that’s Sehome High School with all the green grass and Sehome Hill beyond the High School), one looks to the East (trees and Cedar lake below you) and the last one looks to the west over the San Juans.

I ran out of time so I returned to the car after visiting the viewpoints. Next time I’ll probably visit Raptor Ridge, Huckleberry Hill and Pine Lake . Round Trip was about 5.7 miles and about 1,900 feet of total gain (per the GPS).

Next outing is scheduled for Sunday, April 26th.
Destination tbd, of course.

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