Tour de Lopez 2014 - but hiked instead - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-28-2014, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Default Tour de Lopez 2014 - but hiked instead

We were on Lopez Island in the San Juans this past weekend for Tour de Lopez, but due to back issues, I decided to explore by foot instead (have done the Tour twice before and it's a great time!)

I have the Ken Wilcox book "Hiking the San Juan Islands" but found that it didn't have a couple of these amazing short hikes/walks listed..maybe due to length or maybe because trailhead access is through private property…?

All three trips combined made it a perfect full-day out of fresh air, exercise and big views. These are all part of the San Juan Islands National Monument, which was created in 2013 to permanently protect BLM lands. You can read about it here:
http://www.sanjuanislandsnca.org

#1: Watmaugh Bay and Point Colville - (In Wilcox book) Watmaugh Bay Beach is a short little walk…5-10 minutes on a dirt path to a beautiful little cove. After playing at the beach, you leave your vehicle in the parking lot and walk the other way up the road until you find the trailhead for Point Colville. There are NO trail markers, but we figured it out because we are flaming brilliant. The trail takes you through pretty forest of big trees and salal and out onto wide open green bluffs with tons of wildflowers. GORGEOUS. You can walk along the bluffs until you come to an END OF PUBLIC PROPERTY sign and then duck back into the forest to complete the loop. We spent about 2 hrs here basking in sunshine and watching a tanker get boarded by Coast Guard among other things. There were no other people out there. Most enjoyable.



#2: Iceberg Point - This is mentioned briefly in the Wilcox book under Agate Beach County Park. But all it says is something along the lines of Iceberg Point is public land, but there is no way to publicly access it. What kind of horse-shittery is that? Park at Agate Beach County Park or on the road near it, and walk to Iceberg Point in about 15 minutes. You will pass through a gate that looks very uninviting, but if you look up, you will see two hand-painted signs pointing you in the right direction. This place was stunning! More wide open bluffs, expansive views, forested trails full of salal, cove beaches, etc. We saw people only in the distance, which came in handy when I had to water the salal…such an amazing place to have to ourselves on a warm sunny day.



#3: Chadwick Hill - I didn't find this in the Wilcox book, but it was listed on the Lopez Island Chamber of Commerce Website. They have great trailhead details for these and other trips on island. This is the 2nd highest Point on Lopez at 470feet! Trailhead is not marked, and you have to park on the side of the road and walk through a private field to a metal gate that announces you are now entering public lands. This was more of a hike because there were lots of ups and downs and I was puffing away because we were walking at a faster pace, a bit worried about distance and making it out before dark. We were told (by a reluctant local) that it was roughly 1.5 miles to the top. The entire hike is forested until you reach the opening at the top. Lots of offshoot trails to explore. Once again, big views, pretty flowered bluffs and no people! We were looking down on Watmaugh Bay Beach where we had been earlier that day. Best of all, right on top there was a cool rope swing that even I was able to maneuver and enjoy the views while swinging through the air.


Great weekend! Look forward to more exploring next year.

P.S. Last year, we went to Shark Reef Park and it was also really gorgeous.

Shark Reef Park 2013:

Chaos, Panic & Disorder----my work here is done.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 07:04 AM
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Thanks for the report, definitely on our to do list!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 08:29 AM
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Cool hikes guys I love the handsaw sign lol.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Just rec'd email from Lopez Island Chamber of Commerce, and here's a blurb about a new transit system that may soon enable you to get to the National Monument Trailheads w/o a bike or vehicle if you wished…

"San Juan Transit is now under new ownership, and would like to start summer weekend service on Lopez beginning June 21st. In order for that to happen, the Washington Utilities and Transit Commission is requiring Support Statements (attached above) from individual residents and local businesses showing their support for this service, which would, among other things, help reduce the carbon footprint on our island. Bus runs between the ferry terminal and the Village, and scheduled runs to and from the various highlights of our island. This will include the national monuments, his main focus, and the bus will have a bike rack on the front, similar to the ones on Skagit Transit, all for a nominal fee per ride. He would time his sight-seeing runs to coordinate with the ferry schedule, so that visitors might walk on instead of bringing their vehicles. You can show your support by completing the form and emailing it back to San Juan Transit at [email protected], or mailing it to San Juan Transit, PO Box 2809, Friday Harbor, WA.
Warm Regards,
Emily"
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for your nice report and useful information, after seeing your report, I decided to organize a leisure trip there this coming long weekend, I booked a group site in Spencer Spit State Park for 2 nights, want to do hiking/cycling/Kayak/clamming/etc.

Thanks again!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Have a great time! I prefer Odlin County Park for camping. Much smaller than Spencer and only one mile from ferry landing, which is nice when biking w/a backpack! They also just completed a new group campsite, which looks pretty nice although not on the waterfront. I'm sure you'll have a super time

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quote:Originally posted by mazeGirl

Thanks for your nice report and useful information, after seeing your report, I decided to organize a leisure trip there this coming long weekend, I booked a group site in Spencer Spit State Park for 2 nights, want to do hiking/cycling/Kayak/clamming/etc.

Thanks again!
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