Had the day off and was desirous of doing a decent longer hike. Living fairly close to the Bellingham area now I decided on doing some hiking just south in the Chuckanut area as I've never hiked in there before.
Weather looked decent but a bit moody and was hoping I'd get a chance to break out my newly aquired REI hiking umbrella which I got on harsh sale. Of course I was purposely hoping to be able to try it out and kept it ensconsed securely on the outside pouch of my pack should the need arise. Such hopes evidently worked as not a drop of rain fell. Had I not packed it, I'm sure the heavens would have opened and had me drenched inside 10 minutes as I had not packed my hardshell rain jacket, but only my light jacket. Seems the power of hopeful umbrella useage was stronger than that of neglecting to pack a hardshell.
But enough of that.
With a top elevation of around 2000 feet, it was a snowfree 12 or so mile hike today that wasn't even all that muddy, hurray! Here's a scan of the map I was using which is from Square One maps which I purchased at the REI. It's an excellent detailed map of the Chuckanut area and highly recommended as a number of trail junctions aren't marked.
The greyed in trails was my route for the day:
I began at the lower trailhead, which is some 3km off I5 exit 240. There's an upper and a lower trailhead. The lower adds 0.8 miles each way and is not very aesthetically pleasing. The forest in the upper trailhead is much nicer and the horsey people start from the lower as there is more parking area there, so upper is better. Good road in either way.
Starting off I took the Lily/Lizard trail and headed straight to Lizard Lake. Nice trailbed that's fairly well marked and a fairly gentle grade. Seems popular with mountain bikers too.
From the lower trailhead it says 5 miles to Lizard Lake.
After a couple hours Lizard Lake is reached.
Nice campsites on a small peninsula by the lake with firepits. No pit toilet to be seen though hmmm.
From Lizard I took a bit of a shortcut trail up and over towards Lily Lake with a short sidetrip to a wonderful little lookout at a place called the North Butte
Great place to sit for awhile and enjoy a nice cold IPA
From here it's a short downhill jaunt to Lily Lake, where there is more camping to be had
As a short sidetrip of one mile each way, one can head over to another scenic lookout known as the Oyster Dome:
Great panoramic views of the San Juans from there.
Back to Lily Lake I took another trail known as Max's Shortcut back down where it eventually joins up with the Lily/ Lizard trail and back to the trailheads.
All in all it made for a nice 12 mile or so jaunt that was mostly a loop. Six hours total with a reward on the way home of a pint and a nice bowl of chowder at the Greene Corner Market in Ferndale