Location: Snohomish County near Monroe and Snohomish
Land Agency: Snohomish County Parks
Roundtrip: 3.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 150 feet
Access: From the city of Snohomish, exit SR 9 onto 2nd Street. Proceed east for a one mile; then turn right onto Lincoln Ave which becomes the Old Snohomish-Monroe Highway. After 2.7 miles turn right (south) onto 127th Ave SE and proceed for about 1.6 miles to park entrance and trailhead.
Notes: Dogs must be leashed.
Contact: Snohomish County Parks
Good to know: dog-friendly, kid-friendly, snow-free winter hike
Located between the town of Snohomish and the city of Monroe is Snohomish County’s largest county park; the Lord Hill Regional Park. Named after Mitchell Lord who settled and farmed the area in the 1880s, Lord’s home still stands on the hill. In the last century much of the hill was logged and for awhile was managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources. But in the 1980s citizens and government leaders saw the area’s potential for recreation and preservation. Today the park protects 1,463 acres of forested slopes, lush ravines, basaltic outcroppings, scores of wetland ponds, and a wild undeveloped stretch of the Snohomish River.
With more than eleven miles of trails and several more miles of old woods road, this sprawling park provides countless hiking options. One of the nicest is to Temple Pond, the largest body of water within the park. With minimal elevation gained and lost along the way and via a series of wide and well-groomed trails, this hike is perfect for hikers and walkers of all ages and abilities. It’s a popular trail running destination, too.
Start from the park entrance high on Lord Hill (el. 525 feet) and enter cool forest. Descend about 75 feet to some wetlands and traverse them via boardwalks. At 0.4 mile reach a junction with the Beaver Lake Trail. Head right here continuing on the Main Trail for another 0.6 mile coming to a four-way junction.
Continue straight on the Main Trail Cut-off coming to another four-way junction in 0.2 mile. Continue straight once again, this time on the Temple Pond Loop trail. Follow this near level path through stands of attractive mature forest. The trail brushes up against the northern shore of Temple Pond, a marshy expanse of water that only an amphibian or bird could love! Known actually as Temple Pond 1, there is a Temple Pond 2 located farther downstream, but not accessible by trail.
Continue traversing dark cool woods and reach the Pipeline Trail after meandering 1.6 miles on the loop. Head straight on the Pipeline Cut-off Trail returning to the Main Trail after 0.1 mile. Then turn right retracing familiar territory reaching your vehicle after 0.7 mile. Call it a day or explore more of the park’s wonderful trails.
For information on lodging and other attractions near Temple Pond visit www.snohomish.org.
Lord Hill is one of 50 destinations in my Winter Hikes of Western Washington Deck. Pick up a copy today!