Sugarloaf — Savor Sweet Salish Sea Views

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Enjoy excellent views of the San Juan Islands from Sugarloaf.

Quick Facts:

Location: Anacortes, Fidalgo Island

Land Agency: Anacortes Community Forest Lands

Roundtrip: 2.5 miles

Elevation gain: 650 feet

Green Trails Map: Deception Pass Anacortes Community Forest Lands – 41S

Contact: Anacortes Parks and Recreation  

Notes: dogs permitted on leash; some trails open to bicycles, horses.

Access: From Exit 230 on I-5 in Burlington, head west on SR 20 for 13.5 miles. Turn right onto Campbell Lake Road. After 1.5 miles bear right onto Heart Lake Road and continue 1.5 miles turning right at a sign indicating, “Mt Erie Viewpoint.” Proceed a couple of hundred feet (do not turn right up Mount Erie Road) to trailhead.

Good to Know: dog-friendly, kid-friendly, snow free winter hiking; spring wildflowers

 

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Rare Puget Sound old-growth can be found in the Anacortes Community Forest lands.

The hike up Sugarloaf—Fidalgo Island’s second highest summit is short and sweet. And it makes for a good introductory hike to the sprawling 2,800-plus acres of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands. Hike through a grove of big trees to sunny open south facing slopes  granting sweeping views of the San Juan Islands, Olympic Mountains, and nearby Fidalgo highpoint Mount Eire.

It’s easy to get lost (intentionally or unintentionally) in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands with its spaghetti heap of trails. Carry a map and pay attention to junctions—which thankfully are almost always well marked. This hike to Sugarloaf doesn’t require too many twists and turns!

Beginning on Trail no. 215, head through a swampy draw graced with a few big Doug-firs and cedars. Bear right at a junction continuing on Trail no. 215 and start climbing—steeply at times. Ferns, moss, and salal line the way. Stay right at another junction and continue climbing under a canopy of mature Douglas-firs working your way up and around a series of mossy ledges.

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In spring, Sugarloaf’s open summit sprouts lots of wildflowers.

At 1.0 mile, another trail junction is encountered. Here Trail no. 215 continues straight, descending Sugarloaf’s south face and reaching the Mount Eire Road in .3 mile. Go left through a stile and follow hiker-only Trail no. 227 a short distance to another junction. Turn right here onto Trail no. 238 soon arriving on the blocky summit of 1,044-foot Sugarloaf. Pass Trail no. 228 and shortly afterward come to a spur trail branching right. Follow it to sunny ledges and some sweet viewing of Whidbey, Burrows, Allan, and Lopez Islands. The big blob in front of you is Mount Erie, highest point on Fidalgo Island. But with its summit road, a little bit busier than the peak you are enjoying. Return when you must or consider exploring many of the side trails in this great community forest.

 

For more information (including detailed maps) on this hike and others near Anacortes, pick up a copy of my Day Hiking the San Juans and Gulf Islands. You’ll find 136 hikes on 28 islands in this new and comprehensive guide to this fascinating region.

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For more information on places to stay and other things to do on Fidalgo Island and the Skagit Valley, check out Northwest TripFinderNWTFmasthead_layers15.

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