Chuckanut Ridge with sun

The fog was thick at 7 am Monday morning. It was Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and I had the day off. The weather forecast said “Partly Cloudy” for Bellingham, while the Ellensburg area said “Freezing Fog”. Looks like I’ll stay on this side of the Cascades today.

My plan was to explore the trails on Chuckanut mountain / ridge a bit more. It hadn’t rained in a while so I was hopeful that there wouldn’t be too much mud. I followed motorcycle tracks (as per usual) along the muddy PNT and climbed. Soon, I noticed the fog thinning and blue sky and sun was in the tree tops. Yes! Trails weren’t muddy up high, and I headed north to the Chuckanuts and looked around the Pine and Cedar Lakes. Very peaceful places.

Cedar Lake in Larrabee State Park.

Cedar Lake in Larrabee State Park.

Lunch (Subway footlong) was head on Raptor Ridge and I even got to see Mt. Rainier in the distance!

The outlines of Mt. Rainier were visible from Raptor Ridge view point.

The outlines of Mt. Rainier were visible from Raptor Ridge view point.

Lunch break at Raptor Ridge.

Lunch break at Raptor Ridge.

Then, I rode the Hemlock trail up. That was fun and techy. Lots of wet roots, some switch backs, and plenty of dabs were had. My heart reate was way out of aerobic, but it was just too fun to rest. Farther along, the Hemlock trail turns into the Chuckanut Ridge trail – pretty steep HAB for at the northern end and then turns into unbelievably nice single track heading south. I met some college kids on a hike and they were commenting on the beautiful views of Mt. Baker. What a clear view!

Trying to take an artsy picture of Mt. Baker along Chuckanut Ridge.

Trying to take an artsy picture of Mt. Baker along Chuckanut Ridge.

Short portions of the northern end of the Chuckanut Ridge trail were very smooth, but mostly its steep and techy.

Short portions of the northern end of the Chuckanut Ridge trail were very smooth, but mostly its steep and techy.

View to the west from Chuckanut Ridge.

View to the west from Chuckanut Ridge.

A couple times, I could sneak a view over the foggy Pudget Sound, what a sight – and 45 F made for another pleasant rest stop to eat the other half of my sandwich.

View towards the San Juan islands: Chuckanut Island and Lummi Island are the first two visible.

View towards the San Juan islands: Chuckanut Island and Lummi Island are the first two visible.

The clearest view of Mt. Baker was had from the clearcut south of the South Lost Lake trail where I had ended up by accident on a previous ride.

Mt. Baker from the clearcut near South Lost Lake trail.

Mt. Baker from the clearcut near South Lost Lake trail.

After this, I headed back to the car and was dreaming of getting junk food from the Alger Shell station. That hit the spot 🙂

Stats: 30 miles, 6500 ft. el., 7 hours, GPX track

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