Just a college student out to enjoy the outdoors while I can..love to take pictures and marvel at the wonderful geological formations! :D
Directions: There are a couple ways to do this hike. The shorter way (the way that I did it) was through the Pine and Cedar Lakes Trail. Take exit 251 for Fairhaven, turn left from 12th and Harris, go down Chuckanut Drive till you reach a Y in the road. Take the left onto Old Samish Highway.
Keep going til you see a sign on the right for the trail head parking lot. The longer way (which I didn't do) starts in Arroyo Park, which is an earlier turn on Old Samish. Parking at the Pine & Cedar Lakes trail head is free, but be sure to hide valuables.
Trail Notes: This trail was a HARD one! The entire way up is STEEP. You will definitely get a work out on this one. It goes by pretty quick though, and you will be thankful you did it! We adapted our hike from Ken Wilcox's "Hiking Whatcom County" book, it didn't have Raptor Ridge in it when it was published but it was still good help. After 1.9 miles you will get to a 3 way split, you want to take the left trail because as far as I know, the other two go nowhere. This will continue to be steep for a while, but on the way you get to see some awesome forest and great Chuckanut sandstone, and on some of the cliffs you can see the ancient wave action (this area, long long ago actually used to be a beach). You will reach several junctions that tell you which way to turn for Raptor Ridge or the lakes. All of the trails are well marked and easy to follow (except that first one). You will eventually get to a post that will point you in the direction of the Hemlock trail that will lead to a spur that is Raptor Ridge. Once you get out to Raptor Ridge, its a great view on a sunny day! Watch out because it kind of comes up on you fast. Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of different bird of prey while you are up there, but on this day we didn't, surprisingly. We also decided to take a look at Cedar Lake on our way out, which was also nice. If you're tired though, maybe call for a rain check because its a steep hill down to the lake and obviously a steep hike back up! There are signs that say 'no fire' but you can see several fire pits had been set up. We especially noticed LOTS of trash on the trail! :( Pack it in, pack it out! Otherwise, this trail was a good one because it was refreshing to be in a less traveled part of Chuckanut Mountain and you also get to see some different views besides the generic San Juan ones you get at almost any other trail in the area.
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Best Time to Hike
6.0 Miles Round Trip
Other Hikes Nearby: Less than 10 miles as the crow flies.