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Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve

Puget Sound and Islands


Puget Sound and Islands -- Bellingham Area
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6.5 miles of trails



3.43 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2020

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Spanning almost 4430 forested acres that house the headwaters of Austin and Beaver Creeks, Lookout Mountain Preserve is located just south of Lake Louise Road and Sudden Valley in Whatcom County. Various trail crews have worked to clean this area up, removing garbage and construction materials, leaving beautiful recreation options for Bellingham residents.

Rufus Creek Trail

Get a workout on this route, which starts from the trailhead near Sudden Valley and climbs gently for 4.3 miles through forest, across streams and around wetland areas before meeting up with the currently-closed Cougar Ridge trail.

Along the way hikers will enjoy views of the signature sandstone common in this area, and at 3.5 miles is a lovely overlook of Lake Whatcom. The trail benefited from several miles of new trail construction thanks to WTA and partners, and offers a fun, longer hiking option at Lookout Mountain.

Further up the Rufus Creek trail is a junction with the Leila June Trail. This hiker-only trail was one part of the original loop on Lookout Mountain and makes it possible to do several other loops or out-and-backs. 

Other trails branch off the Rufus Creek trail, which is the main artery up the mountain. 

Waterfall Loop

Hike the Rufus Creek Trail 0.8 miles from the trailhead to a junction for the Waterfall Trail and Baneberry Trail. The Waterfall Trail is a short and sweet loop hike that guides hikers past a gorgeous waterfall.

Baneberry Trail

Much more difficult is the Baneberry Trail, a serious quad workout that makes it possible to create a loop with the Rufus Creek Trail.

As the trail system develops, hikers can also head up to Lookout Mountain on an eight-mile service road. It's a long hike, but not currently on trails.

Buttercups, bleeding hearts and Queen Anne's lace bloom here in the springtime, and thanks to efforts from the trail crews, the routes are all in good condition.


Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.7191, -122.3554 Open map in new window


Puget Sound and Islands -- Bellingham Area

Whatcom County Parks

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Guidebooks & Maps

Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve PDF Map:

Getting There

From Bellingham (I-5, exit 253) head east on Lakeway Drive toward Lake Whatcom. Lakeway becomes Cable St. as you near the lake. Take right on Austin Street and Austin becomes Lake Louise Rd.

From Alger (I-5, exit 240) head east. Continue on Alger Cain-Lake Rd to Lake Whatcom Blvd toward Sudden Valley. Take left on Lake Louise Rd about 10 miles from I-5 exit.

Once on Lake Louise Road, follow the signs to Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve.

take transit

This trailhead is accessible by bus! Plan your visit by bus using TOTAGO, or consult the schedule for Whatcom Transportation Authority route number 512.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve

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