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Moran State Park - Mountain Lake

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- San Juan Islands
View map below

Length

3.9 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 50 ft.
Highest Point: 950 ft.

Rating

3.44 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2020
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

The loop around Mountain Lake is the perfect way to spend a relaxing day on Orcas Island. If part of your crew is interested in the more challenging Mount Constitution, this is a good way to while away the time that they're trekking to the top.

You'll start your loop around Mountain Lake with a short jaunt to the boat launch. This is a delightful, quiet spot when the lake is shrouded in fog, but it is quite scenic in sunlight, too. Turn north from the boat launch, following the trail as it stays close to the lakeshore. On your left are tall trees that house various birds; be sure to bring your binoculars!

Fishing birds like osprey, kingfishers, heron and ducks hunt here, while the rat-tat-tat of woodpeckers resounds in the forest. After a little more than a mile, you will arrive at a junction, where you'll turn right.

The flat trail along the shoreline continues, interrupted only with a climb up a small ledge no more than 50 feet. This is the only elevation gain of note on this gentle hike, making it a great option for little ones and their families.

After hiking three and a quarter miles, you'll arrive at the south end of the lake, where you can examine a small dam and take a rest. If the day is clear, you can see Mount Constitution, complete with the tower on top here. Be sure to stop and take a few photos.

Pressing on, you'll cross Cascade Creek on a bridge. There is a side trail here that leads to Mount Pickett--you'll want to avoid that one in order to complete your loop. The trail to Mount Pickett is enjoyable though, and worth venturing down if you have the time or inclination. Just be aware that there is more elevation gain than your flat route around Mountain Lake.

Past the creek, another trail branches left. You'll avoid this one as well, instead staying close to the quiet shoreline along Mountain Lake. Keep your eye out for more wildlife, and soon complete your loop hike.

 

Moran State Park - Mountain Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.6570, -122.8190 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- San Juan Islands

Washington State Parks

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: North Cascades (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

USGS Mount Constitution

or Park Map at Entrance Kiosk

Getting There

From Anacortes take the Washington State Ferry to Orcas Landing. Follow Orcas Road (Horseshoe Highway) 9 miles north to Eastsound. Continue east on Cresent Beach Drive for 1 mile, turning right onto Olga Road. Proceed 4.5 miles, bearing left onto Mount Constitution Road. After 1 mile turn right on the Mountain Lake Turnoff, reaching parking area in a quarter mile.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Moran State Park - Mountain Lake

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