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Larrabee State Park - South Lost Lake Trail

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- Bellingham Area
View map below

Length

9.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1950 ft.
Highest Point: 1650 ft.

Rating

3.29 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2021
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

Tucked away atop Chuckanut Mountain is shallow Lost Lake. The south trail to the lake leads through a recovering forest of bigleaf maple, alder, Douglas fir, and western hemlock, meandering 4.5 miles to a riparian hideout, providing waterfalls, old growth, fall color, and year-round hiking to those who make the journey.

Choices, choices: find your way to Lost Lake via one of four routes that vary widely in terrain, views, and elevation profile. One of those is the south Lost Lake trail, which in turn has two options for starting the hike. One starts close to and the other starts from the Lost Lake (formerly Clayton Beach) parking area near the entrance to Larrabee State Park. The slightly more scenic but longer route follows the Fragrance Lake trail. Hike the trail for 2.3 miles until it reaches the service road. Turn right on the service road and go 0.1 mile until you reach the Lost Lake hiking trailhead on your left. You can also walk directly from the parking area, following the service road. Pass a cascading waterfall at 0.8 miles, and 1.2 miles later turn right at the sign for the Lost Lake hiking trailhead.

The Lost Lake hiking trail proper follows the route of an old logging road in a southeasterly direction for 1.25 miles, steadily gaining elevation with occasional switchbacks. WTA has recently (November 2014) worked on this section to prune brush and improve drainage in this high-rainfall area. Along this segment, ascend to a high point of 1650 feet with views of Samish Bay in the winter. You will then start to descend, coming to a sign at a junction, indicating that the route to Lost Lake is to the left. If you do take the fork to the right, you will reach a clear-cut vantage point in 0.1 mile where you can look down upon the entirety of Lost Lake.

Proceeding left at the above sign, continue north 0.6 miles to a small waterfall, and then the junction with the Rock Trail, on your left. Continue straight ahead; the lake lies 0.6 miles beyond. As you pass red cedars and hemlocks, marvel at old growth, munch on salmonberries if they are out, and stare at the rock walls to your left. When you reach the lake, at 1200 feet of elevation, continue upward again briefly and reach the junction with the north Lost Lake trail. Turn right to double back and find a large rock that offers views of the lake, and explore the waterfall at the outlet. Enjoy your time beside the lake’s calm, evergreen-encircled waters.

WTA Pro Tip: the many trails of Larrabee State Park need your help! The rangers do not have adequate staffing to maintain the trails on their own, so consider volunteering for a WTA Work Party to preserve this trail and others so that they may persist into the future.

 

Larrabee State Park - South Lost Lake Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.6468, -122.4626 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- Bellingham Area

Washington State Parks

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Guidebooks & Maps

USGS Bellingham South

Chuckanut Recreation Area map (Square One Maps)

Blanchard Forest and Chuckanut Mtn Trail Systems DNR PDF Map: https://bit.ly/2SaAPL9

Getting There

From Bellingham: from I-5 southbound, take exit 250, and turn right onto Fairhaven Pkwy. Go to the second stoplight. Turn left on SR-11/Chuckanut Dr. Stay left at the next stoplight, and drive six miles to the park entrance. About 1/4 of a mile south of the main entrance is the Lost Lake Parking Area (formerly the Clayton Beach Parking Area).

From Seattle: from I-5 northbound, take exit 231. Enter the roundabout, following signs for SR-11/Chuckanut Dr and crossing over the highway. Enter a second roundabout and turn right onto SR-11/Chuckanut Dr, and drive north 14 miles to the Lost Lake Parking Area, just after the entrance to Larrabee State Park, on the right.

There is a privy at the trailhead and parking for about 25 cars.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Larrabee State Park - South Lost Lake Trail

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