Truly one of the most awesome hikes I've done! From the many switchbacks guiding me up the 1,100' elevation gain on the 1.9 mile trail, passing by huge trees and through the dense forest, with its mossy sandstone boulders along the way, an incredible view midway up looking out over the bay and islands, the magnificent mirror-like reflections visible on the surface of the lake, then the trail leading around the parimeter of the lake allowing access to the mammoth sandstone cliffs, the many bogs of skunk cabbages just about to release their fragrance, to snow still remaining at the highest elevation of today's hike, this trail was well worth the effort.
I call this "rock-n-roots".
The midway view looking out over the bay.
Fragrance Lake relections looking West.
The trail leading around Fragrance Lake takes you by massive, weathered sandstone cliffs. The echo up there incredible as sounds bounce off those sandstone walls!
Sandstone, smoothed and weathered,
showing its beauty.
Although the temperature was predicted to be 45F in Bellingham today, shaded by the dense forest and at a slightly higher elevation, snow from last weekend's storm still remained with a couple of inches lingering in places along the forest floor. A chilly treat around the lake! Its slow melt causing a few rather muddy areas along the highest portion of the trail, however.
Having packed in lunch, I enjoyed a picnic on the boardwalk overlooking the lake, watching the occasional little circles delicately form in the mirrored reflection on the lake as small fish surfaced.
Glad I had my gloves.
Fragrance Lake Trail Information
(Source - the Internet)
Highlights: Loop hike around a lake, views of the San Juans
Near: Chuckanut Drive, Bellingham, WA
Distance: 5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft
Hike Time: 3 hours
Trail Condition: Well maintained trail with some mud and snow in places
Hike Type: In, up, back and down
Summary: Just about a mile into the hike you will come to a junction that goes up .2 miles to an overlook with fantastic views of the San Juan Islands. Continue on to the lake where you can hike a half-mile loop around the lake enclosed by rock walls with great echoes.
Trailhead: From Bellingham, drive 5 miles south on Chuckanut Drive to the trailhead across the road from the Larabee State Park. (Lat: 48.65421, Lon: -122.48966)