Mileage: 7.5 miles RT
Elevation Gain/Highest: 1000/1300ft
Favorite Eats After Hike: We packed a cooler.
12/29/2015 I went in search of a low level hike today as my new sister-in-law just moved here from Nebraska and doesn’t have a lot of gear yet. I did this hike last New Year’s Day and it was just as perfect today. We parked at the Mt Erie TH on Heart Lake Rd and started to climb up towards the Sugarloaf summit. I had forgotten how the trail just gets right down to business and is fairly steep in the first part. This is a community trail system and you will see signs for bikes and horses; we didn’t see either today. The system is rather elaborate with a large amount of trails weaving and intersecting; you could meander in here for quite awhile. You can either take a picture of the map at the TH or purchase the set of 3 maps in town for $10. The Lake Erie grocery store close to the THs sells them as well. I don’t think there is an advantage to one way or the other, but I bought the maps today mostly to support the trail. You can tell they do a lot of work here.
The trail we took went to Sugarloaf first, and I think this viewpoint is better than Mt. Erie because there are less trees. Then, you head back down, intersect with the road that goes up to Mt. Erie and than move back into the woods and across the saddle between the two summits. Despite the road noise, it really is a pretty trail. There were just a few logs to go over, lots of pine needles and leaves but no snow.
The summit of Mt. Erie had several cars in the parking lot but in general not crowded and we had the outcropping on the right to ourselves while we were there (to the right of the staired lookout point). Baker had cloud cover but the islands were out on display. We sat long enough to eat a snack and enjoy the view before the cold day had us moving back down to our car.
I added a few pictures from a drive over to Deception Pass, as my sister-in-law had never been.
Directions: From I-5, take Exit 230 for Highway 20 and head west for 10 miles, then turn left to stay on Highway 20. Staying straight on the Highway 20 Spur takes you into the city of Anacortes. Turn right onto Campbell Lake Road and drive about one and a half miles along the lake. Turn right onto Heart Lake Road–note that the sign for this turn can be hard to read, so look for the Mount Erie Grocery and take the road to the right of the store. Less than a mile from the grocery store, turn right into the gravel parking lot. There is room for about 25 cars.
For more hikes on the Puget Sound, click HERE.