Guemes Mountain Trail
Location: Guemes Island, WA
Hike Length: 2.2 Miles Total
Elevation: Start 140′ Top 552′
Trail Condition: Trail is in good condition at this time.
Difficulty: Moderate. The trail is a gradual climb with switchbacks in some areas of a steep grade.
Use: Day hiking
Restrictions: No Picking Flowers, Horses, Bikes, Fires, Hunting, Camping or Collecting of other natural objects.
Dogs: Must be leashed and on the trail at all times. The owner must pick up after their dogs at all times.
Parking: Parking area is small and is alongside S. Shore Road. There is also a bike rack for parking and locking your bike up.
Parking Location: 48* 32′ 36″ N 122* 35′ 44″ W at an elevation of 140′
Protecting Guemes Mountain: The trail crosses private property on a donated easement before reaching the Skagit Land Trust’s 70 acres around the summit. The grassy bald there is an uncommon habitat supporting beautiful and fragile plants. Please help preserve this wild and scenic area and the quiet experience it offers.
How to get to the Guemes Mountain Trailhead: There are several ways to get to the Guemes Mountain Trail for a great day hike. You can drive your car and get there via the Guemes Island Ferry. If you want to make a full day of it the best bet is to ride your bike. There is parking on the Anacortes side of the ferry dock that you can park for free. From there ride to the ferry loading area and walk your bike on to the ferry. You will need to pay a small fee for the ferry crossing to get to Guemes Island. Riding your bike will also save you some money making the crossing. The Guemes Island Ferry runs for the most part about every 30 min at peak times. That is another great thing about riding your bike. You will always get on the ferry even if there is a back up of cars in line. Once you get on to Guemes Island you will have a short 2-mile ride to the Guemes Mountain Trail. Once docked you will be turning right just after the loading ramp on to South Shore Road. Your ride along South Shore Road is all paved and follows the shoreline for about 1.5 miles of the 2-mile ride. The start is a gradual climb for the first 1.8 miles then the last part you have an elevation gain of about 70 feet. If you keep a pace of about 13 MPH you can make the trailhead in about 12 min. However, the view along the way is fantastic so I would plan on 30 to 45 minutes to ride to the trailhead. Once there park on the right side of the road in the gravel parking area only. Keep in mind there is limited parking area at this time. If you are on your bike there is a bike rack at the trailhead for you to use.
Guemes Mountain Trail: Your hike will take you through a Douglas-fir and western red-cedar forest. There are many other plants, wildflowers and wildlife you will see along the way. Take your time and take in the sounds and look at the views. The trail meanders its way to the top with many easily climbed switchbacks. About midway up there is great viewing and rest area with a bench. Stop and sit for a bit and watch the birds flying such as Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and Pileated Woodpeckers. As you get close to the top the trail gets a bit steeper for a short distance then opens up to a large grassy area. If you packed lunch the view from the top is fantastic and a great place to have lunch. From the summit, you can see Canada to the North, Mount Baker to the East and the San Juan Islands to the West. There is a sign at the top that gives you information about the Guemes Mountain Conservation Area and San Juan Preservation Trust. It took many hours and many volunteers to make this area what it is for you to enjoy. Please enjoy and respect the environment so all may experience this beautiful area for many years to come.
This is a view looking to the southwest from the top on Guemes Mountain.