To be honest, there aren’t a ton of hiking options on Orcas Island. There are a handful. And in other circumstances we probably would have done Mt. Constitution, the most epic one, but one of my friends was recovering from foot surgery and we needed to take it a little easier!

Hiked: early June
Best time to hike: March – November
Distance from Seattle: not for a day trip – 2 hours to Anacortes, plus 1 hour ferry ride, and then a 30-minute drive from the ferry terminal
Accessibility: Entirely paved highway and road
Length & elevation: 3.9 miles and 50 feet elevation gain (roundtrip around Mountain Lake); 3 miles to Twin Lakes
Difficulty: Easy
Crowds: Light
Trail views: Forest, lakes

One of the days we spent the morning hiking the loop trail around Mountain Lake. Most of the trail was pretty forested with occasional openings in the trees for a nice lake view. The trail was flat and easy to follow and generally a relaxing, leisurely hiking experience. There is also a great picnic area near Mountain Lake where we cooked and ate our lunch after hiking.

Mountain Lake trail
Viewpoint at Mountain Lake
Peeking at Mountain Lake

We returned and completed the hike to Twin Lakes later in our trip. This hike actually shares a portion of the trail with the Mountain Lake trail, but then veers to the left to get to Twin Lakes. It’s a similar hike to the Mountain Lake trail in terms of terrain and scenery, but I liked Twin Lakes a bit more as I tend to prefer hikes that are out and back as opposed to loops around a body of water.

The split between the Mountain Lake trail and the Twin Lakes trail
Another view of Mountain Lake

I don’t even have any photos of Twin Lakes trail from my nice camera, because it was wet and rainy and we were in a bit of a hurry, but they’re fairly similar to Mountain Lake. Another thing to note is that you can actually do both hikes as a combined excursion (totals about 6 miles) and it would be very doable – it’s flat and easy trail. That’s what I would recommend to future hikers!

Posted by:Elizabeth

Wandering Californian living in Seattle. Nature-loving, thrill-seeking weekend adventurer. Storyteller.

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