Pine And Cedar Lakes

Address

36th Street
Bellingham , WA 98225

Hours

Every day Dawn - Dusk

Review

Photo Credit: Jamie Valenta
If you plan on hiking to these mountain lakes, follow these five instructions for maximum enjoyment:

(No. 1) Unless you begin training a couple weeks before you go, don’t attempt a hike to Pine and Cedar Lakes with a case of canned beverages in your backpack. Why? Because apparently this Whatcom County Parks trail was created before the advent of switchbacks –- it’s straight uphill, no mercy. So whether you plan to day hike or stay overnight, pack lightly and use a framed backpack that provides optimum support -- otherwise, this 2.5 mile hike wile seem like 25 miles.

(No. 2) If you enjoy trout fishing, bring your pole. If you don’t you will begin suffering at around 6 p.m. any evening during fishing season: The bugs begin dancing just above the surface of the lakes’ placid waters. Then a flurry of fish begin jumping and feasting like a pack of mad flesh-eating piranhas –- only they’re not piranhas, they are brown and rainbow trout. There are so many trout in these lakes that if you can’t catch one by conventional means, you might want to try flailing about in the water with a large stick. As a last resort, leaning over the water and batting at the fish with your hand while growling ferociously has proven to be successful.

(No. 3) Bring lots of fishing tackle, cause you’ll lose some. You must understand that fishing Pine or Cedar is nothing like fishing Lake Padden. First of all, only a few trails provide limited access to the lakes’ banks, and near these few access points, the surrounding shrubbery makes casting your line a treacherous affair. Also, the lakes are full of snags –- fallen trees from years and decades past become aquatic jungle gyms for fish and microorganisms. The fallen trees will also pirate your new silver-spinning lure that you just paid 3 bucks for earlier in the day. So bring plenty of tackle.

(No. 4) Bring bug repellant, drinking water, a trash bag and bug repellant. This is a wild place, so plan ahead and make a list. When you get there, don’t worry: those are only mosquitoes, not massive, mutated hummingbirds.

(No. 5) If no burn ban is in effect, bring firewood. Everyone knows that it’s not wise to burn wood found on the forest floor, but even if you wanted to, there’s no wood there anyway. The forest that envelops Pine and Cedar at the top of Chuckanut Mountain is a canopy of massive evergreens towering above a few sword ferns and an occasional salmonberry bush –- no dry and shrubby tinder anywhere. If a fire is not important to your camping experience, at least pack a little gas stove so you can fry up those tasty fishies that required $30 of tackle for you to reel in.
Written By: Ken Brierly
On: 3/22/1999

Directions

From Old Fairhaven, drive out 12th Street to Chuckanut Drive. About half a mile past Fairhaven Park, turn left on Old Samish. Drive for a couple miles and watch out for the Pine and Cedar Lakes turnoff and trail head on the south side of the road. The lakes are a few miles up the hill.

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