South Lost Lake Trail
From the Clayton Beach parking lot, most visitors head for Clayton Beach. It seems that few people are aware that this parking lot is also the southern trailhead to Lost Lake. So, if the beach is too crowded for your taste, then why not head for the hills? Unlike other trails in the Chuckanut Mountains, this is not a killer climb. In fact, a conversation is possible without gasping for every breath.
The trail begins as a wide and graveled road which gently meanders skyward through the forest. As the sound of the traffic on Chuckanut drive recedes far below, the San Juan Islands come into view through the trees.
After a mile or so there is a fork in the trail. Take the left one and continue past a beautiful cascading waterfall. This is a pleasant place to stop for a short rest. A mile later, a sign post points right to Lost Lake. If you continue straight ahead, you can get to Fragrance Lake. The Lost Lake trail grows steadily narrower as it ascends to about 1700 feet. Only here do you finally encounter some short steep switch backs. Another sign post points left and the trail descends into shade for the last stretch toward the lake. At this point, the path gets quite muddy. Battle your way through that and you will understand how Lost Lake got its name. The effort is worth it. Good boots are definitely recommended.
Lost Lake is a long narrow pond completely enclosed by evergreens right down to its shoreline. A giant cliff-like boulder juts out into the water on the far side of the lake and provides the perfect place to picnic. If you are lucky you will have this rock all to yourself where you can relax like the king of the hill on a stone throne. Lose yourself at Lost Lake and think about the crowds on Clayton Beach looking for a rock to sit on.
Note: this is also a great trail for mountain biking.
Just drive south on Chuckanut Drive and about a quarter mile past the turn off for Larrabee State Park, turn left into the Clayton Beach parking lot.
Biking Trails | Bathrooms | Walking Trails
Copyright 1998-2017 Kulshan.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
San Juan Islands