Mosquito Lake Road
This park offers you a unique mountain lake, some of the oldest trees around, and on clear day, unrivaled views of local mountains including Mount Baker, the Black Buttes, and both the North and South Twin Sister.
Early morning visitors may enjoy band-tailed pigeons, baby deer, and other wildlife frolicking during the quiet hours. From the parking lot the lake is only a moment away. The tremendous old-growth snags that pierce the lake’s placid surface are unrelated to logging. An earthquake, 150 years ago, slid a piece of the mountainside into the deep canyon forming a natural dam. A trail around the lake offers a moderate hike with interesting plants including the carnivorous sundews that survive on the insects they capture.
For a more strenuous outing (nearly 5 miles one-way and 3,000 ft of elevation gain), you can hike the high "road" up to the old-growth trees and the ridge top views. Along the way waterfalls splash down the canyon walls, fossils line the trailsides, and springtime wild flowers (delayed by higher elevation) may last well into summer. (The park is a preserve so enjoy but please don’t take rocks or plants).
At the side trail for the old-growth, you can explore the secrets of this forest. The fine hairline growth rings in the cut logs reveal the dramatically slow growth rate of these trees. These ancients, while smaller than their counterparts growing in more lush areas of the county, may be three times older, as much as 800 - 1,000 years old. From the open ridge at the top of this trail all the mountain views you could want are waiting for you. When you’re ready, a nice loop down the main trail provides more open views of the lake and the Nooksack Valley beyond.
So to explore an ancient forest, enjoy the plants and animals of nature, or capture incredible panoramic views, visit this unique mountain park.
Head east on the Mount Baker Highway to milepost 17. Turn right on Mosquito Lake Road and after about 2 miles, turn left on Canyon Lake Road. Follow signs on the maintained gravel road for about 6 miles to the parking lot.
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San Juan Islands