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Lily and Lizard Lake Loop

Puget Sound and Islands


Puget Sound and Islands -- Bellingham Area
View map below


7.15 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 1400 ft.
Highest Point: 2120 ft.


3.90 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2020

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

This is a loop made up of several well signed trails on Blanchard Mountain in the Chuckanuts. The trail offers that other-world ancientness with its dark forests, moss and house-sized boulders. It makes a good year-round hike, with a route that passes by waterfalls, swamps, two lakes, wildlife activity, old growth and evidence of logging operations from the nineteenth century.

Start the hike by backtracking south from the parking lot on the road about 100 yards on the on the right. You will be paralleling the Samish Overlook road below you. Note you are hiking on an abandoned railroad grade with leftover cables, and track sections.

At 0.4 mile you will pass over Whitehall Creek on a footbridge. This is a good place to photograph the small waterfall surrounded by ferns, wildflowers as the water descends its way over roots and rock. Continuing on the trail comes to a sharp switchback to the right and at 1.3 miles you will pass the junction with the Lily-Max Connector. This is a length of the much longer Pacific Northwest Trail, but you'll want to keep right, continuing on the Lily Lake trail.

In 1.6 miles you will cross Whitehall Creek again, but this time without a footbridge. Fortunately, the water is shallow and easy to ford without getting wet. The trail now works its way through a forest Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock, big leaf maple, with ground cover of salal and Oregon grape. Overall, the trail is climbing, but there is some elevation loss when you descend. There are also level sections passing swampy ponds and old-growth stumps still bearing the notches for springboards. At about 2.5 miles you reach the junction of the Lily-Lizard Connector. Go right towards Lizard Lake.

You are now on the ridge and most of the elevation gain is behind you. From the junction, go 0.6 miles to the Lizard Lake-British Army trail where you make a left. This takes you to the Lizard Lake camp, a good place to take a break, have lunch, enjoy the lake and wander around to see the handiwork of the resident beavers and maybe even see one of the little guys.

From the campground, backtrack a bit and take a right on the 0.6-mile Lily Lake Connector where after a short climb you cannot miss the huge, moss-covered, house-sized boulders characteristic of the Chuckanuts. You will have a short elevation gain as you summit the ridge and at 0.3 miles reach the junction of the North Butte Overlook, a short steep side trip of 0.2 miles to views of both the Salish Sea and Mount Baker. Continuing on the connector you begin to descend to Lily Lake and level out at the campground on the lake's west side.

After rounding the southwest side of the lake, take a left at the Lily Lake Trail junction and go a few yards to Max's Shortcut to the right. Follow Max's Shortcut for 1.4 miles down to the junction of the PNT and Max's Connector where in 0.7 miles you will turn right (southeast) on the Lily Lake trail, the only section you will retrace. This takes you back to the Upper Trail parking lot.


Lily and Lizard Lake Loop

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.6170, -122.3858 Open map in new window


Puget Sound and Islands -- Bellingham Area

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking North Cascades by Craig Romano

Mountaineers Books.

Chuckanut Recreation Area by Square One Maps


Blanchard Forest and Chuckanut Mtn Trail Systems DNR PDF Map:

Getting There

From I-5, take exit 240 (Alger) and head west on Lake Samish Road. Take the first left onto Barrel Springs Road and travel 0.6 mile, to where there is a sign reading “Blanchard Forest Block”. Turn right on the dirt road and travel another 1.7 miles to a sign for “Samish Overlook”. Turn left and pass through the yellow gate (open one hour before sunrise to one hour past sunset) and continue 2.2 miles to the Samish Overlook Day Use Area.

There is parking for 20 vehicles (day use only.) There are vault toilets, picnic tables and benches. A Discover Pass is required.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

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Lily and Lizard Lake Loop

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