During our week-long stay on Orcas Island we hiked nearly everyday. That is a dream come true for me. The majority of our hiking adventures took place in Moran State Park, which is located on the East side of the island, and boasts over 30 miles of trails. It’s probably most famous for Mount Constitution and the amazing views (spanning from Vancouver, B.C. to Mount Rainier) complete with the look-out tower. While we hiked to the top (not to miss), and also saw lovely waterfalls, lakes and lush forests, the hike that sticks out the most was the Mountain Lake Loop. Despite the drizzle and moderately chilly temperatures, everything just fell into place for some reason.
For one, the distance was just about perfect: Almost 4 miles.
Next, the terrain had just a slight elevation gain and loss making it quite easy to traipse around with Bergen on my back in the ergo.
Now, we weren’t hiking to the top of something for a hard-earned view, but instead we had picturesque views nearly every step of the way. The pristine Mountain Lake was always by our side, old growth Douglas Fir trees towered above us, and the forest floor was blanketed with bright green moss. To top it off, we got to cross a little stream with a dam creating a waterfall. We also had the trail to ourselves just seeing one fellow hiker along the way.
One last reason for this hike being our favorite. Not a moan, groan, cry, protest or meltdown from Bergen (almost 1.5 years). He was just happy to be along for the nature-filled ride.
Info to Know:
- The Mountain Lake Loop is located in Moran State Park on Orcas Island, WA. Parking, restrooms, boat launch, and even camping are all available at the trailhead.
- Hike is 3.9 miles, designated as easy, and has just a slight elevation gain and loss. Other hikes linked to the trail include the Twin Lakes Trail & the Mount Constitution Summit trail.
- Hiking boots are a good idea, though not completely necessary. Running shoes would work just fine.