Lost Lake was named appropriately...you seemingly lose yourself as you cut up into the Chuckanut Mountains and encounter a lake just when you think there is no end in sight. Absolutely mesmerizing forest adventure.
This hike, or trail run if you so choose, is the long needle that digs into the Chuckanut Mountains. It carves its way further and deeper into the mountains, usually at a moderate climb. It is about 9 miles roundtrip from the North Chuckanut Trailhead.
What Makes It Great
To begin, start at the trailhead, take the left turn towards Arroyo, then take the single tracks heading up to Hemlock Trail and North Lost Lake Trail. When the Hemlock Trail widens and flattens out, take the fork to the right. Here, the Lost Lake Trail begins. It has a steep start, but mellows out as the distance goes.
A quarter mile into the trail, you have the option of hopping onto the Salal Trail. The Salal trail is single-track, and gentler. It will take you back to the North Lost Lake Trail, further up, with only a slightly more milage (though easier). If you jump onto Salal from the beginning, you will pass another access point from the Lost Lake trail, and then encounter a fork. Take the right turn to get back onto North Lost Lake.
North Lost Lake is a long and secluded trail, and the trees thin on the way up. Once you encounter the sign for Lost Lake, head down to the water! The sign says the lake is within half a mile, but it feels longer.
The North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead is between Old Samish Road and California Street off of Chuckanut Drive. Heading south from Bellingham on Chuckanut Drive, it takes 5-10 minutes, and is nearly impossible to miss. Parking is free and plentiful. There is another parking lot if you choose to take the left onto Old Samish Road, about a quarter mile further, though this parking is limited. One might only use this trailhead if they wish to run through the other side of Arroyo Park, cross the bridge and head up...the first available left turn after crossing over the creek marks the beginning of the Hemlock/Lost Lake Trail.
Who is Going to Love It
Hikers and endurance runners use this trail as an excellent way to build strength without taxing their knees too much, and not sacrificing miles.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From LocalHikes.com: "Drive south from Bellingham on Chuckanut Drive. Park at the Fragrance Lake Trailhead. This is a fee area. Take the Fragrance Lake Trail to a junction at about 2 miles. Take the trail to the right instead of to Fragrance Lake and walk about 200 feet down an old logging road. The Lost Lake trail will be on the left. When you get to a white gate, go around it and you will be on the 2 mile trail down to the lake."