Nestled in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, Orcas Island offers a rich natural environment and a variety of outdoor activities. Adventure enthusiasts looking for a hiker’s paradise are in luck – this picturesque island boasts a range of hidden gems waiting to be explored. Orcas Island is home to some of the most incredible hiking trails, and each one offers something unique.
Rising over 2,400 feet above the Salish Sea, Mount Constitution is the highest point on Orcas Island, and the stunning trail leading to the summit is undoubtedly one of the island’s standout jewels. The hike is a challenging yet rewarding one, as the trail winds through dense forests, over rocky terrain, and past stunning viewpoints. From the summit, hikers are treated to stunning 360-degree views of the San Juan Islands.
Turtleback Mountain Preserve
Turtleback Mountain Preserve boasts nearly 2,000 acres of Orcas Island’s varied natural landscape, including forested hills, grassy meadows, and stunning vistas. The preserve’s trail system is the result of decades of careful stewardship and offers hikers of all abilities the opportunity to explore its rugged beauty. In addition to breathtaking views, visitors can witness many species of wildlife that call the preserve home, including bald eagles, deer, and many species of birds.
Moran State Park
Spanning more than 5,000 acres of land, Moran State Park is the epitome of a hiker’s paradise. Visitors can explore the park’s dense forest trails or take in views of the park’s many impressive waterfalls. The park’s rugged landscape includes over 30 miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, and campsites, making it the perfect spot for a day trip or overnight stay.
Obstruction Pass State Park
Another hidden gem for hikers looking to experience Orcas Island’s natural beauty is Obstruction Pass State Park. This stunning park comprises over 80 acres, including a rugged shoreline, tide pools teaming with marine life, and dense forests teeming with wildlife. Hikers can explore the park’s many trails, taking in breathtaking views of the Salish Sea and the surrounding islands.
Cascade Falls, located near the heart of the island, is a real gem for hikers looking to experience Orcas without venturing too far from town. The moderate hike to the falls, which are more than 50-feet-high, offers hikers stunning views of Moran State Park and the island’s varied landscape. The falls themselves are a sight to behold, and visitors can cool off in the chilly waters at their feet.
Orcas Island is a hiker’s paradise, brimming with hidden gems waiting to be explored. From the rugged terrain of Mount Constitution to the stunning views of Turtleback Mountain Preserve and Moran State Park, this island offers an experience like no other. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a more extended stay, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your sense of adventure on Orcas Island. So if you’re looking for a truly unforgettable hiking experience, look no further than this five-star destination.