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BLANCHARD MOUNTAIN: The Lily Lake Loop

 

A Skagit County hike

 

This hike utilizes that part of the PNT between the top of the Lily Lake Trail and the top of Max’s Shortcut and then Max’s Shortcut to the Larry Reed Trail. It also utilizes the Lily Lake Trail and part of the Larry Reed Trail.

This is a Skagit County hike.

Data: This 7.5 mile loop with a total elevation gain of about 1600 feet is all on trail. The hiker is on WA Department of Natural Resources, DNR, land. Please respect the rights of the land owners/managers. The forest on Blanchard, except for those portions in the DNR Conservation Area, is a working forest and from time to time logging operations and road closures occur. To check out logging operations and road closures, call the DNR office in Sedro-Woolley at 360-856-3500. SWITMO rates this as a moderate hike. SWITMO helps maintain those sections of the PNT that cross Blanchard Mountain. WA State Discover Pass required to drive on DNR Roads and to park at the trailhead.

2013 note: The B-2000 road to the Overlook is scheduled to be closed for a time during the summer of 2013 for a logging operation. This logging operation will also affect the route of the PNT on the western part of the Larry Reed Trail. Once the logging operation is over, the PNTA and SWITMO will be able to go in and rebuild the trail.

The protected route of the PNT (that part that lies in the Conservation Area) that descends from the Oyster Dome area on the Samish Bay Connector is currently very steep at the outset—we call that area “The Wall”. The PNTA will work with the DNR to determine the best way to improve the trail in this area as well as other areas on the Samish Bay Connector.

Driving Instructions: From I-5 take the Alger exit #240. Drive west on Lake Samish Road about one mile and turn left onto Barrel Springs Road. In a mile or so turn right onto a logging road. There should be signs here that indicate Blanchard Mountain Trail. This is the start of logging road B-1000. This area was clear-cut in about 2008. Continue on the B-1000 Road, going up hill a bit, curving around, and passing a trailhead on your right. There is a toilet facility here; there is no toilet facility at the trailhead. Continue on the B-1000 Road, winding around, slightly uphill. You will come to the B-2000 Road on your left. This road has a gate and the road leads to the Overlook. Do not turn on the B-2000 Road but keep going straight ahead a short distance. There is a large parking lot on the right. Beyond this lot the B-1000 Road is gated. A trailhead at the parking lot leads down to the lower parking lot with toilet facility that the hiker passed on the way up.

Hike Description:

  • Walk a short distance back down the B-1000 Road to the obvious, well-signed Lily Lake Trailhead. Turn RIGHT.

  • Follow the well-maintained trail uphill. It will switchback to the right and 1.6 miles from the trailhead the hiker will reach the eastern end of the Larry Reed Trail---this is where the hiker will come out on the return trip.

  • Continuing straight ahead and uphill on the Lily Lake Trail to its intersection with the PNT trail which comes in from the Lizard Lake area on the right. The hiker is now 3.2 miles from the trailhead.

  • Turn LEFT onto the Lily Lake Trail/PNT Trail. Across from a pond the hiker will come to an intersection; this is the top of Max’s Shortcut which goes off to the LEFT. Now the hiker has some decisions to make:

  1. Descend on the PNT from Max’s Shortcut to the Larry Reed Trail and return to the trailhead—see below.

  2. Go straight ahead to the Lily Lake junction and then go right on the Lily Lake trail to Lily Lake itself and perhaps on to the North Butte view point.

  3. Go straight ahead to the Lily Lake junction and keep going straight ahead, going westerly toward the Oyster Dome, taking the side trip to the Oyster Dome and returning to Max’s Shortcut.

  • When the hiker is ready to leave the Lily Lake area, descend on Max’s Shortcut 1.5 miles to its intersection with the Larry Reed Trail.

  • TURN SHARPLY LEFT onto the Larry Reed Trail. If the hiker misses this sharp left turn, the hiker will continue on toward the Overlook, crossing the B-2000 Road on the way.

  • Once the hiker has turned LEFT onto the Larry Reed Trail, continue on it 0.7 mile where it intersects with the Lily Lake Trail which the hiker came up earlier in the day.

  • Turn RIGHT onto the Lily Lake Trail and follow it 1.6 miles back to the trailhead.



Source: USGS

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